Gay Marriage Bill Introduced By Nevada Sen. Tick Segerblom

Sen. Tick Segerblom

Nevada May Be Joining the 21st Century

Sen. Tick Segerblom, D-Las Vegas, introduced a Senate Joint Resolution that would repeal the section of Nevada’s constitution that says “only a marriage between a male and female person shall be recognized.”

This begins a lengthy process for Nevada whose legislature only meets every other year.  The resolution needs to pass by majority vote in the Legislature this year and again in 2015 before it would be placed on the 2016 ballot. If the majority of voters in Nevada decide to repeal the marriage definition, then the Legislature could act in 2017 to legalize same-sex marriage in statute.

The positive side of the resolution is that there is a slim possibility that Nevada may lose its pseudonym as the “Mississippi of the West” will fade away.

Vanessa Spinaloza, lobbyist for the ACLU, worked with Segerblom on the resolution and said she’s confident that a majority of legislators support the repeal.

A measure that would simultaneously repeal the ban on same-sex marriages and replace it with language allowing same-sex marriages draws less support, she said.

“There’s a little fear that if we did that, we wouldn’t get the whole thing,” she said.

“Repeal is all we need right now,” Segerblom said. “It gives it to a vote of the people.”

The repeal of the “Defense of Marriage Act”, signed by President Bill Clinton in 1996 will be reviewed by the Supreme Court in 7 days.  The President, Democrats, influential Republicans, and big business have petitioned its repeal.  The result may make Segerblom’s submission unnecessary.

As a loyal and contented Nevadan who was transplanted from California in 1986, I find it both amazing and foretelling of how the northern part of our state may be losing its prejudicial attitude.

When I moved to the Reno area, I was not aware of the racist and bigoted attitude of this unique and beautiful area of the west.  Time obviously increases awareness, and tolerance, two conditions on which our nation was established.

Our nation was founded on many principles.  The primary goal was freedom of religion, and was the subject of our forefathers who decried the establishment of a national religion.  In a less than secondary position was the right of all people to have “equal protection under the law”.

The “pledge of allegiance”, which I recited every day when I was in grammar school, ended with “liberty and justice for all”.  I believed it then, and I believe it now.

If America is the country it professes to be, it cannot be discriminatory.  It cannot pick and choose who will be protected under the Constitution, and who will not.

We are a diverse nation, as was intended by our predecessors.  We are an ever changing and disparate civilization.  It is our strength and our future.  To deny the very intention of what America has become is to ignore the intentions of those courageous men who believed in the words they penned nearly 240 years ago.

There is no room for racism, bigotry, and prejudice in a free society.  The security of the few must be protected by the majority.  That is the true evidence of freedom under the law.

Slavery, social discrimination, and homophobic attitudes must be eliminated if the United States of America if is to continue to exist with the intent on which it was founded.

We, the world, are one people, defined by the most basic of needs and concerns.  Family, the hope for a better future, and freedom from fear are universal.  If the United States cannot offer these simple needs, who will?

I grew up believing that my country was unique.  I believed it truly cared about the people, and their quality of life.  The United States was THE country that would always put its people first, denying those who lobbied our government to protect their specific interests in favor of corporate profits.  I was idealistic and naïve.

My interest in politics began when I was only ten years old.  I found it exciting and I quickly learned that governmental policy was much like my beloved game of chess.

All that has radically changed.  Politicians have no concern for the simplicity of what is right or wrong.  Their entire purpose is winning an election.

Our governing body continuously tells us how religion, primarily Christianity, is their basis for the actions they take while caring for our nation and its people.  They are no less than hypocrites.  They shun the very people that gospels tell us Christ supported.

Jesus Christ would walk into the House and Senate and physically expel the majority of our mistakenly elected officials.  They are the “moneychangers” who he allegedly threw out of the temples when He was a man in his thirties.  They ignored his “eight beatitudes”, and he would see their evil purpose.

There has never been a more simple and realistic law or rule than what has been for me my guide to the way I live my life.  Although I admit I am not a religious man, I consider myself spiritual and empathetic.  The rule is simple, and there is no one who has not read or heard it:  “Treat others as you would have them treat yourself”.

James Turnage

Columnist-The Guardian Express

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