Update: Nevada takes positive step forward on repealing ban on marriage equality

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Nevada just took another step towards repealing its ban on marriage equality, when the state Assembly passed a resolution that could result in a revocation of the 2002 state constitutional amendment.

The bill, Senate Joint Resolution 13, passed through the Assembly by an overwhelming majority of 27 – 14. If made into law, it would repeal the ban on marriage equality and replace it with a requirement that the state recognize all marriages, regardless of gender.

In April 2013, it passed the Senate with a much narrower 12 – 9. http://dot429.com/articles/1985-nevada-senator-comes-out-during-hearing-to-repeal-gay-marriage-ban

All of the votes against the bill were submitted by Republicans, but not every Republican voted  against the measure; Michelle Fiore, R-Las Vegas, said that “When we started this floor session, I introduced my mother to this body, proudly. 

What is currently in our constitution does not allow her to get married. You see, my mom is gay. I love my mom with all my heart, and I am who I am today because of her guidance, influence and how she raised me.”

In 2002, Nevada voters passed Question 2, a state constitutional amendment  declaring that “only a marriage between a male and female person shall be recognized and given effect in this state.” The final tally was 337,197 – 164,573.

In 2009, the Domestic Partnership Responsibilities Act 2009 was passed by the state legislature, granting civil union rights to couples of any gender. Though it does include many of the rights, responsibilities, and benefits of marriage, the law also includes exemptions allowing employers to deny medical coverage to domestic partners, even if they offered it to the married partners of employees.

In 2012, Lambda Legal filed a lawsuit on behalf of multiple same-sex couples, on the grounds that only being offered the legally inferior civil unions violates the U.S. Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause. Chief Judge Robert Jones ruled that it did not; Lambda Legal vowed to file an appeal.

The Assembly’s passage of SJR 13 puts it on track for approval by the House in 2015, and from there to public vote in 2016.

429Magazine

 

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