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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, May 24, 2013 - Volume 41 Issue 21
Nevada lawmakers approve marriage equality - Repeal of 2002 constitutional amendment will take time, however
Section One
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Nevada lawmakers approve marriage equality - Repeal of 2002 constitutional amendment will take time, however

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

The Nevada Assembly voted to repeal the state's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage on May 23. The vote was a convincing 27-14. One Republican joined 26 Democrats to pass the measure.

Republican Michele Fiore, who represents a district in Las Vegas, said she was voting for the repeal because her mother is a Lesbian.

'When we started this floor session, I introduced my mother to this body, proudly,' she said.

'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.'

Nevada's Senate repealed the ban on April 23.

HURDLES REMAIN
Under Nevada law, the repeal must be passed by the legislature again in 2015, and then must be approved by voters in November 2016.

Nevada voters adopted a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage in 2002, when they passed the Protection of Marriage Act, but polls indicate a growing number of Nevadans have changed their minds.

A poll conducted by the Retail Association of Nevada earlier this year found that 54% of voters want the state constitutional ban on Gay marriage repealed, while 43% want it to stay in place.

BIG MONEY AT STAKE
Some of the state's largest employers have also embraced changing the law. State Sen. Richard 'Tick' Segerblom, a Democrat who represents a Las Vegas district, said in Senate testimony that marriage equality is both a civil rights and an economic issue in Nevada, where weddings are a major industry.

'Today was a victory for LGBT equality in Nevada,' said HRC National Field Director Marty Rouse. 'We thank our friends on both sides of the aisle in the state Assembly and Senate for taking the first step to repeal the discriminatory ban on marriage equality, a stain to the state's constitution since 2002.'

'While the LGBT community takes a moment to celebrate in Nevada, we can't take today for granted. We must work to keep pro-equality lawmakers in office,' Rouse added.

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