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Nevada Legalizes Domestic Partnerships

The Nevada Legislature overrode a Governor’s veto and legalized domestic partnerships in the state this past weekend. The state Assembly voted 28 to 14 Sunday after the state Senate voted 14 to 7 to overrule Governor Jim Gibbons’ veto of the legislation. The law will go into effect on October 1.

With some exceptions, the bill (see PDF) state: “Domestic partners have the same rights, protections and benefits, and are subject to the same responsibilities, obligations and duties under law, whether derived from statutes, administrative regulations, court rules, government policies, common law or any other provisions or sources of law, as are granted to and imposed upon spouses.”

The legislation requires domestic partners to file paperwork with the secretary of state, prohibits discrimination against domestic partners, but does not require employers to provide domestic partner benefits, reported the Mercury News.

Michael Ginsburg of the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada told the New York Times, “the significance here is it literally equates domestic partner with spouse under Nevada state law….When you’re in the hospital, forced to make decisions for your partner, all you have to say is, ‘This is my spouse,’ and that carries tremendous weight.”

Sources:

New York Times 6/1/09; Nevada SB 283; Nevada State Legislature; Associated Press 5/19/09