LAS VEGAS -- For the first time, U.S. Supreme Court justices are considering a ruling on same-sex marriage. The controversial issue is also being debated in the Nevada Legislature.
Legislators are now considering a bill that would let Nevada voters decide if same-sex marriage should be allowed.
It was a packed Tuesday as people from both sides of the issue gave input to lawmakers. Daniel Hinkley and Ron Lawrence were there to show their support for same-sex marriage.
"I had to journey to the state of New York after 22 years of being in a relationship to get married," Lawrence said.
"It's not human, it's dehumanizing," Hinkley added.
Legislation is underway that could help same-sex couples realize their dream. Under Senate Joint Resolution 13, lawmakers may let voters decide to remove language from the state constitution recognizing marriage only between a male and female.
Some disagree with changing the language.
"Many times, only a man and woman, and the union of a man and a woman can procreate to perpetuate the species as God commanded in the garden," said William Stoddard with the Coalition for the Protection of Marriage.
Others say it will deteriorate their version of a family with a traditional mother and father.
"I ask you, that as members of government to promote those members that maintain and strengthen the family as the fundamental union of society," Reverend Father David Hoff of St. Paul's Charismatic Episcopal Church, not related to the Episcopal Church.
Voters, with 60 percent of the vote, officially banned same-sex marriage in 2002.
"Gay people are humans and our feelings are important," Hinkley.
"There are emotional ramifications, as far as being considered a second class citizen in our country," Lawrence said.
They want the same rights as other committed couples.
Lawmakers could leave it up to constituents to decide with a vote in 2016. Tuesday's hearing was the first of back-to-back sessions on same-sex marriage laws. The court will listen to arguments Wednesday on a separate challenge to the federal defense of the Marriage Act, which, like the California law -- defines marriage as between a man and a woman.
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