Las Vegas Sun

December 1, 2015

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Effort to repeal Nevada’s gay marriage ban moves forward

Measure might not have Sandoval’s support, who has reiterated his conservative position

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Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval speaks to the Las Vegas Sun editorial board Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2012.

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Tick Segerblom

Despite Gov. Brian Sandoval's belief that marriage should be between a man and a woman, the Senate Judiciary Committee is poised Thursday to approve a constitutional amendment on gay marriage.

Committee Chairman Sen. Tick Segerblom, D-Las Vegas, says there are enough votes for Senate Joint Resolution 13 to clear both the committee and the full Senate. Some Republicans are supporting the measure, he said.

The governor, in a posted interview with a Spanish-language reporter, said he backed Nevada’s domestic partner law but opposes gay marriage. The interview was outlined on the website of political journalist Jon Ralston.

Segerblom said he was “surprised” at the statement of the governor and added, “I feel he will change his opinion sometime in the next year or two.”

He noted this proposed constitutional amendment does not have to be approved by the governor.

Nevada’s Constitution now bars marriage between same-sex couples.

The resolution being considered would repeal that ban. It would have to be approved by this Legislature and again in 2015 and then be put on the 2016 ballot.

Supporters told the Judiciary Committee that public sentiment has changed since the voters approved the prohibition in 2000 and 2002. The vote in 2002 was 337,197 to 164,573 to ban gay marriages.

The Legislature permitted same-sex couples to register as domestic partners with the secretary of state but they were not given the full benefits of marriage. As of April 1, there were 4,154 domestic couples, but a spokeswoman for the Secretary of State’s Office said some of them were man and woman couples.

There was no estimate how many were man-woman relationships.

The resolution has the support also of the wedding chapel industry who argued it would draw gay couples to Nevada from other states to get married.

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