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Posted 24 Feb 2001   For week ended July 09, 2000
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Sent on Mormon-News: 10Jul00

Summarized by Kent Larsen

LDS Church Supports Nebraska Anti-Gay Union Amendment
Lincoln NE Journal-Star 8Jul00 N1
By Nancy Hicks: Lincoln Journal Star

LINCOLN, NEBRASKA -- Supporters of an amendment to the Nebraska State Constitution banning same-sex marriages delivered 12 boxes of petitions, containing 155,000 to 157,000 names, to the Nebraska Secretary of State on Friday, seeking to meet the requirements to place the proposed amendment on November's ballot. If the amendment passes in November, it could make Nebraska the 34th US state to enact a same-sex marriage ban.

Organizers of the campaign credit 4,000 volunteers for gathering the signatures, along with the support of the Roman Catholic Church, the LDS Church and many evangelical Christian churches in Nebraska. To make the ballot, Nebraska law requires that the signatures be verified by each county in the state. A total of 10 percent of the registered voters, about 105,000 signatures must be validated.

The proposed amendment goes farther than those enacted by the 33 states that have already enacted the same-sex marriage ban. Unlike the others, the Nebraska amendment also prohibits any kind of same-sex union or domestic partnership, including those made legal recently in Vermont.

Opponents of the measure claim that the amendment is more bigotry than law. According to Scott Winkler of Nebraska Advocates for Justice and Equality, a group formed to fight the amendment, it "is not just about marriage. It prohibits people in committed and loving relationships from living their lives. It is an intrusion into lives," he said. "It panders to bigotry."

But supporters of the amendment say that they are protecting society. "If the institution of marriage is dismantled and other unions are accepted, the stability of our culture is endangered," said Monsignor Timothy Thorburn, vicar general of the Lincoln Diocese of the Roman Catholic Church. "Some people say this is an act of bigotry," Thorburn said. "I say it is an act of love."


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