Gay Marriage Challenge

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Douglas County has denied marriage licenses to two lesbian couples from Omaha who say they were hoping to draw attention to the issue of same-sex marriage.

National same-sex marriage advocates had dubbed Thursday "Freedom to Marry Day." The attention on the issue comes from a decision in Massachusetts that would allow such marriages there.

Nebraska law does not recognize same-sex unions under the state's constitution. A 2000 constitutional amendment passed by voters bans domestic partnerships and same-sex marriages.

Barbara Sagat, who applied for a license with her partner Sharon Stover Thursday, said she wanted to raise awareness of the inequality in Nebraska's marriage laws.

Deputy County Clerk Kathleen Hall said a county attorney decision allows the clerk's office to provide applications, but not isue licenses.