Sunday, May 31, 2009

Nevada Senate Overrides Governor's Domestic Partnership Veto

Update: Assembly vote due after 6pm PST. Will post results.......

Nevada Senate Overrides Governor's Domestic Partnership Veto

The Nevada Senate has voted 14-7 to override Governor Jim Gibbons' veto of a domestic partnership bill

the Las Vegas Review Journal is reporting;

"The vote on Senate Bill 283 came following a dramatic speech by state Sen. Dennis Nolan, R-Las Vegas, who said he had received many vulgar and even threatening calls from people who demanded that he vote against the bill. Those kinds of calls do not mesh with 'the Christian beliefs I was brought up with,' Nolan said. He added that the bill does not at all undermine the 2002 voter-approved constitutional amendment that defines marriage as between a man and a woman. 'We have an obligation to ensure equal rights to all our citizens,' Nolan said. 'I believe in my heart that I am doing the right thing,' Nolan and state Sen. Dean Rhoads, R-Tuscarora, who both voted against the bill when it was passed April 21 on a 12-9 Senate vote, then joined the 12 original supporters to override Gibbons' veto by the required two-thirds margin."

[The assembly is expected to vote today. - Rebecca]

Two-thirds of the Assembly, 28 members, must vote to override Gibbons' veto or the bill dies.

Activists hope Assemblywoman Marilyn Kirkpatrick, D-North Las Vegas, and one other lawmaker who initially voted against the bill will vote to override the veto, giving the bill the votes needed to become law.

During the first tally in the Assembly, Kirkpatrick voted against the bill.

Some supporters had hoped for a Saturday night vote in the Assembly. But Assemblyman James Ohrenschall became ill earlier in the day and was briefly hospitalized.

The Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada also praised the vote.

"This was a resounding rejection of the governor's intolerance and it is wonderful to finally have something to celebrate," said Jan Gilbert, a PLAN lobbyist.

Gay and lesbian organizations also saluted the state Senate override.

"Today, we are one step closer to legally recognizing committed couples in Nevada who currently cannot get married or choose not to get married, but want the opportunity to recognize their relationships under state Law and the protections that will provide them," said Tod Story, a Gay and Lesbian Community Center board member in Las Vegas.

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