Nebraska Lawmakers to Revive Gay Marriage Debate


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.

Omaha resident Erin Anderson, who married her longtime partner in Iowa, isn't sure but says, "We need to start somewhere."

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.