A proposed constitutional amendment
which seeks to legalize gay marriage in Nevada cleared an Assembly
committee on Thursday.
Passage came a week after the Assembly
Committee on Legislative Operations and Elections heard testimony on
Senate Joint Resolution 13. The 10-member panel's three Republican
members, Wesley Duncan, Pat Hickley and James Oscarson, voted against
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 in the Senate committee phase
added that the state “shall recognize marriages and issue marriage
licenses, regardless of gender.”
The Senate approved the resolution last
debate on the Senate floor, Senator Kelvin Atkinson, a Democrat from
Las Vegas, came out gay.
The measure now heads to the full
Assembly, where its prospects look bright.
However, constitutional amendments need
the approval of two separately elected Legislatures, making 2016 the
earliest it could reach voters.
Nevada currently recognizes gay and
lesbian couples with domestic partnerships. As of April 1, 4,157
couples have entered the union, though some are opposite-sex.