Monday was a night of incredible drama in the Nevada Senate, culminating in a historic vote to begin the process of repealing the state’s gay marriage ban. It’s hard to pinpoint which moment was most indelible:
• Sen. Ben Kieckhefer voting with the Democratic majority, the only Republican to do so.
• Sen. Kelvin Atkinson, D-North Las Vegas, announcing, “I’m black. I’m gay. I know this is the first time many of you have heard me say that I am a black, gay male. If [marriage equality] hurts your marriage, then your marriage was in trouble in the first place.”
• Sen. Pat Spearman, D-North Las Vegas, a black, lesbian minister, remembering growing up in the Deep South and being spit on because she was black. “I know what it feels like when people want to push separate but equal. Separate is not equal.”
Senate Joint Resolution 13 now goes to the Assembly. If it clears that hurdle, and legislators approve it again in 2015, it goes to voters in 2016 for ratification.