LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Before the historic split 2015 Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage in the United States, many LGBTQ couples in Las Vegas never imagined their special day would come.
Nevada's constitution defined marriage as one between a man and a woman, no other unity could be legally recognized, and, even though it's no longer enforceable, that language has remained in the state's top legal document.
Chris Davin, Equality NV director, is a gay man who's going to vote in November to remove the language denying his right to marry.
"It hurts," Davin said.
Davin said he will vote "yes" on ballot question two in the general election.
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Question 2, if approved, would remove the language defining marriage as one between a man and a woman from Nevada's constitution, validating the feeling Davin said many of his friends felt when the U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage.
"People in the community were excited," he said, "they finally felt like they were part of the community, and they could get married and didn't have to worry about discrimination."
Davin said that, while the law isn't currently enforceable, removing the definition would protect same-sex couples if a more conservative Supreme Court overturned the 2015 ruling.
"Should a law be in place that describes who someone should marry?" Devin asked.
Conservative groups like Nevada Families for Freedom oppose Question 2's passage citing concerns over religious liberty.
In the group's voter guide, Nevada Families for Freedom urged an emphatic no vote on the question writing that the removal of marriage's legal definition could force people to participate in or accept a marriage that is against their beliefs.
If passed, the question would insert language into the constitution that would protect religious organizations and members of the clergy if they refuse to perform a same-sex wedding.
"establish a right for religious organizations and clergy members to refuse to perform a marriage and provide that no person is entitled to make any claim against them for exercising that right."
Early voting begins on Oct. 17 and Election Day is Nov. 3.