Nevada voters have overturned an 18-year-old ban on same-sex marriage, making it the first US state to enshrine in its constitution the right of gay couples to marry.
“Question 2 asked voters on Nevada ballots whether they support an amendment recognizing marriage” as between couples regardless of gender. “The” Marriage Regardless of Gender Amendment “also asked whether religious organizations and clergy retained the right to” refuse to solemnize a marriage.
Nevada is one of 30 states with a constitution that has previously defined marriage as strictly between a man and a woman. But with the U.S. State bans on same-sex marriage were ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in 2015.
However, on Tuesday, November 3, almost two-thirds of Nevada voters said the constitution of the state should be amended to remove a provision stating that only a man and a woman are married.
Equality Nevada President Chris Davin told NBC News;
“It feels good that we let the voters decide. The people said this, not judges or lawmakers. This was direct democracy — it’s how everything should be.”
“While the Nevada Constitution was originally amended by a 2002 voting referendum to define marriage as between” a male and female individual, “same-sex marriage was not recognized in the state until 2014 after the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously ruled bans in Nevada and Idaho violated the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause.
A year later, the decision of the Supreme Court in Obergefell v. Hodges invalidated nationwide same-sex marriage bans.