Nebraska Supreme Court Upholds Ruling Same-Sex Couples Can Adopt, Compares State Policy to 'Whites Only' Sign
Two years after the landmark Supreme Court Obergefell case that found same-sex couples do have the right to marry, it's hard to think they would still be in court trying to adopt children, but welcome to Nebraska. Of all 50 states, the Cornhusker State had one of the most pernicious policies against same-sex couples, or even LGBT people, adopting.
In 1995 the then-director of the Nebraska Department of Social Services, Mary Dean Harvey, issued a policy memorandum mandating that “people who identify themselves as homosexuals” or even “unrelated, unmarried adults residing together” were banned from fostering children or adopting them.
On Friday the Nebraska Supreme Court upheld a lower court ruling that had struck down the ban, and admonished the State for its policy and for publishing the policy, known as Memo 1-95, on a state website, while claiming it was not enforced.
"Memo 1-95 was a published statement on DHHS’ official website that 'heterosexuals only' need apply to be foster parents," Judge John Wright. "It is legally indistinguishable from a sign reading 'Whites Only' on the hiring-office door. Memo 1-95 clearly excluded same-sex couples and individuals who identified as homosexuals either from being licensed or from having state wards placed in their homes."