Nevada locks gay marriage into its state constitution

2020 has once again tossed all of us into the Wayback Machine for a trip to the past because a new gay marriage story has come across the transom. As more and more results of down-ballot measures from the recent elections around the country are finalized, we’ve learned that the voters of Nevada have amended their state constitution to protect the marriages of gay people who have tied the knot in their state. Given how many marriages take place in Las Vegas every year (or at least the number they were used to before COVID came around), this was probably a big issue for them.

Now, the state that’s home to the “wedding capital of the world” is also the first in the country to officially protect same-sex marriage in its Constitution.

“It’s literally righting a wrong,” said Karen Vibe, a businesswoman who moved to Reno shortly before voters passed a ban on same-sex marriage in 2002.

That vote left her feeling betrayed by her new neighbors and she couldn’t marry her wife until courts ruled against the measure more than a decade later.

Watching people vote this election to repeal the defunct ban gave her a deeper sense of security in her home and family.

The measure passed with more than sixty percent support, which is quite a change when you consider that Nevada had a ban on gay marriage barely a decade ago. For those worried about the religious freedom aspect of this question, clergy members can not be forced to perform gay weddings if it conflicts with their religious beliefs. That probably won’t cause much of an impediment for anyone because I’m fairly sure that Elvis will perform a ceremony for anyone who asks.

There’s growing consternation in the LGBT community over the new conservative majority on the Supreme Court, raising questions as to whether they might strike down gay marriage at some point. It seems unlikely, being a fairly new precedent, but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.

This obviously wasn’t any sort of ideal solution in my opinion. Long-time readers are probably familiar with my position on the subject and I know that’s it’s not a popular one among some sections of the conservative community. If Nevadans wanted to take an action like this and enshrine it in their constitution, they shouldn’t have passed an amendment “protecting” gay marriage. They should have declared that the government of Nevada has no business getting involved in the question of marriage to begin with.

While I’ve gone over this before, I’ll take this opportunity to re-up my stance. I don’t support gay marriage. I don’t support straight marriage. I support my marriage and the rest of you are on your own. I can however tell you what I’m opposed to. I oppose the idea that the government – at any level – can assume for itself the power to demand a tax, even if they call it a “fee,” and demand a permission slip in the form of a license for two citizens to perform a private ceremony before family and friends that doesn’t affect a single other citizen of the country.

If the federal government really wanted to “solve” the gay marriage issue, they should have wiped the word marriage entirely from the tax code and almost all of the rest of our laws, with a few unfortunate exceptions protecting the safety of children or the mentally infirm. At the same time, no other person should be obligated to participate in such a ceremony in any fashion if doing so conflicts with their own religious and moral beliefs If people want to get married, they can always find someone to perform a ceremony. As to the division of property, any couple can draw up a civil contract like the ones that are already in common use across society.

Small government conservatives who, like me, bemoan the endless intrusions into the private lives of citizens who are causing no harm to anyone else in the country, shouldn’t welcome Big Brother into our marriage ceremonies. The government already requires boatloads of “licenses” regulating the actions and speech of private citizens for no justifiable reason. They don’t need to add wedding licenses to the list.