NEBRASKA: Gay Divorce Appeal Filed

A Nebraska lesbian who five years ago married her partner in Iowa, has filed an appeal to the state Supreme Court, asking that the state grant her a divorce. A lower court last year ruled against her request and a broad ruling from the state Supreme Court could pave the way for marriage equality.

Before they tied the knot, Margie and Bonnie Nichols had lived in the same home for more than a decade. They exchanged rings in a 1996 civil union and brought a child into the world together in 2003, according to court documents. But like so many romantic partnerships, it didn’t last. While they no longer live together, their marriage remains. Lancaster County District Judge Stephanie Stacy in August dismissed their divorce case, rejecting arguments that the court could grant the divorce without recognizing the marriage. “A finding that the marriage is irretrievably broken — by its very nature — cannot be made without recognizing the marriage itself, and it stretches logic and common sense to conclude otherwise,” Stacy wrote in her order. The case currently is before the state Court of Appeals, but Bonnie Nichols’ attorney, Megan Mikolajczyk of Omaha-based Domina Law Group, has petitioned to get it kicked up to the state Supreme Court.

Yesterday the ACLU of Nebraska filed a brief in support of the appeal, which is being apposed by the state attorney general. The HRC writes today via press release: “There were previously six states without marriage-related lawsuits… but with the new case filed in Nebraska yesterday, we’re down to five: Georgia, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Alaska. Any bets on who’s next?”