Federal appeals court again declares same-sex couples can marry in Nevada

LGBTQ Nation

Nevada

BREAKING (UPDATE), 5:05 p.m. PDT

Marriage equality has arrived in the self-described “marriage capital of the world.” Same-sex couples cheered at the Clark County marriage license bureau in Las Vegas as moments ago, County Clerk Diana Alba began issuing marriage licenses to gay couples. About 30 minutes earlier, Kristy Best and Wednesday Smith were the first same-sex couple in the state to marry after receiving their license in Carson City.


SAN FRANCISCO — A group that fought to keep Nevada‘s state ban on same-sex marriage is dropping its appeals to the U.S. Supreme Court and a lower court, clearing the way for gay couples to marry.

The Coalition for the Protection of Marriage on Thursday filed documents with the high court and the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. There is no longer any formal opposition in court to gay marriage in Nevada.

Coalition lawyer Monte Neil Stewart declined to say why.

Same-sex marriages are still on hold until a federal judge in Las Vegas officially strikes down a state constitutional amendment approved by voters in 2002.

Gay couples have been in limbo since the 9th Circuit ruled Tuesday that gay couples’ equal protection rights were violated by same-sex wedding bans in Nevada and Idaho.


Court says marriage back on in Nevada

Update: 1:15 p.m. PDT

LAS VEGAS (AP) – A federal appeals court has again declared that same-sex couples can get married in Nevada.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Thursday that its ruling striking down Nevada’s gay marriage ban is “in full force and effect.”

The appeals court ordered a trial court judge in Las Vegas to adopt its ruling as soon as possible.

Officials in Las Vegas and surrounding Clark County said they would begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples one hour after the trial judge acts.

It was unclear, however, when that might happen.


Frustration mounts as Nevada clerks drag their feet

Update: 2:25 p.m. PDT

LAS VEGAS (AP) – Frustration mounted in the marriage capital of the world as eager gay couples – confident they’ll be allowed to marry soon – waited Thursday in Las Vegas for the moment that legal wrangling stops so wedding bells can start ringing.

The last challenge opposing Nevada gay marriage was dropped, and a federal appeals court again declared that its ruling allowing same-sex couples to marry in the state is “in full force and effect.”

Clerks, however, refused to budge, saying they needed to wait for a U.S. District judge to enforce the 9th Circuit Court’s order, which Clark County Clerk Diana Alba called the “critical piece.”

Vegas chapels went ahead helping straight couples who zipped through the licensing process, even as wedding planners simmered.

“Here you had the straight couples going straight through the lines in 10 minutes or less,” said Brit Bertino, a coordinator who rallied with a handful of other wedding professionals outside the marriage license bureau Wednesday, holding a handmade sign that read “Love is Love.”

“It’s not fair. This is not how it’s supposed to be,” she said.

Clark County to begin issuing marriage licenses

BREAKING (UPDATE), 5:05 p.m. PDT

Marriage equality has arrived in the self-described “marriage capital of the world.” Same-sex couples cheered at the Clark County marriage license bureau in Las Vegas as moments ago, County Clerk Diana Alba began issuing marriage licenses to gay couples. About 30 minutes earlier, Kristy Best and Wednesday Smith were the first same-sex couple in the state to marry after receiving their license in Carson City.

Developing story. This report will be updated.

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