Tuesday, March 19, 2013

SJR 13 Introduced to Repeal Question 2 Marriage Ban

As of late, we've mainly been discussing how marriage equality may come to Nevada soon via a favorable result in the Sevcik v. Sandoval law suit now pending in the Ninth Circuit (Federal) Court of Appeals in San Francisco. Perhaps we won't even have to wait that long. Depending on how the US Supreme Court resolves Perry v. Hollingsworth (the California Prop 8 law suit), marriage equality may come to Nevada as soon as this summer.

Yet even as we await final verdicts on the Perry and Sevcik cases, some in Carson City are not. Rather, they're bringing forward SJR 13, a constitutional amendment to repeal the Question 2 marriage ban. This process will take a while, but it's another possible route to equality that's ready just in case "The Supremes" issue a Perry ruling that doesn't knock out the Question 2 marriage ban this year.

SJR13 was introduced Monday by Democratic Sen. Tick Segerblom of Las Vegas.

In 2000 and 2002. Nevada voters approved the “Protection of Marriage Act” defining marriage as between a man and woman. But some recent polls show sentiment in Nevada for same sex marriage has changed, with many voters supporting it.

The resolution introduced Monday would have to be approved by lawmakers this year and again in 2015 before going to voters in 2016 for ratification.

If the provision is repealed, lawmakers could then legalize same sex marriage through statute in 2017.

So SJR 13 must be passed by the Nevada Legislature this session, then again during the 78th session in 2015. Then if passed both times, voters will weigh in 2016. Then if voters pass it, #NVLeg can then pass marriage equality by simple statute in the 79th session in 2017. So this is a multi-step process that spans 3 #NVLeg session and 2 elections, 1 of which may very well have this on the ballot, but ultimately it leads to popular approval of marriage equality.

Tick Segerblom has been hinting at this since last May, and it's now finally here. Out LGBTQ Senators David Parks (D-Paradise) and Pat Spearman (D-North Las Vegas) are co-sponsoring SJR 13, along with allies (Senate Majority Leader) Mo Denis (D-North Las Vegas), Ruben Kihuen (D-Las Vegas), Joyce Woodhouse (D-Henderson), and Mark Manendo (D-Paradise). Meanwhile, Eliot Anderson (D-Paradise) is leading the charge for SJR 13 in the Assembly along with out LGBTQ Assembly Members James Healey (D-Enterprise) & Andrew Martin (D-Enterprise), as well as allies James Ohrenschall (D-Sunrise Manor), Paul Aizley (D-Paradise), Joe Hogan (D-Las Vegas), and Heidi Swank (D-Paradise).

Wait, do you notice something above? Interesting. All the SJR 13 sponsors have (D) next to their names. Where are the Republicans? They must be "coming out" soon... But I guess it will take some effort to make this bill bipartisan. After all, this is the perfect opportunity for #NVLeg Republicans to highlight their "moderation".

And SJR 13 provides a new opportunity for Nevada to undo the damage of Question 2. We know our economy stands to benefit from full civil marriage equality. And the LGBTQ families of Nevada have certainly been waiting some time for full legal equality. The time has come. It's now just a matter of how and when it arrives.

1 comment:

  1. While there aren't any GOP cosponsors, I do know that many of the GOP legislators are talking about supporting this bill. It's an interesting year.