This could all have been done years ago, just as it was now: by a stroke of the pen.
The Social Security Administration will pay death benefits to survivors of a same-sex marriage.
I liked Civil Rights before they got big.
Nevada's attorney general and governor said Monday that they won't defend the state's gay marriage ban when it goes before a federal appeals court, saying that a recent court decision makes the state's arguments supporting its constitutional amendment "no longer defensible."
Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto, in a motion filed with the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, said Nevada's legal arguments defending the voter-approved prohibition aren't viable after the court's recent ruling that potential jurors cannot be removed from a trial during jury selection solely because of sexual orientation.
"After thoughtful review and analysis, the state has determined that its arguments grounded upon equal protection and due process are no longer sustainable," Masto said in a statement.
Nevada's move comes as the federal government and courts around the country in recent months have chipped away at laws the prohibit marriage and benefits for same-sex couples. In a one-month span from December to January, two federal judges struck down state bans on gay marriage for the same reason, concluding that they violate the U.S. Constitution's promise of equal protection under the law.
Gov. Brian Sandoval, a Republican seeking re-election this year, said he agreed with the Democratic attorney general's action.
In 23-page a ruling issued Wednesday, U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn II concluded that Kentucky's laws treat gay and lesbians differently in a "way that demeans them." The constitutional ban on same-sex marriagewas approved by voters in 2004. The out-of-state clause was part of it.
The decision came in lawsuits brought by four gay and lesbian couples seeking to force the state to recognize their out-of-state marriages.
Heyburn did not rule on whether the state could be forced to perform same-sex marriages.
The question was not included in the lawsuit.
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