A heartwarming story from Nebraska:
In Nebraska, where same-sex marriage has been illegal since 2000, legislators did something surprisingly pro-gay Tuesday.
Lawmakers were voting on a bill that would make it easier for military spouses to get concealed-carry permits. But the language, as introduced, was vague. After all, who counts as a spouse under Nebraska law? The federal government recognizes gay marriages, but Nebraska doesn't.
This seemed to rankle state Sen. Paul Schumacher (R), who argued that we should not allow gay love to get in the way of one's gun rights.
Joe Duggan, a reporter with the Omaha World-Herald, has the killer quote from the hearing: "Is not the Second Amendment sex blind? Color blind?" Schumacher said. "What great evil would come from saying a partner of somebody in the military…is entitled to exercise their Second Amendment rights to carry a concealed weapon in this state?"
Schumacher proposed an amendment that would extend the bill's privileges to gay spouses, speeding up the process of obtaining a concealed carry permit….The amendment passed 38 to 0, and the bill passed the first round of voting 37 to 4.
After the amendment passed, a legislator who abstained from the vote said, "I think we just recognized gay marriage." Libertarian activists, take heed: If you live in a red state, you should figure out a way to reframe all your gay-rights causes as gun-rights causes. And if you live in a blue state, try to do the reverse.
Addendum: I should have mentioned that readers who want more background on why this was an issue in the first place ought to check out the aforementioned article in the World-Herald. Here's the key bit: "Current law allows nonresident military members to apply for a concealed gun permit without having to first live in Nebraska for 180 days to establish residency. [The new bill] would waive the residency period for military spouses who want to apply for gun permits."