Nevada Won't Defend Gay Marriage Ban
It won't hold up in federal court, state decides
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 11, 2014 3:03 AM CST
A same-sex marriage advocate waves a rainbow flag during a protest in Los Angeles.   (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

(Newser) – A step forward for gay rights in Nevada, though same-sex weddings in Las Vegas may still be some time off: The state has a constitutional ban on gay marriage that was approved by voters in 2002 but it has decided that it won't defend it before a federal appeals court. The state's Republican governor and Democratic attorney general have decided the ban is "no longer defensible" in light of a recent court decision on gay rights, the AP reports.

Eight same-sex couples have challenged the ban and the state will now be on the sidelines when the federal court decides whether to uphold it or scrap it. The move shows Nevada "has recognized that the writing is on the wall and that arguments seeking to perpetuate discrimination are becoming extremely difficult to justify," a spokeswoman for the Lambda Legal advocacy group tells the Las Vegas Review-Journal. "Denying marriage to same-sex couples serves no legitimate state interest and is intended solely to perpetuate discrimination."
 

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