Nebraska lawmakers to debagte gay marriage
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - Nebraska lawmakers will take up gay marriage this fall, with a hearing that could lead to a ballot measure. The Legislature's Judiciary Committee will convene Oct. 4 to review Nebraska's constitutional amendment, which defines marriage as the union of a man and a woman and forbids civil unions. The committee chairman, Sen. Brad Ashford, wants a public debate on the issue after last month's U.S. Supreme Court decision striking down part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act. The ruling allowed married same-sex couples to qualify for federal benefits but had no impact on Nebraska's amendment. Ashford doubts voters would approve same-sex marriage but thinks they might accept civil unions.