Nevada begins issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples

Yesterday, October 9, Nevada began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples after U.S. District Court Judge James C. Mahan issued an injunction ordering officials to stop enforcing the state's discriminatory anti-marriage ban. This came after Tuesday's ruling in the 9th Circuit striking down the marriage ban in Nevada and Idaho, both of which were quickly put on hold Wednesday morning. However, on Wednesday afternoon, Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy issued a statement saying that the stay was mistakenly issued for Nevada, clearing the way for marriages to begin.

Same-sex couples were lined up all afternoon, waiting to be able to get marriage licenses. When the stay was officially lifted by Judge Mahan's injunction, couples rejoiced and began legally getting married -- including Nevada State Senator Kelvin Atkinson and his now husband Sherwood Howard, who got engaged on live television directly after the 9th Circuit's ruling was issued on Tuesday.

The injunction read:

"Accordingly, the court hereby permanently enjoins the state of Nevada, its political subdivisions, and its officers, employees, and agents, from enforcing any constitutional provision, statute, regulation or policy preventing otherwise qualified same-sex couples from marrying, or denying recognition to marriages celebrated in other jurisdictions which, if the spouses were not of the same sex, would be valid under the laws of the state."

Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto said:

“Based on this most recent action from the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada there are no remaining legal requirements that prevent Nevada county clerks from issuing marriage licenses to same sex couples.”

To read more about the freedom to marry in Nevada, click here.

Pictures from Lambda Legal and Freedom Nevada.