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US: Nevada Assembly passes resolution to repeal ban on equal marriage

Joseph McCormick May 23, 2013

The Nevada Assembly today passed a resolution which could eventually lead to a repeal of the state’s ban on same-sex marriage.

The bill, which was passed by the Nevada Senate last month 12 votes to 9, could eventually lead to a repeal of a 2002 voter-approved constitutional amendment which bans equal marriage in the state.

Today, the Assembly passed the bill, with an overwhelming majority of 27 votes to 14. All ‘no’ votes were Republicans.

The vote puts the bill on track to be approved by the House in the next legislative session, and to go to voters in 2016.

Marc Solomon, campaign director of Freedom to Marry, released a statement, which said: “Lawmakers in Nevada took a huge step today toward undoing a discriminatory amendment that never should have been written into the state constitution and advancing the freedom to marry. We look forward to the day that Nevada couples join those in the 12 other marriage states in being able to make a lifelong commitment to the person they love.”

In 2002, voters in Nevada approved an amendment to the state constitution stating that “only a marriage between a male and female person shall be recognized and given effect in this state.” At that point, the vote was 337,197 to 164,573 for the amendment.

In June 2009, The law allowing domestic partnerships was passed, and became effective in September of that year, which allowed same-sex couples some rights, but not the full benefits of marriage.

During the Senate debate around the bill, Senator Kelvin Atkinson nervously announced that he is gay, saying he had not intended to come out, but felt that the time was right. 

“I’m black. I’m gay… I know this is the first time many of you have heard me say that I am a black, gay male,” he said.

 

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