Nevada Gov. Gibbons Vetoes Domestic Partnership Bill
by Charles Lemos, Tue May 26, 2009 at 09:53:39 AM EDT
On Monday, the Republican Governor of Nevada, Jim Gibbons, vetoed a bill that would have given domestic partners, whether gay or straight, many of the rights and benefits that Nevada offers to married couples. The Governor based his decision that Senate Bill Bill 283 which would have extended to domestic partners "nearly all of the rights, protections, benefits, and privileges currently available to married persons" was of "suspect constitutionality." In the Governor's view because the voters have determined that the rights of marriage should only apply to married couples that therefore only the voters should be able to determine if those rights should equally apply to domestic partners.
The measure would have prohibited discrimination against domestic partners, and given them the same community property and debt rights as married couples but Governor Gibbons holds that domestic partners can sign private contracts to accomplish many of the goals of the law. It is unclear whether the Nevada Legislature can override the veto. Still, Harrah's Entertainment has called for an override. According to the San Jose Mercury News, the casino giant "pointed to an estimated $700 billion in buying power among potential lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender customers." The bill also has support from the powerful Nevada Resort Association.
The full statement from Governor Jim Gibbons is here (pdf.)