Thursday, April 11, 2013

SJR 13 Clears Committee... & Now Direct Vote for Marriage Equality

Yesterday, Governor Brian Sandoval (R) reiterated his opposition to marriage equality. However, that was not enough to stop the advancement of equality at the Nevada Legislature.

At last month's explosive SJR 13 hearing, there was plenty of moving testimony in favor of marriage equality. And there were still a few howls of protest against. And while it was hard to miss the charged emotion on either side, there seemed to be much more energy in favor of equality both in Carson City and at the satellite hearing in Las Vegas.

Today was do-or-die for SJR 13 & marriage equality. That's because today is Work Session for the Senate Legislative Operations & Elections Committee. Oh, and the deadline is tomorrow for bills to pass from their originating committees.

However today, we saw a twist. In a bit of a surprise, Senator Tick Segerblom (D-Las Vegas) came into the committee to briefly discuss an amendment to SJR 13. Basically, it was amended to repeal the Question 2 marriage ban and enact marriage equality outright.

For some reason, this outraged Senator James Settlemeyer (R-Minden). He claimed he was ready to simply give the people the opportunity to repeal Question 2 in 2016. But for some reason, he refused to also give the people a chance to vote for marriage equality in 2016.

So then, it was time to vote. Senators Settlemeyer and Barbara Cegavske (R-Spring Valley) voted against the amended SJR 13, while Senators Pat Spearman (D-North Las Vegas), Mark Manendo (D-Paradise), and Kelvin Atkinson (D-North Las Vegas) voted in favor. So it passed. And now, the full Senate will be given an opportunity to vote to give Nevadans the opportunity to vote in civil marriage equality in 2016.

This should be fun.

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