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Groups organizing ballot push to repeal Nevada same-sex marriage ban

Groups organizing ballot push to repeal Nevada same-sex marriage ban

LAS VEGAS — Several groups are organizing a push to get the Legislature in 2015 and voters in 2016 to change the Nevada constitution to allow same-sex marriages, while a federal court prepares to hear a legal challenge against the state’s constitutional ban.

Las-VegasRepresentatives of the American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada, Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada and Human Rights Campaign nonprofits, plus the Freedom to Marry Inc. lobbying group are hosting rallies Thursday in Las Vegas and Reno.

They’re calling their campaign Freedom Nevada.

The effort comes days after Republican Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval and Democratic state Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto decided to give up defending the state in a legal challenge pending before a federal appeals court in San Francisco.

That’s a reversal from last month, when the state filed a lengthy brief supporting a gay marriage ban that voters approved in 2002.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on Wednesday granted Nevada’s motion to withdraw its support for a voter-approved ban, and agreed to expedite the case.

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