Nevada is now one of more than a dozen
states to recognize gay-inclusive domestic partnerships.
Nevada's gay partner law went into
effect Thursday. State officials said they received over 700
applications during its month-long pre-registration period that ended
September 24. Most of those certificates would be delivered by mail,
Pam duPre, a spokesperson for Secretary of State Ross Miller, said.
The law offers gay and lesbian couples
limited benefits associated with marriage, including hospital
visitation rights, estate planning and shared responsibility for
debt. While the law does not guarantee spouses health insurance and
other-employer related benefits, it does allow for such benefits.
Lee Cagley, 58, and Larry Davis, 48,
were the first couple to be issued a certificate. Secretary of State
Ross Miller personally congratulated the couple in Carson City, The
Associated Press reported.
Openly gay Senator David Parks, the
law's sponsor in the Senate, has said the law is about equality.
“It's a day I didn't think would come
quite as quickly as it has,” the Las Vegas Democrat told the AP.
The Nevada Legislature passed the
domestic partner law in June over the objections of Governor Jim
Gibbons, who vetoed the bill saying it was not necessary.
Opponents of the law argue that such
unions are too similar to marriage and go against the will of Nevada
voters who approved a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage