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Religious Tolerance logo

Domestic Partnerships and Same sex marriage (SSM)


In Nevada, from the year 2000 until now.

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Timeline of events related to domestic partnerships and same-sex marriage:

  • 2000-NOV: Voters in Nevada voted to amend the state constitution to ban same-sex marriage in the state and to also ban recognition of legal out-of-state same-sex marriages. The vote was 70% in favor. At the time, national polls showed that about 60% of the general population opposed SSMs.

  • 2002-NOV: Voters passed the same amendment for the second time with a vote of 67% in favor. A second vote is necessary to activate the amendment. Article 1, Section 21 of the Constitution now states that the only valid marriage in Nevada is a union of one woman and one man. Loving, committed same-sex couples cannot marry there. Out-of-state same-sex marriages are not recognized there.

  • 2009-JAN: Nevada legalized Domestic Partnerships for both same-sex and opposite-sex couples. They receive most of the state benefits, protections and rights given to opposite-sex couples -- except for what is often considered the most important right: the right to call their relationship a marriage.

  • 2012-APR-10: Lambda Legal filed a lawsuit "Sevcik v. Sandoval." in Nevada's federal District Court on behalf of eight same-sex couples in who live in the state. Their argument is based on the equal treatment clause of the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The goal of the lawsuit is to attain marriage equality in Nevada.

  • 2012-AUG-10: The District Court agrees to hear the case. They also allows the Coalition for the Protection of Marriage to intervene as a defendant in the lawsuit.

  • 2012-NOV-26: Chief Judge Robert C. Jones of the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada ruled against the plaintiffs in "Sevcik v. Sandoval."

  • 2013-MAR: Ned Flaherty of Marriage Equality USA predicted that a total of 12 additional states would legalize SSM during the rest of 2013 and 2014. He predicted that Nevada would be the 11 state to make that change.

  • 2013-MAY: The Nevada Senate and Assembly pass Bill SJR 13. This is the first step towards repealing the amendment to the state Constitution that bans SSMs.

  • 2013-JUN: Bill SJR 13 is finalized.

  • 2013-JUN-26: U.S. Supreme Court declared Section 3 of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional. This means that if a same-sex married couple lives in a state that recognizes their marriage, they will have access to 1,138 federal marriage programs, grants, benefits and protections for the first time. This drastically increases the advantages of being able to marry.

  • 2012-DEC-03: The plaintiffs in "Sevcik v. Sandoval" appealed their case to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Because of the similarities between their lawsuit and one in Hawaii -- Jackson v. Abercrombie -- both will be heard by the same panel of judges. Both the Nevada and Hawaii cases were delayed until after the U.S. Supreme Court had issued their rulings in two major cases related to same-sex marriage: one dealing with the federal Defense of Marriage Act and the other with California's Proposition 8 case.

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Copyright © 2013 to 2015 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
First posted: 2013-AUG-10
Latest update: 2015-JAN-08
Author: B.A. Robinson

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