• Autumn Brewster, Abby Ocampo, and Kira Hankel

Nevada Question 2: Finally Recognizing Marriage Regardless of Gender Identity

Autumn Brewster, Abby Ocampo, and Kira Hankel give an overview of the 2020 Nevada Ballot Question 2 and find only Yes voters willing to be interviewed.

A vote for yes is a vote for recognition. Visual produced by Diether Llaneza

Ballot Question Breakdown

On the 2020 ballot, Nevada’s Question 2 is posted as “Marriage Regardless of Gender Amendment.” Voting yes on Question 2 would vote to amend the Nevada constitution, repealing the 2002 Question 2.

That vote which went 67 to 33 percent had amended the Nevada Constitution by adding a definition of marriage that prevented same-sex marriages from being conducted or recognized in Nevada. However, in 2014, the Ninth Circuit Court struck down the state’s same-sex marriage ban, saying it violated the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution.

The new amendment, if passed, would change defined marriage in Nevada being ‘between a male person and female person’ to ‘between couples regardless of gender’.

The change would imply the state’s recognition of same-sex marriage, but would also not override the ongoing right of religious organizations and clergy persons to refuse to solemnize certain marriages.

Comments in favor of a Yes on Question 2 were shared on one our reporter’s Facebook post.

Words of Supportive Voters

“Voting yes to this question is extremely important,” Kelsy Schuth, who describes herself as a longtime supporter of equal rights, wrote when responding to a Facebook post. “The direction our Supreme Court is going, no one who isn’t a white male [have] rights [which] are safe, there has already been discussion of overturning equal marriage rights for the LGBTQI community IF heaven forbid that happens, we are protecting basic human rights for all in Nevada to make sure ALL people can get married.”

Schuth also passionately shared her opinion on the church clause in the amendment. “Churches are allowed to refuse marriages based on their beliefs which I think IS bullshit but yes their right and who wants to get married in a bigoted bullshit establishment that doesn’t understand love anyway?”

“I support it because if two people are in love and want to get married then no one else has a right to say anything about it,” Jennifer Bravo, a Las Vegas resident, said. “Ultimately, it’s up to them and what they want to do. Which is why I support question 2 as they should be treated equally and have a voice in their own decision, it should be respected by everyone else, as simple as that.”

“I don’t see how someone else’s marriage affects my own or my life in general,” Kaitlyn Beauregard, another voter supporting question 2 in Nevada, said. “I believe people should love and marry who they wish without the prejudice of religion; religion should not be interfering with human rights. Nor should people lose rights based on the technicality of words.”

Reaching out through social media, only those on the yes side of Question 2 responded to have their comments included.

Recent polls show a clear lead for Yes on Question 2, reversing the situation from nearly 20 years ago.

LGBTQ+ Respondent Also in Favor of a Yes

In a recent survey by Civiqs, 69% percent of voters said they would vote yes on Question 2, 26% of voters said they would vote no and 5% of voters were unsure.

For Jocelyn Uasal, a transgender woman from rural Nevada now living in Reno, the recognition of marriage, regardless of gender, will also help advocate for LBGTQ+ rights.

“I think it’s more important that we continue to progress as a country with LGBTQ+ rights and recognition,” Uasal said. “Just like how I believe that people should be able to express themselves freely, they should also be able to marry whomever they love. LBGTQ+ rights are human rights, and we deserve to have our lives and marriages recognized.”

Reporting by Autumn Brewster, Abby Ocampo, and Kira Hankel for the Reynolds Sandbox

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