Thursday, October 01, 2009

Domestic partnerships arrive in Nevada

Nevada's Domestic Partner Registry Act goes into effect today, allowing lesbians and gay men in the state to register their relationships with the state. From The Center in Las Vegas:

According to the Nevada Secretary of State's office, nearly 700 couples pre-registered their partnerships in the month-long pre-registration period ending September 24th in order to receive their certificates today. Many more couples are expected to file their forms today.

For GLBT couples, this opportunity represents the equalizing effect that state recognition offers for our relationships. We now enjoy many of the same rights and responsibilities in Nevada that opposite-sex couples enjoy when they choose to marry and share their lives together.

The Center sponsored multiple workshops to educate couples about their rights and responsibilities under the law—with hundreds of couples attending the seminars to be better informed about their choices and obligations. 27 couples registered one night, on September 14th at a Center sponsored seminar.

A special thanks to Senator David Parks for his hard work in sponsoring this monumental legislation and Secretary of State Ross Miller and his office for their commitment to making the process simple and accessible.

Thank you to all those community members and organizations, who organized, educated, lobbied and worked to make this law a reality.

And the Las Vegas Sun has an article about two women who worked to get this law passed:

Why do they love each other?

Carline, who is now 37: “She has the biggest heart I’ve ever met. I don’t know anyone who would take on all of that responsibility when she did. She was 18, she could have gone to college and only had one job. But she took three jobs and was with us. She’s always provided for us, making sure we have what we need. She’s always been there for us. She’s been really good to me and really good to the kids. She’s funny. She’s smart.”

Jodie, who is now 27: “She’s always there to talk to. We work well as a team. We get things done.”

Carline: “She’s a woman of few words.”

And then the whole scene dissolves in blushes and hugs....

Last spring Nevada’s Legislature debated a bill introduced by state Sen. David Parks, D-Las Vegas. It wouldn’t overturn Nevada’s ban and make us one of the four states with same-sex marriage. It wouldn’t provide federal recognition for same-sex couples. But it would make Nevada the 10th state with either domestic partnerships or civil unions. It would be a legal piece of paper for couples to show doctors and bosses.

Carline and Jodie consider themselves active in the gay community, but they don’t think of themselves as activists. As Carline says, “I’m a lesbian but that’s not the only hat I wear. I’m a mom, I’m active at my kids’ school.”

They also were among the couples who traveled to Carson City in April to lobby legislators to pass the bill.

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