After passage in the Nevada Senate last
month, a proposed constitutional amendment which seeks to legalize
gay marriage in the state received a hearing in the Assembly.
The Assembly Committee on Legislative
Operations and Elections heard testimony Thursday on Senate Joint
Senator Tick Segerblom's joint
resolution originally sought only to remove from the Nevada
constitution the state's definition of marriage approved by voters in
2002 which states, “Only a marriage between a male and female
person shall be recognized and given effect in this state.” But a
last-minute amendment adopted earlier at the Senate committee phase
added that the state “shall recognize marriages and issue marriage
licenses, regardless of gender.”
During debate on the Senate floor,
Kelvin Atkinson, a Democrat from Las Vegas, came out gay.
The 10-member Assembly panel heard
brief 2-minute appeals from supporters and opponents during a
Assemblywoman Michele Fiore, a
Republican from Las Vegas, spoke up in support of the measure for the
“My mom is gay,” Fiore
told colleagues. “My two daughters and I are not. My mom is a
Democrat. My two daughters and I are strong Republicans. I am who I
am today because of the guidance and upbringing of my mom, who is
In urging the committee to reject the
resolution, Janine Hansen of the Christian conservative Nevada Eagle
Forum called it “radical.”
“This is a radical constitutional
amendment as no other state has actually put it in their constitution
and it does far more than repealing it,” she testified.
A high school student testified in
support of his two-mom family.
“I was born in Nevada 18 years ago
and guess who was there?” an emotional Riley Roberts rhetorically
asked. “My mom Pamela Roberts and Gretchen Miller, my loving
parents. And who was there to watch me take my first steps? Pamela
Roberts and Gretchen Miller.”
The committee is expected to vote on
the measure next week.