Nevada

STATUS:

Marriage

WINNING MARRIAGE:

On October 9, 2014, Nevada began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, just two days after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit issued a ruling in favor of the freedom to marry. The ruling reversed a lower court ruling against marriage for same-sex couples. The case was Sevcik v. Sandoval, a federal case filed by Lambda Legal.

The Nevada Governor and Attorney General announced that they would take no further action in the case, clearing the way for the freedom to marry.

While the case worked its way through courts, marriage supporters from across the state joined together to form Freedom Nevada, a campaign designed to amplify the conversation about the freedom to marry for all loving, committed couples in the state. 

HISTORY:

In 2002, anti-gay forces in Nevada pushed through Question 2, a constitutional amendment that excludes same-sex couples from marriage. 

On May 26, 2009, Nevada Governor Jim Gibbons vetoed a domestic partnership bill that had been previously approved by the state House and Senate. On May 31, however, a two-thirds majority of Nevada legislators voted to overrule the Governor's veto, creating broad domestic partnerships, which provide many - but not all - of the protections and responsibilities that the freedom to marry affords.

On May 23, 2013, the Nevada Assembly voted in favor of a legislative measure that begins the multi-year process of repealing Nevada's anti-marriage constitutional amendment and replacing it with the freedom to marry. The vote came after a victory in the Nevada Senate on April 22. The resolution would have needed to be approved again during the next legislative session, in 2015, and if it was successful then, the measure will be placed before Nevada voters in November 2016. However, of course, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the state's marriage ban before the Legislature needed to act. 

POLLING DATA:

An October 2013 poll from Moore Information found that 57 percent of people in Nevada support removing the so-called Protection of Marriage provision from the Nevada Constitution, which prohibits marriages between same-sex couples in the state. Just 36 percent of those surveyed oppose removing the provision.  

GROUPS THAT WORKED ON MARRIAGE:

  • Freedom Nevada is the campaign to win marriage in Nevada.
  • The Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada brings together diverse organizations to make transformational change in Nevada.
  • Lambda Legal is a legal group working in the courts to protect the rights and liberties of LGBTQ Americans. Lambda Legal filed and led the case Sevcik v. Sandoval, which brought the freedom to marry to Nevada.
  • ACLU of Nevada works to protect the rights and liberties of all Nevadans through lobbying, litigation and education.
  • The Stonewall Democatic Club of Southern Nevada is the largest LGBTQ Democratic political organization in southern Nevada.
  • Freedom to Marry is the campaign to win marriage for same-sex couples nationwide. 

NUMBER OF SAME-SEX COUPLES:

According to The Williams Institute's analysis of the 2010 U.S. Census, 7,140 same-sex couples are living in Nevada, representing 7.1 same-sex couples per 1,000 households.

Blog Posts Related to Nevada

Finishing the Job: how marriage is moving forward nationwide

Now, as momentum surges across the country, it is more important for supporters to do all they can to speak out for the freedom to marry nationwide. Here's what's going on in the 4 other states set up for the freedom to marry soon, plus the 15 where same-sex couples continue to be denied the freedom to marry.

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.

Nevada couples celebrate ruling in 9th circuit

Today, October 7, a three-judge panel from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit ruled in favor of the freedom to marry in two legal cases, including one from Nevada.

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Resources Related to Nevada

Nevada Census Snapshot

Demographic and economic information about same-sex couples and same-sex couples raising children in Nevada.

Geographic Trends Among Same-Sex Couples in the U.S. Census and the American Community Survey

Groundbreaking research showing a huge increase in same-sex couples identifying themselves as "unmarried partners".

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