LINCOLN — A Nebraska prison inmate and his transgendered partner are appealing a judge's decision to dismiss their lawsuit against the state prison system, which they say has refused to let them marry.
The couple is challenging a Nebraska constitutional amendment that defines marriage as the union between one man and one woman.
Lancaster County District Judge Steven Burns dismissed the case two weeks ago on grounds that the prisoner, Harold Wilson, and Gracy Sedlak failed to pay an $82 court filing fee. Sedlak previously identified as a man named John Jirovsky.
Wilson and Sedlak had asked to file the lawsuit without paying the fee, but Burns denied the request in April, saying the proposed complaint appeared to be frivolous. Burns gave them 30 days to pay the filing fee.
Late last month, Wilson and Sedlak filed another motion, asking the judge for an order that they be allowed to be married and that Sedlak be considered for visitation. Because they never paid the filing fee, Burns dismissed the case.
Wilson and Sedlak appealed the decision Wednesday. They also have filed a federal civil lawsuit raising the same issues.
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