As the issue of same-sex marriage rages on across the nation, the state of Nevada Senate came together on Monday for a legislative debate over a measure to repeal the state’s gay marriage ban replace it with a requirement that the state recognize all marriages regardless of gender. Though the debate was already groundbreaking, one Nevada lawmaker, Kelvin Atkinson, made the debate a national topic when he revealed to the Senate, and the world, that he is gay.
According to the Las Vegas Sun, Atkinson’s voice trembled as he declared that he’s gay and spoke of his father’s own interracial remarriage that would have been illegal only a half a century ago.
“I’m black. I’m gay,” Atkinson said. “I know this is the first time many of you have heard me say that I am a black, gay male.”
Atkinson went on to defend same-sex marriage by arguing against claims that it will sully the quality of heterosexual marriages.
“If this hurts your marriage, then your marriage was in trouble in the first place,” said Atkinson.
It’s reasonable to say that Atkinson words were some help in the debate as the Senate passed the measure by a 12-9 vote, with 11 Democrats and one Republican voting in favor.
Now the measure must go to the Assembly, and if it passes both houses again in 2015, the repeal would then be put to voters in 2016.
We commend both the Nevada Senate and Atkinson for pushing the nation toward progress in LGBT rights, and we doubly commend Atkinson on opening up about his sexuality to the world and, hopefully, inspiring others in the LGBT community to stand proudly in their sexuality.
Check out some other famous LGBT politicians below. –nicholas robinson