Local lawmaker comes out during same-sex debate - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Local lawmaker comes out during same-sex debate

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LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -

Nevada Sen. Kelvin Atkinson took a number of people by surprise during the late Monday night debate over same-sex marriage in the Legislature.

"I'm black. I'm gay. If this hurts your marriage, then your marriage was in trouble in the first place," said Atkinson.

The senator is one of six members that belong to the LGBT community. One of them is Assemblyman James Healey, who is applauding the actions of Atkinson. 

Now that Senate Joint Resolution 13 - or SJR13 as it's better known - has passed the Senate, it will move on to the Assembly floor for review.

"It provides such economic benefits from creating jobs in a market where we already have people who are trained that were in the hospitality industry," added Healey.

If the bill passes both houses, the process will repeat itself during the 2015 session. If successful, Nevada residents will be able to vote on it themselves on the 2016 ballot.

"What the vote of the Legislature does is it allows the vote of the people to make the decision. Legislatures are not voting to allow same-sex gender marriage, it's allowing the people to decide," added Healey.

Conservatives in the Senate are expected to challenge SJR13, but polls show public support for same-sex marriage is growing.

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