Thursday, January 10, 2013

Marriage Equality in Nevada? The Fight(s) Ahead.

One of the most surprising developments of 2012 was the swift progress on enacting marriage equality nationwide. One of the pro-marriage developments has actually been happening here in Nevada as Sevcik v. Sandoval is making its way through the federal courts. Yet even as this is happening, some in Carson City don't want to wait for the results of this and other marriage law suits.

Senator Tick Segerblom (D-Las Vegas) will be introducing a constitutional amendment to repeal Question 2. And this was also addressed at PLAN's and ProgressNow's Progressive State of the State event last night. PLAN Action's Astrid Silva endorsed the push for marriage equality... In Spanish.

@Astrid_NV delivering @PLANevada #nvp2 #psos en espanol #lati... on Twitpic

In addition, Sheila Leslie endorsed the renewed push for marriage equality in English during her speech.

Right now, thousands of Nevada families are being discriminated against. They face greater economic and legal burdens every day. And they face these burdens simply because of who they are & who they love.

There's been a major sea change in public sentiment towards LGBTQ equality both nationally and specifically here in Nevada. Yet despite this, there may still be obstacles to repealing Question 2 and enacting marriage equality by legislation and referendum. Will the bill get enough votes? Will there be law suits blocking it? And if it survives the law suits, will it be able to survive a new public vote in 2016?

Fortunately for equality activists here in Nevada, there's now a road map for success. With marriage enacted by referenda in Maryland, Maine, and Washington (State), and with a marriage ban defeated in Minnesota, last fall, a Nevada marriage campaign can learn from their success and build upon it. Still, it won't be easy. And believe it or not, the biggest challenge here may actually just be getting onto the 2016 ballot. (See above on law suits.)

So there will likely be a two-front effort for marriage equality here in Nevada. The Sevcik law suit (to the Question 2 marriage ban) will continue to chug its way through the courts. And closer to home, Question 2 repeal will be addressed in the 77th session of the Nevada Legislature. Finally, Nevada is becoming proactive in treating our LGBTQ citizens with the equality, the dignity, and the respect that we deserve.

@PLANevada staff closing #psos w/ #HomeMeansNevada (our state... on Twitpic

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