The US presidential election is also the moment when states take the opportunity to seek the opinion of their citizens through referendums. On November 3, Nevada voted on the issue of same-sex marriage. Eighteen years after having reserved the institution of marriage to heterosexual couples only, the voters overwhelmingly voted for the abolition of this measure and the inclusion in the Constitution of the State of the recognition of unions between persons of the same sex.
A first victory in 2014
This referendum received more than 62% of favorable votes according to the final results. Importantly, this decision makes Nevada the first American state to recognize and protect same-sex marriage in its Constitution. Homosexual couples had to wait until the end of 2014 and a decision of the Supreme Court, the highest American court, to obtain recognition of their union at the federal level only, in Nevada and around thirty other states.
The amendment further obliges Nevada and its institutions to recognize and treat all marriages equally, regardless of the gender of the individuals they unite. For supporters of the measure, it is an additional guarantee for homosexuals in the event that the Supreme Court, where the conservatives now enjoy a clear majority, reverse its decision. The referendum, however, establishes the right for religious organizations and clergy in Nevada to refuse to perform same-sex marriages without incurring legal action.