Lambda Legal has filed its first brief in the case of Sevick vs Sandoval in the 9th Federal District Court of Appeals, in the more than a year old legal case, seeking to over turn Nevada’s ban on same gender marriage, Last year, a Nevada federal District Court judge upheld the state’s ban on same gender marriage. The appeal was put on hold pending the outcome of the SCOTUS ruling on DOMA and California’s Proposition 8. DOMA Section 3 was overturned by the nation’s highest court citing it violated equal protection and due process of same gendered married persons.
Lambda Legal’s argument against the ban is based on due process and equal protection. Nevada in 2009 allowed same gender couples to become domestic partners granting most all the rights of a married couple to those who registered as domestic partners in the state. Nevada still does not recognize legal marriages of same gender couples from other states.
Nevada is one of seven states that allows domestic partnerships with most of the rights that are granted to married couples but do not call it marriage. The original Lambda Legal suit claimed this to be a violation of equal protection.
SJR13, the legislative initiative to change the Nevada State Constitution to remove the definition of marriage as between a man and a woman and allow same gender marriage was approved in both house of the the state’s legislature in 2013, The resolution will be introduced again in 2015 and face committee hearings and floor votes. Should it pass the legislature in 2015, it will go to a vote of the people in November 2016.