Judge Sets Date for Test of Gay Marriage Ban

     LAS VEGAS (CN) – A federal judge will hear arguments in the challenge of Nevada’s ban on same-sex marriage, on Nov. 26 in Reno.
     It’s Lambda Legal’s first legal attempt at challenging a state’s same-sex marriage laws in a federal court.
     U.S. District Chief Judge Robert Jones said he wanted to decide quickly the lawsuit filed in April by the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund against Gov. Brian Sandoval and other state officials.
     “It makes sense to get this decided and off with the circus train,” he told The Associated Press.
     The lawsuit was filed on behalf of eight same-sex couples in Nevada.
     Lead plaintiffs Beverly Sevcik and Mary Baranovich claim that a 2002 state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage violates the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution. They also accuse the state of establishing a “selective bar to access to marriage” when the Legislature passed a domestic partnership law in 2009.
     Earlier this year, the 9th Circuit ended a 4-year battle over same-sex marriages in California when it struck down as unconstitutional that state’s voter-approved Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriages.

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