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Nevada marriage equality bill passes Assembly committee, advances to floor vote

Marriage equality

By Jacob CombsNevada state seal

A Nevada Assembly committee voted yesterday to advance a constitutional amendment that would allow same-sex couples to marry in the state, setting it up for a full vote in the chamber sometime this session.

Yesterday’s vote in the Assembly Legislative Operations and Elections Committee came down along party lines, with all seven of the committee’s Democrats voting in favor of Senate Joint Resolution 13 and all three Republicans voting against it.

The Nevada Senate approved SJR13 by a 12-9 vote in late April, and the Assembly vote–which is expected to succeed–will be the final legislative consideration of the bill this session.  As we noted when the legislature first took up the bill, the amendment has a long path ahead of it before Nevada couples will be allowed to marry:

“The amended bill will have to be approved by both houses of the Nevada legislature during the current session and again during the 2015 session, and then placed on the 2016 ballot as a constitutional amendment.  If Nevada voters approve the amendment, the marriage equality ban currently in the state’s constitution would be removed and replaced with language inclusive of same-sex couples.”

One Republican Senator voted in favor of SJR13 when the upper chamber considered the bill.  Democrats hold a strong 26-15 majority in the Assembly.

The proposed constitutional amendment, which is being spearheaded by the ACLU and the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada, is not the only push to bring marriage equality to the Silver State: Lambda Legal, an LGBT legal advocacy group, is currently pursuing a federal lawsuit, Sevcik v. Sandoval, challenging the state’s refusal to offer marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

The suit contends that Nevada’s laws, which provide same-sex couples with domestic partnerships but not full marriage rights, violate the equal protection provisions of the U.S. Constitution’s Fourteenth Amendment.  In its complaint, Lambda Legal wrote that Nevada’s laws subject the suit’s plaintiffs “to the inferior and novel status of registered domestic partnerships, and has disrespected the marriages some of them have entered in other jurisdictions, because they are  lesbians and gay men in same-sex relationships.”

A federal district court judge upheld Nevada’s marriage equality ban last November; that decision has been appealed to the Ninth Circuit.  The case is currently on hold until the Supreme Court issues a ruling in the Proposition 8 case out of California, which also falls under the Ninth Circuit.  The Sevcik case has also been appealed–unsuccessfully, so far–directly to the Supreme Court by the Coalition for the Protection of Marriage, which is defending Nevada’s marriage equality ban.


  • 1. Equality On Trial »&hellip  |  May 24, 2013 at 8:02 am

    […] Nevada Senate approved SJR13 by a 12-9 vote in late April, and yesterday’s Assembly vote will be the final […]

  • 2. May 2013 « Progress&hellip  |  July 31, 2013 at 9:08 pm

    […] — Senate Joint Resolution 13 continues to move forward. Equality on Trial with the […]

  • 3. NV Assembly Committee Cle&hellip  |  March 20, 2014 at 9:38 pm

    […] The amendment is being spearheaded by the ACLU and the Progressive Leadership Allicance of Nevada. Lambda Legal is also pursuing taking down the ban on same-sex marriage in a lawsuit named Sevcik v. Sandoval. The suit is currently on hold due to the cases targeting Prop 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act which are currently before the US Supreme Court. […]

