Nevada advances equality, with drama

The 21-member Nevada senate voted 12 to 9 Monday night (April 22) to approve a measure to amend the state constitution to remove language that currently bans recognition of marriages for same-sex couples. Because it is a state constitutional amendment, the measure must still pass the Assembly and then pass both the Senate and Assembly in 2015 and be approved by voters in 2016.

According to the Las Vegas Sun, the vote came after about an hour of debate during which time senators were reportedly surprised when one of their own –state Senator Kelvin Atkinson (D-North Las Vegas)—came out to them. The Sun said Atkinson spoke of his father’s interracial marriage and then, “in a trembling voice,” told colleagues, “I’m black. I’m gay.”

The Sun said the senate rejected an effort to add language that would have not only removed the ban but required recognition of same-sex unions.


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