Domestic partnerships bill passes Nevada Assembly
Ryan Summerlin May 15, 2009
CARSON CITY ” The Assembly Friday gave final legislative approval to legislation creating domestic partnerships in Nevada.
The bill goes to Gov. Jim gibbons who has said he will veto it.
Assemblyman Tick Segerblom, D-Las Vegas told the body the bill doesn’t create gay marriage and doesn’t require employers to provide benefits to domestic partners.
This is not a gay rights issue,” he said. “This is a human rights issue.”
Assemblyman Ty Cobb, R-Reno, disagreed saying while the bill doesn’t directly conflict with the Nevada Constitution which defines marriage and the union of a man and a woman, “It directly conflicts with the intent and will of the people.”
“It assigns the same privileges, rights and responsibilities to privileges given to a marriage,” he said.
He urged members not to go against the will of the voters who approved that constitutional amendment in 2002.
Assemblyman James Settelmeyer, R-Gardnerville, joined Cobb in opposing the plan authored by Sen. David Parks, D-Las Vegas.
Assemblywoman Ellen Spiegel, D-Las Vegas, said SB283 doesn’t just apply to gay couples. She said when her boyfriend died suddenly years ago, she was kicked out of his house even though she lived there.
“I was thrown out of the house the night he passed away,” she said. “This is for the rights of every Nevadan.”
Sheila Leslie, D-Reno, said the bill is in the “tradition of Nevada Libertarianism.”
“Nevadans don’t want government interfering in our personal lives,” she said. “Why would we stand in the way of others’ rights. These are our decisions and government should stay out of it.”
The vote was 26-14 with Democrats Mo Denis and Marilyn Kirkpatrick of Las Vegas joining the Republicans in opposing the measure. Republican Ed Goedhart of Amargosa Valley voted for it and John Carpenter of Elko was absent Friday.