It’s nice to share a bit of good news. This article was a welcome sight amongst everything that has gone on in the recent past and the fear of reversing rights for the LGBT community as well as a possible attempt to undo the Supreme Court case permitting lawful marriage nationally between same sex couples.
I think everybody recognizes Las Vegas as the wedding capital of the world, in that it has been not only a place that people can get married quickly, but is known for its exuberant nuptials and themed weddings. People have streamed into Nevada from all over the world to get married or “hitched” since the 1930s. Nevada can now say that it is one of the first states to officially protect same sex marriage in its constitution.
For years legal marriages were banned for same sex couples. Nevada had voted a ban on same sex marriage in 2002. In 2015, the nation recognized same sex marriage by the Supreme Court case of Obergefell v Hodges. However, there is a looming question whether the two conservative Justices (Alito and Thomas), who have spoken out against this decision, might try to undo and seek to reverse that decision and leave it totally up to the states whether or not to discriminate against same sex couples who wish to marry.
It is also heartening that the vote in Nevada was passed by a 60% margin. Getting it to be part of a state’s constitution is not easy. In fact, in Nevada, it had to go through the state legislature twice, in 2017 and 2019 before it was able to be put on the ballot. Nevada has long been a swing state with the electorate ranging from cowboys to casino workers and people transplanted from many other states. It is apparent that Nevada has now been trending more democratic in recent years and the fact that it was called for Biden and Harris shows it is presently a more democratic state.
At present about 30 states still have same sex marriage bans on the books, though they have been blocked by the courts. Notwithstanding the Supreme Court decision, these bans still exist, although they cannot be enforced. Only a few states have actually repealed their bans and some efforts, like in Indiana and Florida, to repeal a ban have failed.
Another note of interest, Nevada is also a place that people have flocked to undo their marriage in an easier fashion than their own states: by setting up short residency they are able to get a non-contested divorce. This has changed in many states, but most states, like New York, have a requirement of residency prior to being able to file for a divorce.