Nevada has become the first state to remove a ban on same-sex marriage from its state constitution.
During Tuesday’s election, state residents voted in favour of Question 2, which would remove an inactive same-sex marriage ban from the state constitution. The ban came from a 2002 amendment that defined marriage as between one man and one woman.
“Marriage would be defined as between couples, regardless of gender, though religious organisations and clergypersons would have the right to refuse to solemnise a marriage,” read Question 2.
Although the Supreme Court’s 2015 ruling for Obergefell v. Hodges brought same-sex marriage to every state across the US, the decision remains at risk with a 6-3 conservative majority on the Supreme Court following the appointment of Justice Amy Coney Barrett.
So this measure made by Nevada voters ensured protection for same-sex couples no matter any potential moves made federally in the Supreme Court.
“This overwhelming majority should be a reminder that LGBTQ equality is not just the right thing to do, it is exactly what Nevadans want,” said Briana Escamilla, Human Rights Campaign’s Nevada director.
The New York Times reports that 61.2 per cent (691,661 voters) supported Question 2 over 38.8 per cent (438,318 voters) against the amendment change, with 75 per cent of votes reported.
Prior to Election Day, 30 states held provisions in their constitution that defined marriage as between one man and one woman. The Supreme Court ruling overrules those provisions.
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Nevada has now become the first state in the US to reverse a ban on same-sex marriage in its constitution.
This change to the constitution comes at a time when people are closely watching Nevada for the presidential election.
The battleground state, which swung blue for Hillary Clinton in 2016, has a political landscape that’s changed in recent decades to lean more Democrat. Whether Democratic challenger Joe Biden will win Nevada remains too close to call, but he led in the state by a small majority of votes on Wednesday evening.