SCOTUS Rulings Boost Nevada Gay Marriage Effort - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

SCOTUS Rulings Boost Nevada Gay Marriage Effort

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A pair of decisions made more than 2,500 miles from Nevada's capital could have a significant impact when state lawmakers reconvene in two years.

The Supreme Court struck down parts of the Defense of Marriage Act -- also known as DOMA. The ruling will allow same-sex spouses to receive certain federal benefits in states where their marriage is legal.

The court dismissed an appeal regarding California's Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage. The ruling means same-sex marriages can resume in California.
 
The decisions spurred celebrations by marriage equality advocates nationwide, even though the decisions don't mandate action in all states.
 
Lawmakers and voters in Nevada are considering a measure that would allow for same-sex marriage in the Silver State. Legislators approved SJR13 this session, but must pass it a second time in 2015 and get voter approval before it can become law.

Bob Fulkerson of the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada says the rulings Wednesday and the resulting momentum guarantee the measure's victory in 2016.

"I think our chances are very strong that Nevadans will affirm the right of all people to marry whom they love."

John Wagner of the Independent American Party says, "There's a lot of time between now and then. People don't know what the proposed change in the law is and when they find out what it is, they might say 'Hey, this has gone too far and we're not going to go for it."

Domestic partnerships have been recognized in Nevada since 2009.

And while some say it's not the same as marriage -- others say it offers the same state rights as a married couple.

"It gave them the right to go to the hospital and the death bed and to make decisions. That, I have no problem with. That's kind of a legal problem. It's just the term, 'marriage'.

Twelve states already recognize same-sex marriage. But opponents say it infringes on religious views.

"I think it's kind of an insult to God, in a way. I think there's a war against God going on in this country and in this world and that's one way to do it."

But Fulkerson says this issue is much more than religion and morality.

"That's what this big beautiful country is all about. Freedom to do that. But it's also about giving those of us who want to marry those who we love a chance to do that. And they should not infringe on that."

Gay rights organizers have scheduled a rally for 7pm Wednesday at the Reno City Plaza, downtown in response to the Supreme Court decisions.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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