Press Room

May 11, 2005

Category: Civil Unions, Domestic Partners

HRC: Nebraska Ruling Strikes Down Extreme, Anti-Family Amendment

'Any law that evicts citizens from the political process is bad for America,' said HRC President Joe Solmonese.

WASHINGTON - The Human Rights Campaign celebrated the ruling from the U.S. District Court in Nebraska today striking down Section 29 of the state's constitution.

The court concluded that the amendment, which is exceptionally broad, violated several constitutional protections including the 1st Amendment right to petition the government, and the 14th Amendment guarantee of equal protection.

HRC President Joe Solmonese made the following statement:

"Any law that evicts citizens from the political process is bad for America. Section 29 banned the state Legislature and elected officials from ever considering even the most basic protections for same-sex couples.

"This ruling restores the basic rights of all citizens to engage in the political process.

"Section 29 went far beyond banning marriage for same-sex couples - it banned everything from civil unions and domestic partnerships to making funeral arrangements for a deceased partner. It also jeopardized the rights of employers to offer domestic partner benefits and even called into question the rights of gay and straight people from making legal arrangements - including things as basic as leases on housing and businesses.

"While we celebrate the District Court for its common-sense ruling, we recognize that the same extremists who pushed this measure in the first place will continue their efforts. The truth is, if the ultra-conservatives who championed this amendment really wanted to protect families, they would work to strengthen schools, fight for health care and support all families equally.

"HRC salutes the fine work of the ACLU, Lambda Legal, Citizens for Equal Protection and the Nebraska Advocates for Justice and Equality for bringing this important case."