No Nebraska Marriage Equality Yet, Says Federal Appeals Court

No Nebraska Marriage Equality Yet, Says Federal Appeals Court

Nebraska residents will have to wait a bit longer for marriage equality, as the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals extended a hold placed on Monday's pro-equality ruling. 

Monday's ruling, issued by U.S. District Judge Joseph Bataillon, struck down Nebraska’s same-sex marriage ban, but was stayed until next Monday to give state officials time to appeal the ruling and ask for an extension of the stay.

On Thursday night, the Eighth Circuit granted the state's request, placing Bataillon's decision on hold until the federal appeals court rules on Nebraska's marriage ban, along with appeals of pro-equality rulings challenging marriage bans in three other states. 

"We are glad the court has granted the stay because it provides current stability in Nebraska's marriage licensing process," Nebraska Republican Attorney General Doug Peterson said in a statement.

The Eighth Circuit will hear oral arguments in Nebraska’s appeal May 12 at the federal courthouse in Omaha, Thursday's order notes. The court willhear appeals challenging marriage bans in Arkansas, Missouri, and South Dakota the same week, reports BuzzFeed.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Nebraska, which filed the lawsuit on behalf of seven same-sex couples, expressed disappointment with the extension of the stay. 

By the time the Eighth Circuit hears oral arguments in the Nebraska case, the U.S. Supreme Court will have heard arguments in a consolidated marriage equality case regarding bans in Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Michigan. The nine justices of the Supreme Court will hear those arguments April 28 and could issue a ruling that would determine the fate of marriage equality nationwide any time after that hearing. 

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