Though Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes has filed a brief against a lawsuit challenging Nevada’s gay marriage ban, Nevada’s own attorney general, Catherine Corte Masto, has called it quits.
Masto filed a motion today to withdraw the state’s brief in a case pending before the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
“In June 2013, authoritative and relevant precedent was established by the U.S. Supreme Court in Windsor v. United States,” the motion reads. It goes on to say that the Windsor ruling “carries meaning for both due process and equal protection guarantees and signifies that discrimination against same-sex couples is unconstitutional.”
Noting that the dissenting justices did nor believe the ruling went that far, the motion said, “But these are the voices of the dissent, and their view did not prevail.”
Justice Anton Scalia warned in his dissent of the Windsor ruling that the Supreme Court paved the way for same-sex marriage in all 50 states.
“The State followed Justice Scalia’s invitation to ‘distinguish away.'”
Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval agreed with the move, saying it’s clear the state’s arguments supporting the ban are no longer defensible in court.
Carson City Clerk-Recorder Alan Glover filed a similar motion to remove his brief on Jan. 28.
This means Nevada will not argue to uphold the state’s constitutional prohibition against same-sex marriage that voters passed in 2002.
Eight same sex couple sued the state, arguing the law is unconstitutional.
Nevada lawmakers last year took the first step toward repealing that law by approving Senate Joint Resolution 13. If legislators approve it again next year, it would go to voters on the 2016 ballot.
“While we applaud the attorney general for hearing the voices of Nevadans who let her know — loud and clear — that hatred and disrespect would not be tolerated in our state, we stand firm in demanding an apology for her past comments and have requested a face-to-face meeting between the Attorney General and LGBTQ community leaders immediately,” GetEQUAL Nevada lead organizer Derek Washington said. “Attorney General Masto clearly needs to better and clearer understanding of the lives of LGBTQ Nevadans, and we would be happy to ensure that such a meeting takes place to increase her understanding.”