Nebraska Initiative 416
Nebraska Initiative 416 was a 2000 ballot initiative that amended the Nebraska Constitution to make it unconstitutional for the state to recognize or perform same-sex marriage or civil unions. The referendum was approved on November 7, 2000, by 70% of the voters.
The text of the amendment states:
Only marriage between a man and a woman shall be valid or recognized in Nebraska. The uniting of two persons of the same sex in a civil union, domestic partnership, or other similar same-sex relationship shall not be valid or recognized in Nebraska.
Several gay and lesbian advocacy organizations challenged this measure in Citizens for Equal Protection v. Bruning. In 2005, Judge Joseph F. Bataillon of the United States District Court for the District of Nebraska ruled that the measure violated the United States Constitution's guarantees of equal protection and free speech, as well as its prohibition on bills of attainder. In 2006, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit overturned Judge Bataillon and ruled that "laws limiting the state-recognized institution of marriage to heterosexual couples ... do not violate the Constitution of the United States."
- Statewide General Election 2000 Results, Constitutional Amendments and Initiative Measures, Nebraska Secretary of State, p. 21-22. Accessed 17 December 2006.
- Nebraska State Constitution, Article I, section 29, Nebraska Legislative Documents Legislature. Accessed 15 December 2006.
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