Wednesday, December 26, 2012

10 of 12: Call It Marriage?

I quite vividly remember the morning of May 9. I was on a plane from Las Vegas to Long Beach. And jeez, while I was on the plane this news broke.

8 News NOW

And that was actually just the start.

At Southern Nevada Stonewall last night, soon to be State Senator Tick Segerblom (D-Las Vegas) made more news by announcing plans to introduce a constitutional amendment to repeal Question 2. If it's passed by the next two consecutive sessions of the Legislature, then it can go to the voters for approval in 2016. State Senator David Parks (D-Paradise) also noted that marriage equality may come to The Silver State even sooner if Lambda Legal's federal law suit challenging Question 2 succeeds. Even our US Senator, Harry Reid (D), is evolving.

It's really amazing to see how we've progressed as a country... And as a state. Just twenty years ago, an anti-sodomy law targeting LGBTQ citizens were still on the books. (It was repealed in 1993.) Just three years ago, SB 283 domestic partnerships were on the verge of becoming law. Just last year, AB 211 transgender inclusive ENDA became law. And now, Nevada is closer than ever before to fully stepping into the 21st century. Oh, the places we'll go.

And it didn't even stop there. As mentioned above, Lambda Legal filed a federal law suit (Sevcik v. Sandoval) challenging Nevada's Question 2 marriage ban. And even though the district court judge ruled against marriage, Lambda Legal already has plans to appeal. And with Prop 8 & DOMA now officially in The US Supreme Court's docket for next spring, there's now a strong chance of at least a favorable precedent being set in the nation's highest court (if The Court issues a narrow Prop 8 ruling just striking down California's marriage ban, yet nonetheless ruling in favor or equality)... And perhaps even a chance of The Supreme Court bringing marriage equality to Nevada next year (if The Court issues a broad Prop 8 ruling striking down all marriage bans).

However, not all the action will be in court. As also mentioned above, the Nevada Legislature will likely consider placing a Constitutional Amendment to repeal Question 2 & enact marriage equality on the 2016 ballot. And in the mean time, a record number of Nevada elected officials (including Congressman-elect Steven Horsford, and outgoing Assembly Speaker & NV-03 candidate John Oceguera) fully embraced both Nevada's LGBTQ community and our issues. Even the number of open LGBTQ elected officials grew as 3 new state legislators were elected... With one of them specifically defeating a sitting anti-equality Democrat in the primary.

So 2012 has been a huge year for #nveq. And already, 2013 is starting to look like another big year with major federal law suits pending and proactive, pro-marriage legislation coming to Carson City. I, for one, can't wait to see what happens next here.

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