Las Vegas Sun

July 20, 2017

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Federal appeals court will hear challenge to Nevada’s gay marriage ban in September

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will hear a Nevada case attempting to overturn the state’s ban on same-sex marriage in September, according to a court order issued Friday.

The announcement ends four months of waiting by gay marriage advocates and opponents. The 9th circuit announced in February that it would hear the case, Cevcik v. Sandoval, but didn’t give a timeline for when it would go to court. In the court’s order, it didn’t set an exact date in September.

The case is Nevada’s version of attempts by same-sex couples across the country to lift state bans on gay marriage. Nineteen states and Washington D.C. currently allow same-sex couples to wed. Federal courts in Utah and Idaho deemed their state bans unconstitutional, but the rulings are being challenged.

In Nevada, eight couples signed on to the case with Lambda Legal, a non-profit that represents LGBTQ couples in civil rights cases, to challenge the state’s constitutional amendment prohibiting gay marriage.

The state’s co-defendant in the case is the Coalition to Defend Marriage, a non-profit dedicated to limiting the definition of marriage to between a man and woman.

Even though the State of Nevada is the main defendant, Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval and Democrat Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto both determined the ban to be discriminatory in February after evaluating federal cases from around the country. But same-sex marriage is still illegal in Nevada, and no same-sex marriages are performed in the state. Nevada does recognize same-sex couples married in other states.

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