And we've seen plenty of surprises. Senator Kelvin Atkinson (D-North Las Vegas) came out on the Senate floor. Senator Ruben Kihuen (D-Las Vegas) said he was willing to do the right thing, even if it meant he wouldn't be allowed into his church next Sunday. Senator Justin Jones (D-Enterprise) said he'd rather lose his next election than deny his brother-in-law his civil rights. Oh, and Senator Pat Spearman (D-North Las Vegas) uttered this lovely gem.
"I know what it feels like when people want to push separate but equal... Separate is not equal" @Spearman4Senate #SJR13 #nvleg
"I go back to Dr, King. Now is the time. We waited far too long," says Spearman. "History will judge us."
Oh yes, and Senator Ben Kieckhefer (R-Reno) came through and voted for marriage equality. And that's how the final vote ended up 12-9 in favor of SJR 13.
I can't help but think of my favorite philosopher right now.
This is the beginning. This is the beginning of a new era of equality and justice for Nevada. This is the beginning of true equality for Nevada's LGBTQ citizens. This is the beginning of something new and wonderful for all of us here in The Silver State.
Oh, and this is the beginning of a flood of gratitude for the 12 courageous Senators who voted for marriage equality in the Nevada Senate tonight. Senators Atkinson, Spearman, Kihuen, Jones, Kieckhefer, David Parks (D-Paradise), Mark Manendo (D-Paradise), Mo Denis (D-North Las Vegas), Debbie Smith (D-Sparks), Joyce Woodhouse (D-Henderson), Aaron Ford (D-Spring Valley), and Tick Segerblom (D-Las Vegas) all voted in favor of equality. For some, it was a difficult reckoning with past issues with faith and family. And for all, this was incredibly personal and heart-wrenching.
With the exception of Kieckhefer, all other Republicans voted against equality. Some brought up the lame-ass excuse of "surprise amendments". And they whined about enshrining marriage equality in the Nevada Constitution. So they all ultimately voted to keep discrimination in the Nevada Constitution. Whatever. Voters will remember this night in 2014 and 2016.
Oh, and they lost. Equality won. And this is the beginning of the rest of our lives.