I know it’s “not your fight” for a lot of you. That’s because you have rights that are denied to a lot of your neighbors, friends, family and co-workers. I know it’s not really related to the subject of this blog, but it does affect those around you. I know that the people that I’ve met in the historic neighborhoods are decidedly progressive in their thinking. Once again, it’s the suburbanite soccer mom’s and the elderly and the religiously hateful who are desperately trying to prevent “equal rights for all”. I’m probably alienating myself as a business man from some of them, but so be it. It was JJ’s dying wish that I do everything in my power to stop being a second class citizen.
The VeryVintageVegas community of readers has been very helpful in the past for a lot of issues that I’ve raised here. Primarily, I’ve asked for help on zoning, commercial intrusion and historic preservation issues. Those topics are, of course, important to me, but so is this. So, I’m going to humbly ask you to help again.
The governor has vetoed the SB283 – The Domestic Partnership Bill. My friend Senator David Parks is trying to rustle up the 2 votes in each house that need to switch in order to override it.
The Las Vegas Sun this morning tells the story well:
Senate Majority Leader Steven Horsford, D-Las Vegas, said although the bill provides certain rights to domestic partners, it does not overturn the constitutional amendment limiting marriage to between a man and a woman.
Senate Bill 283 would provide couples, same-sex and opposite sex, such rights as community property, responsibility for debts and the right to seek alimony if the relationship ends.
Horsford assigned Parks, the bill’s sponsor and the Legislature’s only openly gay member, to round up votes for an override.
Parks said he needs two additional votes in both the Senate and Assembly to override Gibbons’ veto.
In the Senate, the bill was approved 12-9, with Democrats Terry Care of Las Vegas and John Lee of North Las Vegas joining seven Republicans in voting against the bill.
In the Assembly, the bill was approved 26-14 in the Assembly, with John Carpenter, R-Elko, and Jerry Claborn, D-Las Vegas, absent.
There’s some irony to this whole stupid debate. Steve Amend, wrote about it for the HRC website:
To give a little history, Nevada passed a constitutional amendment in 2002 stating that only a “marriage between a man and a woman” will be recognized in the State of Nevada. At that time, the proponents of the amendment said it would only affect marriage, and would not preclude legislation allowing for domestic partnerships or civil unions. Now, the same people are speaking out against the domestic partnership bill, and are citing the constitutional amendment as a basis for arguing that that the people of Nevada are against any bill that creates relationships similar to marriage.
And THAT is the only reason that the governor has given for vetoing the bill!
The truth be told, in my opinion, there’s really only one solution to the dilemma of “EQUAL rights” for all families. The word marriage needs to be BANNED from the lexicon and the laws of the governments of the state and the nation. The word marriage needs to be turned over to the churches and religions. ANY two people of consenting age should be given a “civil union” license by the state. If they then choose to go to a church and get MARRIED, then that should only be between them and their god. If they choose the marriage route and bypass the civil union granted by the government, then they’ve CHOSEN to not have the LEGAL rights, benefits and responsibilities that come with a civil union. Then the churches can further define marriage as a “baptist marriage” or a “morman marriage” or a “catholic marriage” and put what ever meaning they want to their definition.
In the meanwhile, the civilized, fair-minded people of the world must work for the piecemeal inclusion of ALL of the citizens of Nevada and the US to be allowed to have the same rights and responsibilities for their families that others have. Here in Nevada, we’re fighting the battle for Domestic Partnership. Other states have gone on to the marriage issue. What really sucks, is that it really doesn’t matter until it’s settled once and for all on a federal level. I’m willing to bet that the final settlement of the issue will be what I’ve proposed above. If we’ve ever learned one lesson, it’s that “separate but equal” doesn’t work any better than “Separate and Unequal”.
The swing votes that are need to over ride the veto are watching the opinion polls at the Nevada Legislature site.