A Nebraska woman claiming to be an ambassador to God and Jesus Christ has filed a civil lawsuit in federal court against all gays and lesbians around the world.
Auburn resident Sylvia Ann Driskell, 66, is requesting a judge find that living a homosexual lifestyle is a sin inconsistent with the word of God. The request was made in a neatly handwritten seven-page letter framed as a lawsuit, the Lincoln Journal Star newspaper reported on Tuesday.
The letter, filled with misspellings and grammatical errors, cites several Biblical passages in which Driskell asserts living a homosexual lifestyle is inconsistent with the teachings of God. The majority of her letter appears to be mainly in opposition to same-sex marriage and the right of gays and lesbians to adopt children.
“Never before has our great nation, the United States of America, and our great state of Nebraska been besieged by sin,” Driskell writes. “I’m sixty-six years old, and I never thought that I would see the day in which our great nation and our great state of Nebraska would become so compliant to the complicity of some peoples [sic] lewd behavior.”
Nebraska is one of a handful of states that does not legally recognize same-sex marriage or civil unions. In 2000, Nebraska approved a constitutional amendment that banned same-sex marriage in the state. The ban was overturned earlier this year after the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit deeming the amendment to be unconstitutional, but the decision to overturn was stayed by an appellate court.
The stay effectively keeps in place Nebraska’s ban on same-sex marriage. That ban could be lifted in June when the Supreme Court is set to decide whether states have the right to ban gay marriage; legal observers say the Supreme Court is likely to decide against states with such a ban, citing the court’s decision in other cases not to prevent gay marriages from being recognized in other states. That decision would impact around a dozen states with gay-marriage bans or where same-sex marriage is otherwise not legally recognized.
Driskell is not having any of it. She wants a federal judge to decide once and for all that living a gay lifestyle is an abomination under God and is asking the court to legally define homosexuality as a sin.
“Why are judges passing laws, so sinners can break religious and moral laws?” Driskell writes in her petition. “Will all the judges of this nation judge God to be a lier [sic]?”
The case has been assigned to judge John Gerrard, a former Nebraska Supreme Court justice who was appointed as a federal judge by President Barack Obama in 2012. Driskell is representing herself in the lawsuit.
More than 8 million people identify as gay, lesbian or bisexual in the United States, according to a report released by UCLA’s Williams Institute. It is unclear how many of those individuals have received a summons for Driskell’s case; the author of this post, who came out in 2004, has not yet received a request to appear.
Matthew Keys is a contributing journalist for TheBlot Magazine.