Good news coming out of Carson City. A “religious exemptions” amendment to SJR13, which would repeal the same-sex marriage ban in Nevada and make marriage equality legal, has passed. The amendment was added to make the resolution more acceptable to some lawmakers.
From the Nevada Appeal:
The amendment offered by Sen. Pat Spearman, a lesbian minister, states: “Religious organizations and clergy have the right to refuse to solemnize a marriage and no person has the right to make any claim against a religious organization or clergy for such a refusal.”
The amendment was approved on an 11-10 party-line vote with Democrats in favor. Senate Joint Resolution 13 now goes to the Senate floor for a vote early next week.
Nevada is one of 29 states with a constitutional provision prohibiting same-sex marriage. But as in many other states, Nevadans’ sentiments on the issue are evolving and shifting.
In a letter last month to the Senate Committee on Operations and Elections, MGM Resorts expressed support for repealing Nevada’s gay marriage ban.
And this week a group of high-profile business leaders added their voice to the debate.
“To be competitive, a state must create an equitable, fair and respectful environment for all of its citizens,” said the letter signed by an array of sate business leaders, including Elaine Wynn, Billy Vassiliadis, Monte Miller and Sig Rogich. “For this reason — among others — it is vitally important that Nevada lawmakers enact marriage equality soon.”
It concluded, “The Nevada Legislature should act now. It’s the pro-jobs, pro-growth thing to do. It’s the right thing for Nevada.”