Nevada: Federal judge upholds gay marriage ban

Nevada: Federal judge upholds gay marriage ban

A federal judge in Nevada has rejected a lawsuit brought by Lambda Legal on behalf of eight gay couples challenging the state’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.

On Thursday, Chief Judge Robert C. Jones, of the U.S. District Court in Nevada, said the state can limit marriage to opposite-sex couples.

In its suit, Lamba Legal charged that Nevada’s ban on same-sex marriage violates the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution, and relegates same-sex couples “to only a second-class status.”

Jones, a George W. Bush appointee, ruled that the U.S. Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection of the laws does not “prohibit … the People of the State of Nevada from maintaining statutes that reserve the institution of civil marriage to one-man–one-woman relationships.”

“Homosexual persons may marry in Nevada, but like heterosexual persons, they may not marry members of the same sex. That is, a homosexual man may marry anyone a heterosexual man may marry, and a homosexual woman may marry anyone a heterosexual woman may marry,” he wrote.

Attorneys for the plaintiffs signaled that the case will likely be appealed to the Ninth Circuit Court.

“This is not the end of this fight,” said a spokesperson for Lambda Legal. “We will appeal and continue to fight for these loving couples, who are harmed by Nevada’s law barring marriage for same-sex couples.”

“We are confident this ruling will be overturned on appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals,” said Lamda Legal, in a statement.