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October 20, 2014

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Gay rights bill advances; Gibbons plans veto

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A bill that would allow same-sex couples to enter into domestic partnerships, with many of the rights of married couples, passed the Assembly Friday.

Senate Bill 283 now goes back to the Senate to see if it agrees with the amendments that the Assembly added. If it passes the Senate again, it would land on the desk of Gov. Jim Gibbons, who has said he would veto it. The bill originally passed in the Senate 12-9.

Advocates for the bill have been working to try to find two votes to override Gibbons' veto.

They also have some work to do in the Assembly, judging by Friday's vote of 26 in favor and 14 against.

It was a party-line vote, except Assemblyman Ed Goedhart, R-Amargosa Valley, voted for the bill, and Assemblyman Mo Denis, D-Las Vegas, and Assemblywoman Marilyn Kirkpatrick, D-North Las Vegas, voting against.

Two members, one Democrat and one Republican, were absent. To override a veto, advocates need 28 votes.

Assemblywoman Sheila Leslie, D-Reno, pointed to the state's libertarian tradition to advocate for passage.

"This is an issue of personal freedom," she said. "This is about the personal freedom of a Nevadans to live their life way they want to."

Assemblyman Ty Cobb, R-Reno, spoke against the bill, saying it too closely mirrored marriage.

Voters amended the constitution to ban same-sex marriage, voting overwhelmingly for the ban in 2000 and 2002.

Correction: This story was changed to reflect that the bill must pass the Senate a second time before going to the governor.

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