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Judge Joseph F. Bataillon Rules Nebraska Same-Sex Marriage Ban Unconstitutional

Image: Marj Plumb, Tracy Weitz
Marj Plumb, right, and Tracy Weitz, one of seven same-sex couples who had sued to block Nebraska's ban on gay marriage, kiss outside Federal Court in Omaha, Neb., prior to a hearing, Thursday, Feb. 19, 2015.Nati Harnik / AP

A federal judge in Nebraska on Monday declared unconstitutional the state's ban on same-sex marriage.

But Judge Joseph F. Bataillon put his own ruling on hold for a week to give the state a chance to appeal — which it did almost immediately.

As of Tuesday, the judge's order is set to take effect on March 9 at 8 a.m. local time (9 a.m. ET). The state appealed to the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals, which has yet to issue a ruling on two other same-sex marriage cases pending in the circuit, from South Dakota and Arkansas.

If Monday's ruling goes into effect, Nebraska would become the 38th state to permit marriage for gay couples.

The U.S. Supreme Court will take up the same-sex marriage issue in April.


— Pete Williams