Nevada State Senator Kelvin Atkinson came out gay on Monday during the course of a debate on gay marriage, making him the chamber's third openly gay member.

The Nevada Senate approved a resolution that starts the process of repealing the state's constitutional amendment approved by voters in 2002 that limits marriage to heterosexual unions.

(Related: Nevada Senate approves resolution on gay marriage.)

Atkinson, a Democrat from North Las Vegas and a freshman Senator, previously served for a decade in the Nevada Assembly.

“I'm 44 years old. I have a daughter. I'm black. I'm gay. I have dealt with a lot of what folks are talking about. And I know some of you are first time hearing me say that. That I am a black gay male,” Atkinson told colleagues. (The audio is embedded on this page. Visit our video library for more videos.)

Also openly gay are Senators David Parks and Patrica Spearman.