Nevada ban on same-sex marriage challenged

Sept. 6, 2012 at 1:59 PM

CARSON CITY, Nev., Sept. 6 (UPI) -- Nevada's constitutional prohibition against same-sex marriage will be tested in a legislative bill and a separate judicial challenge, advocates said.

Assemblyman Elliot Anderson, D-Las Vegas, will introduce a bill in the 2013 Assembly to overrule an amendment to the state Constitution limiting marriage to one man and one woman, and a November hearing in a Reno, Nev., federal court will address eight same-sex couples who assert every citizen has a right to marry, the Las Vegas Sun reported Thursday.

The proposed bill comes after voters approved the amendment in 2000 by 69.6 percent to 30.3 percent, and affirmed the prohibition in 2002 in another vote by 67 percent to 33 percent, the newspaper said.

Anderson said, "People are thinking differently" and have changed their minds on same-sex marriage since 2002, but said he was unsure if his measure would pass in the Legislature.

Tom Warnke, spokesman for Lambda Legal, the group preparing the challenge in court, said a hearing on a state motion to dismiss the suit is scheduled for Nov. 26. There is also a motion for a judgment in favor of Lambda Legal's position to be argued, he said.

Nevada has a provision for domestic partnerships requiring same sex-couples to register with the state's Secretary of State's Office, and since the law went into effect in 2009, 3,887 couples have filed for domestic partnership rights, the newspaper said.

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