Nevada State Legislature Approves Domestic Partnership Legislation

Washington, D.C.–(ENEWSPF)– The Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, today applauded the Nevada legislature for passing domestic partnership legislation.  The state Senate concurred on an Assembly amendment on Tuesday.  The bill now moves on to Governor Jim Gibbon’s desk for consideration.  Governor Gibbons has indicated that he will veto the legislation.

“The Human Rights Campaign is proud to have partnered with Sen. David Parks, Harrah’s Entertainment, MGM Mirage, the ACLU of Nevada, PLAN, the Gay and Lesbian Center of Southern Nevada, the Nevada Stonewall Democratic Caucus and all our supporters in Nevada to advance this critical legislation,” said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese.  “We congratulate all our partners and HRC supporters throughout Nevada who worked so hard to make this day possible and thank Sen. Parks for his steadfast leadership on this bill.”

The new law would permit any couples- same-sex or opposite-sex – to enter into domestic partnerships and receive access to essentially all the rights, benefits, and responsibilities under Nevada law that are granted to spouses.  Couples who enter into a domestic partnership would not receive any rights, benefits, or responsibilities under federal law.

“Today’s vote is a victory for loving, committed same-sex couples in Nevada,” said HRC Nevada Political Co-Chair Steve Amend.  “We thank our legislative allies for rejecting bigotry and ignorance to grant basic rights and protections to all couples and families in Nevada, and urge Governor Gibbons to sign the bill into law.”

Nevada does not permit same-sex couples to marry, nor does it currently provide equal treatment under the law for committed, unmarried couples who are prohibited from marrying or choose not to marry due to concerns about loss of benefits.

Twelve states plus Washington, D.C. have laws providing at least some form of state-level relationship recognition for same-sex couples. Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont (as of September 1, 2009), and Maine (as of mid-September 2009, pending possible repeal effort) recognize marriage for same-sex couples under state law.  Five states—California, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Oregon, and Washington (as of July 26, 2009, pending possible repeal effort)—plus Washington, D.C. provide same-sex couples with access to the state level benefits and responsibilities of marriage, through either civil unions or domestic partnerships.

Hawaii provides same-sex couples with limited rights and benefits. New York recognizes marriages by same-sex couples validly entered into outside of New York.  California recognized marriage by same-sex couples between June and November of 2008, before voters approved Proposition 8, which purports to amend the state constitution to prohibit marriage equality.  The Proposition 8 vote has been challenged in court; a decision by the state supreme court is expected by June 1.  Legislatures in New Hampshire and New York are considering marriage legislation that would permit same-sex couples to marry in those states, and the D.C. Council has passed legislation that would recognize marriages by same-sex couples legally entered into in other jurisdictions (that legislation is going through a Congressional review period).

Same-sex couples do not receive federal rights and benefits in any state.  To learn more about state by state legislation visit: www.hrc.org/state_laws.

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.