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Nevada legislators debate gay marriage

Tina Patel

Nevada legislators debate gay marriage

CREATED Mar. 26, 2013

Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- State senators have introduced a resolution to change the Nevada Constitution, which currently defines marriage as between a man and a woman. 

Dozens of people in Carson City and Las Vegas testified Tuesday before the Committee on Legislative Operations and Elections.

Christy and Katrina Ross live in Nevada, but they had to go to Iowa last year to marry.  

"Our relationship is stronger than the words domestic partner could ever convey," Ross told the committee.  "Together we're starting our lives in Nevada, we want nothing more than our marriage to be recognized in the state we call home."

Nevada voters approved the language in the state constitution in 2000 and 2002, but legislators say attitudes are changing.

"People who want to be unified in a way I hold so dear should be allowed to do so, very simply," said State Senator Ben Kieckhefer.  "That is, I think, a very basic civil right." 

No decision was made at Tuesday's hearing.  Even if legislators approve the change this year, Nevada voters would have to ratify it.  That wouldn't happen until 2016.