Published: Friday, Nov. 6th, 2020

Nevada becomes first state to remove same-sex marriage ban from constitution, protect LGBTQ couples

Nevada voters showed overwhelming support for marriage equality this week, voting YES to remove a defunct same-sex marriage ban from their state’s constitution. Nevada is the first state in the country to vote on removing such a ban since same-sex marriages were legalized nationally in 2015.   


Called Question 2 locally, the approved amendment will remove discriminatory language that limits recognition of marriage to only those unions between a man and a woman. 


The ballot measure also increases protections for same-sex couples, by requiring the state to recognize marriages and issue marriage licenses to all couples regardless of gender, and requiring equal treatment under the law for all couples. Religious organizations and members of the clergy will have the right to refuse to solemnize a marriage, and will be protected from legal action for refusing.  


(To read the section in question in full, head to The Constitution of the State of Nevada, Article 1, Sec. 21.)





Well over 60% of voters approved the repeal, demonstrating overwhelming support for marriage equality. Briana Escamilla, the Nevada director for the Human Rights Campaign said following the vote: 


“This overwhelming majority should be a reminder that LGBTQ equality is not just the right thing to do, it is exactly what Nevadans want.”


The ban’s removal isn’t just symbolic. It follows recent changes within the Supreme Court that have stoked fears across the country that same-sex marriage might soon face renewed attacks. By amending the constitution, voters are helping to protect LGBTQ couples in the future, no matter what changes happen at a federal level.


(Read What Justice Amy Coney Barrett’s Confirmation Means for the Future of Same-Sex Marriage and Marriage Equality Threatened Once More, as Two Supreme Court Justices Challenge Obergefell v Hodges.)


It’s important to mention that including Nevada, 30 states have existing same-sex marriage bans in their constitutions, and LGBTQ couples still face daily discrimination across the country. Tuesday’s vote shows that the majority of Nevadans, like the majority of Americans, support the right of all people to marry and will work together to protect it. 


AMM applauds the spirit of Nevada’s voters, and will continue to work to protect marriage equality. We believe all people have the right to marry, and you can read more about who we are and why we do what we do here


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