Last night a Nevada Assembly committee heard over three hours of testimony from residents for and against a bill that would repeal a decade-old state constitutional ban on same-sex marriage and replace it with one allowing same-sex couples to marry.
The Nevada Assembly Legislative Operations and Elections committee ultimately advanced the bill to the full Assembly (House), just as a Nevada Senate committee advanced the bill to the full Senate.
The process is intentionally lengthy. The bills would need to pass both the house and the Senate, and then pass both the house and the Senate again in 2015, before voters could be allowed to decide in 2016.
“Many of the opponents expressed concern about religious liberties and beliefs as well as opposition defending the current definition of marriage,” the Las Vegas Sun reports:
“It has been interpreted to mean between a man and woman,” said David Matthews, a man who testified at the hearing. “These other types of interpersonal relationships need to be defined by another name other than the word ‘marriage.’”
Other opponents diverged from the resolution’s topic — definitions of state-sanctioned marriages — and offered broad critiques of gay and lesbian individuals.
One man alleged that changing marriage definitions would result in increases in disease rates.
A representative from the Nevada Live Stock Association addressed sodomy laws.
“To do this and pass this bill to make other people feel equal I think is wrong,” he said.
Another man said that passage of the bill would indicate that “we are devolving.”
Other concerns reportedly included false allegations of tyranny and despotism, false claims the bill would be a slippery slope to inter-species marriage, and false claims children do best with a mother and a father.
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