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Nevada AG re-evaluates defense of state’s same-sex marriage ban

Sunday, January 26, 2014

CARSON CITY, Nev. — Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto says she’s re-evaluating the state’s defense of its ban on same-sex marriage after a new ruling by a federal appeals court.

Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.)

Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.)

Masto said the state’s arguments in the case “are likely no longer tenable” after the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in a separate case that it’s unconstitutional to exclude jurors based on sexual orientation.

The ruling was handed down Tuesday, the same day her office filed a brief urging the same court to uphold the state’s ban on same-sex marriage. The state argues it serves the “legitimate purpose of preserving traditional marriage” and is entrenched in the state’s history.

Masto issued a statement late Friday afternoon saying she plans to review the ruling over the weekend and discuss it with the governor’s office next week.

“The Ninth Circuit’s new decision … appears to impact the equal protection and due process arguments made on behalf of the state,” she said.

The state’s brief argued that the Nevada law defining marriage as between a man and woman “is legitimate, whether measured under equal protection or due process standards.”

Gay couples argued the state’s ban is unconstitutional and that a law allowing domestic partnerships made same-sex couples second-class citizens.

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The federal appeals court ruled that potential jurors may not be removed from a trial during jury selection solely because of sexual orientation, extending to gays and lesbians a civil right that the U.S. Supreme Court has previously promised only women and racial minorities.

A unanimous three-judge panel of the court held that striking someone from a jury pool because he or she is gay constitutes unlawful discrimination. Its 39-page decision came in an antitrust and contract dispute between two rival drug companies over the price of a popular AIDS drug.

A lawyer for Abbott Laboratories used one of his allotted pre-emptory challenges to remove a potential juror who had referred to a male partner and having friends with AIDS during questioning. The jury that was eventually seated mostly ruled in favor of Abbott.

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22 more reader comments:

  1. Yes, keep reevaluating that until you come up with some EQUALITY. Nothing less will do

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 4:49pm
  2. Holly Fuck

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 4:51pm
  3. What a strange name?!

    Replied on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 5:24pm
  4. Well said Brent Wilson.

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 4:53pm
  5. Prositution fine, gay rights no

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 4:55pm
  6. Yup. If it’s unconstitutional to exclude LGBT people from the right and responsibility to serve on a jury then it’s also a violation of equal protection under law to deny them the rights and responsibilities of civil marriage.

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 4:59pm
  7. How about stop waiting tax payer money and respect all American as equal?

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 4:59pm
  8. How come all these people in these pictures are like: :D! YAY! …is it just to cover up their stupidity of what they’re doing? Seriously. Get with the program, equality is coming, and there is nothing you can do with it except push the inevitable from happening for a few months. >_>

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 5:01pm
  9. Fingers crossed..

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 5:09pm
  10. I am confused about the jury case. One company involved in the case said he was removed because he was gay and the other company said he was removed not for being gay but because he stated he had a friend die of AIDS and the case was about the price of AIDS drugs?

    Why doesn’t LGBTQNation provide proper links to all of the relevant information in its articles?

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 5:10pm
  11. Reevaluate that Equality is for all humans.

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 5:27pm
  12. Robin Peshia Clark

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 5:37pm
  13. Come on Nevada, all people want is to be treated the same as everyone else.

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 5:47pm
  14. HELP ME

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 6:10pm
  15. Transplant from CT..where my wife and I were legally married..to NV where we’re not :0/ Equality is coming…baby steps, I suppose, but we will get there. This positive wave of change is only moving forward…there is NO going back <3

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 6:33pm
  16. Give it up, bonehead!

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 6:35pm
  17. To Ms. Cortez Masto…so, you are re-evaluating the state’s defense of this ban? Really? Exactly how would you feel if, say, people were re-evaluating YOUR civil rights…based on archaic principles and ideologies? While I’m ‘pleased’ that you are giving this some much needed attention, I would hope that it won’t take very long for you to SEE that ‘defending’ this ban would put you on the wrong side of history..Love is love..It really IS that simple.

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 6:51pm
  18. C’mon Catherine. Everyone deserves to be equal under the same law.

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 6:58pm
  19. The ban should be eliminated from NV as well as all states! These bans will fall across USA very soon!

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 7:31pm
  20. There is no viable or plausible defense to prohibit marriage equality except some ancient, religious dogma that has NO place in American law!!!

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 7:37pm
  21. Sort of like “Eating potato chips” each state dropping one at a time to allow same sex marriages.

    Posted on Monday, January 27, 2014 at 4:31pm
  22. Please figure it out already..#WaitingSucks

    Posted on Monday, January 27, 2014 at 4:33pm