Friday, September 25, 2015

Nebraska: GOP Gov. Ricketts' administration is listing gay spouses as 'friend' on birth certificates, prompting another expensive lawsuit against state

ALSO: Homophobic NE AG Don Peterson is denied an en banc hearing he requested in order to deprive a dying woman legal fees after she was forced to sue the state to recognize her legal same sex marriage.

Last summer, Nebraska Gov. and death penalty aficionado Pete Ricketts, who attended his sister's gay wedding in Chicago but opposed gay marriage in Nebraska, told two apparent lies in a press release following the landmark Supreme Court ruling declaring gay marriage bans unconstitutional:
“The U.S. Supreme Court has spoken and ruled state same-sex marriage bans to be unconstitutional. While 70 percent of Nebraskans approved our amendment to our state constitution that defined marriage as only between a man and a woman, the highest court in the land has ruled states cannot place limits on marriage between same-sex couples. We will follow the law and respect the ruling outlined by the court.”
     The first lie was the assertion that 70% of Nebraskans disapproved of gay marriage. The actual figure, of course, was 70% of the people who went to the polls in 2000 to vote on the issue. Ricketts' second lie was his pledge to follow the law and respect the ruling.
     From today's Omaha World-Herald:
     The Nebraska chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union asked a Nebraska federal judge on Thursday to issue an injunction ordering the state to list both same-sex spouses as parents on birth certificates of children born to same-sex couples.
     The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services has refused to “provide married same-sex couples birth certificates for their children on the same terms and conditions as married different-sex couples,” the ACLU wrote in court records.
     Since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in late June that same-sex couples could marry, at least two same-sex couples in Nebraska — including the Wagners — have been unable to list both of their names on the birth certificates of their newborns.
     In the high court’s ruling, the ACLU said, birth certificates were listed as one of the many marital protections that must be provided equally to married same-sex couples.
     On Thursday, the Nebraska Office of Vital Records and Statistics confirmed the birth certificate form is still the same as it was before the same-sex marriage opinion.
     “We continue to evaluate the impact of the Supreme Court decision on programs within our agency,” Leah Bucco-White, a spokeswoman for DHHS, wrote in an email.
The request is being reviewed by the Nebraska Attorney General's office.

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