Nevada Officials Won’t Defend The State Ban On Marriage Equality In Court

nevada-welcomeIn a complete turnabout of policy, the Nevada attorney general says that she is withdrawing the state’s defense of its ban on marriage equality from a federal court challenge. The move essentially concedes that the law is no longer defensible in light of the Supreme Court’s rulings on marriage equality last June and raises the bar for other states facing similar challenges.

“When the Federal District Court decided this case in November 2012, the law regarding treatment of same-sex couples under traditional marriage laws was uncertain,” State Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto said in a statement. “But the legal landscape has since changed.”

The decision to withdraw from defending the case is all the more remarkable because it is supported by the Republican governor, Brian Sandoval. If anything, he was even more blunt than Masto, a Democrat. “Based upon the advice of the attorney general’s office and their interpretation of relevant case law, it has become clear that this case is no longer defensible in court,” Sandoval said in an email to The Associated Press.

What prompted Masto’s decision was a ruling last month by the U.S. Ninth Circuit court, which covers Nevada, in a case involving dismissal of a gay juror from a civil trial involving an HIV drug. The court said that sexual orientation issues require “heightened scrutiny,” just one step below the highest that the court could apply. Given that standard, Masto concluded that Nevada hadn’t even less of a prayer in court than it did to begin with.

Defense of the voter-passed ban now falls to a conservative group, the Coalition for the Protection of Marriage. Meantime, the legislative process to repeal the ban has been grinding at the snail’s pace required by law. The final demise of the ban is still some distance away, but now the inevitability of its demise is not.

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  • Icebloo

    Fu*k you Republicans ! The gays are going to win & it will be generations before we forget how much harder you made this for us ! Any gay people voting Republican should be ashamed at how stupid they are. Republicans DESPISE us.

  • robirob

    And yet Republican senators nationwide introduce anti-gay bills on a daily basis to the senate to waste time, energy, and resources on making them look good in the face of their target audience.

  • robirob

    sorry, in the eyes of their target audience.

  • SteveDenver

    Defending marriage in Nevada — host to Las Vegas and its marry-at-the-moment mill — is utterly ridiculous. It’s almost like a congresswoman opposing gay rights when her husband is a flaming queen who spends all his time “shepherding” wayward homosexuals.

  • Harley

    It is my hope and prayer that Anita Bryant will be alive and alert and shitting in her diaper when marriage equality becomes the law of the land. Karma is a bitch, BITCH.

  • jwrappaport

    @Harley: And a fruit pie to the face for good measure.

  • Cam

    Vegas should make a fortune out of this, they should have gotten on the equality bandwagon ages ago.

    Falling like Dominoes.

  • tdx3fan

    Didn’t SCOTUS dismiss the Prop 8 case based on lack of standing for a non-state agency to bring the case? Shouldn’t the same thing apply here? Isn’t it basically the same as just throwing in the towel?

    I would have to argue that this has more to do with money than anything else. Nevada gets a huge amount of money from tourism and Las Vegas. They are going to make a lot more from the marriage capital of the world if they allow those with the most disposable income to get married there.

  • Spike

    Woo hoo, now gays can make as big a farce as str8ts do as far as the sanctity of marriage . . in Vegas!

  • robho3

    @SteveDenver: HAHA who could you be refering to?

  • Bob LaBlah

    @tdx3fan: I couldn’t agree more with your comment. EVERYTHING in Las Vegas is about money.

    I would love for a survey to be done to see what percentage of gay couples are conservatives until it comes to gay issues.

  • Mezaien

    For all the HOMOS in Nevada, go get marred and love each others! I ADAMHOMO, say so.

Comments are closed.