During over an hour of intense debate over the repeal of the state’s gay marriage ban on Monday, Nevada state Sen. Kelvin Atkinson (D-North Las Vegas) officially came out as a gay man, reports the Huffington Post.
“I’m black. I’m gay,” he said, in what the Las Vegas Sun described as a “trembling” voice. “I know this is the first time many of you have heard me say that I am a black, gay male.”
The vote to repeal the ban on gay marriage passed the state senate by a vote of 12-9 paving the way for the status of the ban to be determined by Nevada voters in 2016. While it first has to pass through a heavily Democratic Assembly, it seems as if Nevada is on the verge of realizing marriage equality.
That fact is one that divided both Republican and Democratic members of the Senate.
The Las Vegas Sun has more:
“I don’t know if I’ll be allowed in church on Sunday,” said Sen. Ruben Kihuen, a Catholic, who said his “more progressive” girlfriend often berated him for resisting gay marriage rights. He ultimately voted in favor of SJR13.
Sen. Justin Jones, a Mormon, said he sees his gay brother-in-law each Sunday at church and couldn’t bring himself to vote against extending him marriage rights despite a threat from one of the earliest proponents of the gay marriage ban.
“I would rather lose an election than look my brother-in-law in the eye every Sunday and tell him he doesn’t have the same rights as I do,” Jones said.