The federal District Court of Nevada has denied a challenge made by eight gay couples to that state’s ban on same-sex marriage. In its opinion, the Court writes:
This case arises out of the refusal of the State of Nevada to permit same-sex couples to enter into civil marriages, as well as its refusal to recognize same-sex marriages performed in nother states as “marriages” under Nevada law. The question before the Court is not the wisdom of providing for or recognizing same-sex marriages as a matter of policy but whether the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution prohibits the People of the State of Nevada from maintaining statutes that reserve the institution of civil marriage to one-man–one-woman relationships or from amending their state constitution to prohibit the State from recognizing marriages formed in other states as “marriages” under Nevada law if those marriages do not conform to Nevada’s one-man–one-woman civil marriage institution. For the reasons given herein, the Court rules that it does not. To the extent the present challenge is not precluded by U.S. Supreme Court precedent, Defendants are entitled to summary judgment.
Prop 8 Trial Tracker notes that the case will likely be appealed to the Ninth Circuit Court.
UPDATE: The case was brought by Lambda Legal, who writes:
This is not the end of this fight. We will appeal and continue to fight for these loving couples, who are harmed by Nevada’s law barring marriage for same-sex couples. By forbidding same-sex couples’ access to marriage, the State brands them and their children as second-class citizens. This entire decision rests on the ridiculous premise that a ‘meaningful percentage of heterosexual persons’ will decide not to get married if same-sex couples can. Not only is this not true, but it is settled law that the government is not allowed to cater to private biases — which is all that imagining that ‘some couples won’t join this club if those people are admitted’ amounts to. We are confident this ruling will be overturned on appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
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