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Nevada

Lambda Legal appeals Nev. same-sex marriage ban to Ninth Circuit

Friday, October 18, 2013

Lambda Legal on Friday filed its opening brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in a case on behalf of eight same-sex couples challenging the amendment to Nevada’s constitution and other state laws banning marriage for same-sex couples.

The appeal asks the Court to overturn a decision last year by U.S. District Judge Robert C. Jones in Reno, who ruled that Nevada has a legitimate state interest in maintaining the traditional institution of marriage.

NevadaJones, a George W. Bush appointee who is Mormon, ruled that the U.S. Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection of the laws does not “prohibit … the People of the State of Nevada from maintaining statutes that reserve the institution of civil marriage to one-man–one-woman relationships,” and warned that marriage rights for LGBT people could lead to “an increased percentage of out-of-wedlock children, and single-parent families … or other unforeseen consequences.”

Lamba Legal argues that Nevada’s ban on same-sex marriage violates the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution, and relegates same-sex couples “to only a second-class status.”

“After the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling striking down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), Nevada’s ban on marriage for same-sex couples has become exponentially more harmful to same-sex couples who are barred from a sweeping array of federal benefits as well,” says Tara Borelli, Staff Attorney in Lambda Legal’s Western Regional Office.

In its appeal, Lambda Legal says that the state “holds the key to access for the sweeping array of spousal rights and responsibilities available under federal law, and keeps them locked away from same-sex couples under the marriage ban.”

“Nevada inflicts virtually the same collection of federal harms and deprivations on unmarried same-sex couples as the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) previously did, since nearly all federal benefits are unavailable to unmarried couples, regardless of whether they are registered domestic partners.”

In 2012, a three-judge panel on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a 2–1 majority opinion affirming a federal judge’s ruling that Proposition 8, California’s same-sex marriage ban, violated the Equal Protection Clause.

Nevada is one of more than two dozen states that have constitutional amendments prohibiting same-sex marriage.

Earlier this year, state lawmakers took a first step to repeal the 2002 voter-approved ban. The proposal must pass again in the 2015 Legislature and be ratified by voters in 2016.

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22 more reader comments:

  1. Why because we deserve our EQUAL RIGHTS its 2013 get with it GRANNY!!

    Posted on Friday, October 18, 2013 at 9:17pm
  2. Vegas is “SIN CITY” & since we’re supposedly “SINNING” we should be able to get married there of all places.

    Posted on Friday, October 18, 2013 at 9:22pm
  3. oh jeez…when is all this crap gonna end? It will pass someday when the olds die out

    Posted on Friday, October 18, 2013 at 9:30pm
  4. EVERY state should be working on these issues. Every!!

    Posted on Friday, October 18, 2013 at 9:36pm
  5. I agree with you

    Replied on Friday, October 18, 2013 at 10:01pm
  6. Go Lambda Legal!

    Posted on Friday, October 18, 2013 at 10:34pm
  7. I’m a granny 10 times over and am a straight ally 100%!

    Posted on Friday, October 18, 2013 at 11:22pm
  8. Vegas baby!

    Posted on Saturday, October 19, 2013 at 12:38am
  9. Keep the pressure on! Equal rights and equal treatment in the public arena for everyone!

    Posted on Saturday, October 19, 2013 at 9:47am
  10. Why is America so backward you guys need to get into the 21st century not stuck in the 17th century

    Posted on Saturday, October 19, 2013 at 11:01am
  11. go lambda

    Posted on Saturday, October 19, 2013 at 12:26pm
  12. Now really, Nevada, you seriously want to prevent Siegfried and Roy from marrying?

    Posted on Saturday, October 19, 2013 at 3:56pm
  13. Omfg it’s Nevada!! They have Las Vegas which has drive thru weddings!!! There are hookers everywhere as well. How are they the ones talking about marriage like that

    Posted on Saturday, October 19, 2013 at 8:22pm
  14. I have heard the LV has more churches per population than any other city. Why they fight gayness and appear to think the other shit is OK lies beyond me.

    Replied on Saturday, October 19, 2013 at 10:32pm
  15. ummm ... didn't Liberace perform there on a regular basis?? LOLl

    Replied on Sunday, October 20, 2013 at 3:36pm
  16. Hey, jerks! Isn’t commitment and monogamy better than promiscuity even for same sex couples? Nevada, with quickie marriages & almost as quick divorces, should welcome the extra revenue.

    Posted on Saturday, October 19, 2013 at 9:33pm
  17. Why does lambda legal, hrc and ACLU help all these other states but they won’t help in the Arkansas lawsuit that has over 20 plaintiffs? This makes no sense to me.

    Posted on Saturday, October 19, 2013 at 9:41pm
  18. They should take on Colorado too!!

    Posted on Saturday, October 19, 2013 at 9:44pm
  19. The 9th Circuit Court is considered the nation’s most liberal.

    Posted on Saturday, October 19, 2013 at 9:44pm
  20. yes

    Posted on Sunday, October 20, 2013 at 12:34am
  21. Stop sending me posts, please!

    Posted on Sunday, October 20, 2013 at 6:52am
  22. you can block them.

    Replied on Sunday, October 20, 2013 at 9:46am