Nevada AG Seeks to Withdraw Gay Marriage Brief - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

Nevada AG Seeks to Withdraw Gay Marriage Brief

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Nevada is withdrawing its support of the state's gay marriage ban.

Attorney General Catherine Corte Masto filed a motion Monday to withdraw the state's legal arguments in a case pending before the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval says he agrees with the move, saying it's clear the state's arguments are no longer defensible in court.

The decision means Nevada will not argue to uphold the constitutional prohibition against same-sex marriage that was passed by voters in 2002.

Eight same sex couple sued the state, arguing the law is unconstitutional.

Nevada lawmakers last year took the first step toward repealing that law. If legislators approve Senate Joint Resolution 13 again next year, it would go to voters on the 2016 ballot. (AP)

Lambda Legal Senior Attorney Tara Borelli issued the following statement:

"In the wake of the Ninth Circuit ruling in SmithKline Beecham v. Abbott Laboratories, the Governor has recognized that the writing is on the wall, and that arguments seeking to perpetuate discrimination are becoming extremely difficult to justify. Denying marriage to same-sex couples serves no legitimate state interest and is intended solely to perpetuate discrimination. As the Governor himself recognized, the heightened scrutiny standard that the Ninth Circuit's SmithKline ruling now requires be applied to discriminatory classifications based on sexual orientation renders arguments supporting the marriage ban no longer tenable, and the Governor frankly made the only call he could."

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