Group Advocates For Same-Sex Marriage In Nebraska

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A group gathered at the Nebraska State Capitol this Valentine's Day, to celebrate love like so many of us do.

In addition to celebrating though, they are hoping to change the way the State of Nebraska views marriage as an expression of love.

Just yesterday a Virginia judge ruled that their ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional. Other states including Utah and Oklahoma have recently done the same.

But Nebraska remains one of the states that doesn't acknowledge same-sex marriages.

"On this day where we celebrate everybody loving everybody else, some people in this state don't have the right to express that," said Jamie Radcliffe.

"No different from any heterosexual couple really. And we'd like Nebraska to recognize that," said Barbara Ellis.

Ellis and her partner BJ Wheeler have been together for 14 years.

"We are married in our church, and now in our country, but not in our state," said Wheeler.

Al Riskowski, Executive Director for the Nebraska Family Alliance said that's because in Nebraska the focus is on kids.

"If we redefine marriage to make it public policy that either two mothers or two fathers are just as good as a mom and a dad we have totally redifined what a home looks like for children. We no longer state that really a mom and a dad is important in the home," he said.

But Reverend Fritz Hudson from the Unitarian Church thinks someday Nebraska will join the other 17 states who allow same-sex marriage.

"It's happening all around us," he said. "It will eventually happen even here."

Ellis and Wheeler believe it would be beneficial to the state to change it's position.

"In terms of attracting folks to come here to work at the university and otherwise, it's very good for the economy, and diversity is wonderful and we should embrace that," said Ellis.

But Riskowski sees a change to conservative values as a deterrent.

"If we change marriage and no longer make it as a union between one man one woman, we'll actually defer people to move to the State of Nebraska for the very reason they're moving here," he said.

People at the rally said it's great that other states have made a ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional, but they still think a change here in Nebraska is a long way off.