A federal judge in Las Vegas has
scheduled arguments in a lawsuit challenging Nevada's ban on gay
U.S. District Chief Judge Robert Jones
said Friday that he will hear oral arguments on November 26 in U.S.
District Court in Reno in the case filed by Lambda Legal Defense and
Education Fund, the AP reported.
Lambda Legal filed the challenge in
April on behalf of eight gay and lesbian couples who wish to marry.
The lead plaintiffs in the case are two
women in their 70s who have raised 3 children and have 4
grandchildren. Beverly Sevcik, 73, and Mary Baranovich, 76, have
been together more than four decades.
“This is an important first step in
bringing the freedom to marry to Nevada. These loving couples,
burdened by the stigma of Nevada's marriage ban, will have the chance
to demonstrate in court that their relationships and their families
are worthy of equal dignity and respect,” said
Tara Borelli, staff attorney at Lambda Legal.
“Nevada's prohibition on marriage for
same-sex couples serves no legitimate state interest, a fact the
state even acknowledged by creating a parallel, but less respected,
legal status of registered domestic partners. By not allowing them
to marry, the state brands these loving couples and their children as
Judge Jones said he wanted to quickly
decide the lawsuit and reportedly told lawyers from both sides that
he would rely not on courtroom testimony but on written arguments.
The announcement comes just days after
federal judge in Hawaii threw out a similar case.