  • 4. keith johnson  |  June 3, 2014 at 4:01 pm

    We have been granted custody of a child we have had since birth. In January of this year the bio family Uncle asked us to bring our boy back to visit his supposedly dying father could see him one more time, When my partner flew him back to Ohio to see him, within one hour the Uncle and Father apprehended my partner while the grandmother and the in law grabbed him and ran, when the police arrived, Sgt. Young informed the Uncle if our son was not back by 3pm then next day she would arrest the whole family for kidnapping. 3pm the next day a police office escorting my partner and a friend to pick our son up. No one was there nor was they to be found. After showing all the court paper work from Nevada to the police officer and letting them know that we are a Domestic Partner suddenly there was nothing they could do. The officer that informed the Uncle she would arrest them for kidnapping was no where to be found, I even called the FBI in Ohio and they were already to help us with an amber alert until I explained to them that my domestic partner flew him in, then suddenly there was nothing they could do, not even put an amber alert out!! I flew in 2 days later and went to the Ohio Clermont County prosecutors office to assume charges against the family, I handed him all the court documents, he did not even go thru it and handed it back telling us there was nothing he could do. We hired a lawyer in Ohio to handle this in court 6 months later and we still do not have our son.. In the mean time our son is living at his Uncles house who is a convicted rapist been charged with breaking and entering followed by several other charges. The family that has taken him has been investigated for Welfare fraud and the grandmother has been collection our sons SSI money for the past year or two. I had to pretend to change my phone number to quite receiving threating calls from the Uncle warning us to drop the charges to bring our son back,the Uncle has threaten us telling us he was coming to get our other son that we are in the process of adopting, he has harassed my immediate family in Ohio, threating my brother, trying to get money from my father and the list goes on.
    I have been to the Nevada Senators office, the Attorney Generals office, the police department and all we get is "This is an out of state matter" The Judge over the matter in Ohio has told our lawyer in Ohio that he did not have to call Nevada Judge to decide where the child belongs. REALLY!!!!
    If you all would be interested in this please either Email me or Call me I will be happy to give you the case number, our lawyers number and or anything else you may need.
    Thank you

  • 5. davep  |  June 3, 2014 at 4:40 pm

    Not sure if you realize this, but you posted this comment under an article & discussion thread that are about a year old.

    You should contact (Lambda Legal) right away, and/or contact nclrights .org (National Center for Lesbian RIghts).

  • 6. keithjohnson702  |  June 3, 2014 at 5:24 pm

    i do now,,, thanks for the heads up,,, now i can't take it off here.. thanks for the heads up and i just contacted the lambda

  • 7. TxLawyer  |  June 3, 2014 at 5:21 pm

    OK heres what you have to do:

    1. register the nevada custody determination in ohio (see ohio statute 3127.33)
    2. file an enforcement lawsuit against the bio family (ohio statute 3127.36)

    the reason the cops and fbi are backing off is because it is considered a civil matter

  • 8. keithjohnson702  |  June 3, 2014 at 5:26 pm

    I have 2 Ohio lawyers that are working on this case, but 6 months? he is with a convicted felon. one for rape the other for breaking and entering followed by 4 misdemeanors. Thank you for the advice and I will let our lawyer know asap.

  • 9. keithjohnson702  |  June 3, 2014 at 5:30 pm

    and should our lawyer here in LasVegas have already did the Ohio statute 3127.33?
    As far as the enforcement lawsuit at this time we are not allow to do this. Any how the family has nothing

  • 10. davep  |  June 3, 2014 at 5:36 pm

    Do not trust any information from TxLawyer. Commenter TxLawyer is opposed to civil marriage rights for same sex couples. He thinks it's perfectly fine to deny legal rights to families like yours.

  • 11. TxLawyer  |  June 3, 2014 at 6:17 pm

    Thats why I am telling them how to get their kid back! What a doofus…

  • 12. davep  |  June 3, 2014 at 6:41 pm

    It is opposition to these couples being allowed to legally marry that causes exactly the type of situation this family is facing. THIS is an example of the horrible harm and discrimination you are hoping to see perpetuated by denying civil marriage to same sex couples. Fortunately, you are now being denied the perverse satisfaction of your petty prejudices being given force in law.

  • 13. TxLawyer  |  June 3, 2014 at 6:15 pm

    You have to register the Nevada custody determination in Ohio. This is what makes it enforceable in Ohio.

    Until you do that, all you have is a piece of paper signed by a judge in Nevada. That will get you nowhere in Ohio.

    Once the nevada determination is registered, then Ohio has to enforce … you can even file for a writ of attachment to get your child back.

  • 14. TxLawyer  |  June 3, 2014 at 6:18 pm

    you have to remember that a custody decree is a judgment and treated just like any other judgment. if you want to enforce that judgment in another state you have to follow the procedure.

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