Rainbow Law has a document package designed to protect same-sex partners in Nevada. We offer 9 unique Affordable Document Packages, Individual Legal Documents and FREE Advance Directives to help protect your rights and the rights of your family. To order a legal document package that complies with Nevada law, hover your mouse over the “Buy A Package” link in the top menu and click on the package that best suits your needs in the drop-down list. If you’re not sure what package is right for you, click this link and we’ll help you figure out what you need.
Although the US Supreme Court has held that the federal government cannot discriminate against gay and lesbian couples legally married and living in a state that recognizes that marriage, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) couples living in Nevada are not legally recognized as spouses even if they were married in a marriage equality state or country.
Here is a run-down on Nevada law affecting the LGBTQ community:
1 Recognition of Same-Sex Relationships: Nevada has recognized same-sex unions since October 1, 2009 through domestic partnerships, after the state legislature enacted legislation over Governor Jim Gibbons’s veto. The state maintains a domestic partnership registry that enables same-sex couples to enjoy the same rights as married couples. It allows opposite-sex couples to establish domestic partnerships as well. Same-sex marriage is banned by the Constitution since 2002.
2 Adoption Law: Nevada permits single LGBT individuals to petition to adopt. Full joint adoption is only legally allowed within a domestic partnership.
3 Anti-Discrimination Law: In 1999, Nevada added prohibition of discrimination based on a person’s actual or perceived sexual orientation in public and private employment and public accommodations to state law. In the 2011 Legislative Session, Republican Governor of Nevada Brian Sandoval approved and signed into law three bills, A.B. 211, S.B. 331, and S.B. 368 which prohibit discrimination in areas of employment, housing and public accommodation on the basis of “gender identity or expression.” S.B. 331 also prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex at public accommodations, and S.B. 368 also prohibits housing discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. All three laws took effect on October 1, 2011. On October 1, 2013, Nevada amended its hate crime laws to include gender identity and expression.
On April 10, 2012, Lambda Legal filed a lawsuit, Sevcik v. Sandoval, in U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada on behalf of eight same-sex couples, claiming that Nevada’s categorization of same-sex domestic partnerships consigns same-sex couples to “a lesser, second-class status” and constitutes a violation of the U.S. Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection. Chief Judge Robert Jones ruled on November 29 that Nevada’s denial of marriage rights to same-sex couples does not violate the Equal Protection Clause. Lambda Legal said it would appeal the decision.
In 2013, the state legislature began work on legislation that repeals the constitutional ban and substitutes a gender-neutral definition of marriage. The Senate approved the legislation on April 22 on a 12–9 vote. The Assembly approved it on May 23 by a vote of 27-14. The 2015 Nevada Legislature must vote on exactly the same resolution again – for it to be passed on to voters in November 2016.
4 Sodomy Law: Nevada decriminalized sodomy in 1993, ten years before the U.S. Supreme Court in Lawrence v. Texas struck down laws that criminalized private consensual sexual activity.
5Gender Identity: Individuals who have undergone sex reassignment surgery will be issued a new birth certificate under a court order.
6Public Opinion: A February 2013 poll found majority support for same-sex marriage among Nevada voters. The Retail Association of Nevada poll found that 54% were in favor of it, 43% were opposed, and 3% had no opinion on the matter.
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