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Nebraska ban on same-sex marriage now high court call

CASES DEFERRED

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The fate of Nebraska's gay-marriage ban is now in the hands of the U.S. Supreme Court.

The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decided Wednesday to postpone a May 12 hearing scheduled to consider the constitutionality of Nebraska's and three other states' gay-marriage bans.

The appellate court said it was "deferring" the cases in anticipation of a ruling by the Supreme Court, which is expected to decide in late June or early July whether states such as Nebraska have a right to ban gay marriage.

In February, a federal judge in Omaha struck down Nebraska's gay-marriage ban.

However, the 8th Circuit delayed the judge's ruling from taking effect, pending appeal.

The 8th Circuit then consolidated the Nebraska case with three other gay-marriage cases from South Dakota, Missouri and Arkansas. Judges in all four states had ruled their respective gay-marriage bans unconstitutional.

Originally, the 8th Circuit gave every appearance that it planned to proceed with the appeals, regardless of what the Supreme Court planned to do with its case.

However, the appellate court made the decision to defer, a day after the high court heard oral arguments on a historic gay-marriage case known as Obergefell v. Hodges.

Contact the writer: 402-444-1309, robynn.tysver@owh.com

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