Supreme Court rulings on same-sex marriage unlikely to affect Nebraska, Iowa laws

Jun 26, 2013

A UNO political scientist says Nebraska and Iowa won’t see any immediate impact from Wednesday’s Supreme Court rulings on same-sex marriage.

The Supreme Court’s two rulings Wednesday mean same-sex marriages will continue in California, where Proposition 8 was challenged. On the Defense of Marriage Act, the High Court ruled that in states where gay marriage is allowed under state law, partners must be able to get federal benefits.

Carson Holloway, Associate Professor of Political Science at UNO, says current laws in Iowa and Nebraska won’t be affected.

“It doesn’t say that there’s a Constitutional right to same-sex marriage as such, it doesn’t force states that have defined marriage in the traditional manner to now define it as including same-sex couples. So it does leave in place all the state laws that defined it the traditional way as they are now, but it says if a state decides to define a marriage as a union between a man and a woman, or a man and a man, or a woman and a woman, then the federal government has to recognize that.”

11 states, including Iowa, and Washington D.C. have laws allowing same-sex marriage. In Nebraska, same-sex marriage is banned. Justices did not rule on the issue itself of whether same-sex marriage is a Constitutional right.

More information on Wednesday’s rulings is available at