Couples, Groups Launch Nevada Gay Marriage Push
Several gay couples helped a coalition of advocacy groups in Nevada put a face on what they called marriage equality on Thursday, launching a push to get the Legislature in 2015 and voters in 2016 to change the state constitution to allow same-sex marriages.
"It really isn’t complicated. Love is love," said Vivian Wright-Bolton, a Las Vegas language translation businesswoman, mother and committed partner with a woman who she said used to be her best friend.
The effort, marked by rallies in Las Vegas and Reno, came amid a wave of gay rights advances in other states, and followed a decision this week by Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval, a Republican, and state Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto, a Democrat, to give up defending the state in a gay marriage ban case pending before a federal appeals court in San Francisco.
The legal decision represented an about-face for Nevada, which just last month filed arguments in the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals case defending a gay marriage ban approved by voters in 2002.
Masto called the arguments "no longer sustainable."
The American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada hosted the rallies for a campaign they called "Freedom Nevada," along with the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada and Human Rights Campaign nonprofits, and the Freedom to Marry Inc. lobbying group.
ACLU executive Tod Story said the aim was to begin sharing real experiences of loving gay and lesbian couples "and show why marriage matters."