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 October 4th 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."