Nevada is now one step closer to repealing the state’s ban on same-sex marriage.
The fight for marriage equality took a huge step forward Monday night in Nevada, with a 12-9 vote in favor of repealing the state’s same-sex marriage ban. According to the Las Vegas Sun:
The late night vote came after more than an hour of emotional floor debate, during which opponents of the measure decried efforts to label them as “insensitive and unenlightened,” and supporters argued marriage equality should be extended to all regardless of gender.
In an unexpected and surprisingly emotional moment, Senator Kelvin Atkinson came out publicly for the first time. In what the Sun describes as a “trembling voice,” he announced, “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.”
The bill, SJR13, would not only repeal the ban on same-sex marriage, but would also “force the state to recognize marriages of any gender.” But this is only the first step for the legislation. As the Las Vegas Review-Journal explains, the bill will most likely pass the Assembly, where Democrats hold the majority with a 12-vote advantage. Then, “it must be passed by the Legislature again in 2015 before going before voters a year later.”
While the repeal is not immediate, Monday night’s vote was the beginning of the repeal process that will finally allow homosexual couples in Nevada to have the marriage equality the have fought so long and hard for. As Mormon Senator Justin Jones said, “I would rather lose an election than look my [gay] brother-in-law in the eye every Sunday and tell him he doesn’t have the same rights as I do.”
Photo: AP File/Cathleen Allison