Nevada Couples Taking the Case for Marriage Equality to Court
April 10, 2012 by HRC staff
Post submitted by Charlie Joughin, HRC Press Secretary
Yesterday our friends at Lambda Legal filed a case on behalf of four same-sex couples in the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada (Sevcik et al. v. Sandoval et al). The case asserts that Nevada is violating the Equal Protection clause of the U.S. Constitution by providing gay and lesbian couples with nearly all of the state law rights and responsibilities afforded spouses, but withholding the designation of marriage.
Currently gay and lesbian couples in Nevada have nearly all the privileges and responsibilities of marriage but are still denied full marriage equality. This "separate but equal" system is harmful to LGBT families and completely goes against the principles of our constitution.
Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Iowa, Vermont, Connecticut and the District of Columbia provide for marriage equality. Both Washington state and Maryland passed laws in 2012 to begin granting same-sex marriage licenses, but the issue of marriage equality in these states must survive likely voter referenda this fall. Voters in Maine will decide in November whether to extend marriage to gay and lesbian couples there.
Review of the constitutionality of Proposition 8 – which took away marriage equality in California – is ongoing in Perry v. Brown. Most recently, a three judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals found that Proposition 8 violates the Equal Protection clause of the U.S. Constitution.
We applaud Lambda Legal and know that marriage equality will be the law of the land one day, no matter how it is achieved.
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