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Nevada poised to ratify same-sex marriage in its state constitution

Nevada poised to ratify same-sex marriage in its state constitution
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Nevada will likely become the first state to ratify same-sex marriage under its state Constitution as the general election measure gains majority support.

While a majority 62 percent (287,967) voted in favor of Question 2 adding same-sex marriage protections to its Constitution, the Associated Press had yet to call the final decision as of Friday, Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.

The state has tallied over 88 percent of total votes received, the AP added, showing a likely approval for the measure.

Nevada State Director of the Human Rights Campaign Briana Escamilla said in a statement that the people of Nevada have shown "that LGBTQ equality is a priority for voters."

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"Nevada has sent a message that it is a welcoming place for anyone looking to make a life here. This overwhelming majority should be a reminder that LGBTQ equality is not just the right thing to do, it is exactly what Nevadans want," Escamilla added.

Same-sex marriage was legalized across the U.S. after the Supreme Court ruled in its favor five years ago, though some language in Nevada's Constitution conflicts with the federal ruling.

The state's voters approved an amendment to the document in 2000 and 2002 to define marriage as solely between a man and a woman.

With a new 6-3 conservative majority on the Supreme Court, Nevada's amendment to its state constitution would add an extra buffer of protection for same-sex marriage rights if the federal provision ever is challenged.

"It's definitely been on the minds of the LGBTQ+ community," said Wesley Juhl, a spokesperson for the ACLU of Nevada. "The court has definitely swung more conservative in recent weeks … People will feel good to know that no matter what happens (nationally) they'll continue to be protected in Nevada."

Question 2 will also add protections that will remove possible conflicts with other states that might not offer the same benefits marriage unions provide, such as family-related Social Security provisions and the ability to file joint tax returns.