Senate Panel Amends, Passes Gay Marriage Bill - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

Senate Panel Amends, Passes Gay Marriage Bill

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A Nevada Senate committee has taken a big step to not only repeal the state's heterosexual definition of marriage but to recognize all marriages "regardless of gender."

SJR13 was approved Thursday on a 3-2 party line vote by the Senate Committee on Legislative Operations and Elections. It now goes to the Senate floor.

The original language sought only to repeal language in the state Constitution defining marriage as between one man and one woman. But a late amendment adopted by the committee adds that the state "shall recognize marriages and issue marriage licenses, regardless of gender."

Because it is a constitutional amendment, the measure must be approved by the Legislature this year and in 2015 before it would go to voters in 2016 for ratification.

Supporters said they'll keep up their campaign for passage.

Democrats hold majorities in both the state Senate and Assembly, and passage of the bill seems likely.

Republican Sen. James Settelmeyer of Minden says he would have voted for the original bill, but he withdrew his support because he doesn't believe marriage should be in the Constitution. (AP)

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