File this one under mid-western family values – whatever the hell those are. District Judge Randall Rehmeier refused to grant a Nebraskan lesbian couple the divorce they are seeking, but didn’t hesitate at all to issue a ruling in the couple’s child custody proceedings.
The Nebraska Constitution states “only marriage between a man and a woman shall be valid or recognized in Nebraska.” Yada yada yada. Enough already. WE GET IT. And yet, there are thousands and thousands of couples in same-sex marriages in our country, and those couples are not forced to live solely in states permitting gays to marriage.
If you think that the federal government is going to continue to be able to deny same-sex couples marriage equality, you haven’t been paying attention to the LGBT news cycle over the course of the past year. Gay marriage was legal in California. Then it wasn’t. A judge ruled prohibiting marriage equality to be unconstitutional. And then a court allowed California to continue to refrain from issuing marriage licenses to the gays. New York, Maryland and Rhode Island are about to legalize gay marriage. Iowa and Wyoming are making it illegal.
State-rights advocates are about to see one of their crown jewels usurped by the federal government simply because the states themselves are doing a piss-poor job of self regulating on the subject of just who can wed who. All this topsy-turvy makes universal marriage equality look damn good in the eyes of the federal government, if only to stop bogging down our states’ highest courts with trivial matters like granting a fully consenting adult couple the divorce they seek.
For the record, Judge Rehmeier issued the custody ruling “for the sake of the child.” Which assumes of course that the child won’t be harmed in the slightest by having his parents legally unable to dissolve their marriage. Remember kids, a home where your parents are forced to remain married is a happy home.