HRC Blog

Nevada AG Dropping Defense of State’s Marriage Equality Ban

Post submited by Dan Rafter, Former HRC Associate Director of Communications

Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto is dropping the state’s defense of its ban on marriage for loving, committed same-sex couples. In explaining the move, Masto cites a recent Ninth Circuit decision extending heightened scrutiny to sexual orientation. That particular ruling, in late January, found that lawyers could not exclude potential jurors based solely on sexual orientation.

Nevada’s Republican governor, Brian Sandoval, also supports dropping the defense of the Protection of Marriage amendment.

Earlier this year, Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring announced he would no longer defend Virginia’s marriage equality ban. In a statement, Herring said it was time for Virginia “to be on the right side of history and the right side of the law.”

While Masto’s statement didn’t go as far, ending the discriminatory ban is certainly popular among Nevadans – polling last year found that 54 percent of residents support lifting the ban.

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