In 2002, the very early days of the gay marriage backlash – after Hawaii, before Massachusetts – Nevada voters solidly approved an amendment to the Constitution defining marriage as between a man and a woman. On Monday the Democrat-run state Senate voted to undo the definition, with one Republican joining the majority. The Republican wasn’t the story, though. State Sen. Kelvin Atkinson was.
Atkinson’s announcement brings the number of gay Democrats in the Nevada state Senate to three – in a caucus of eleven. (The number of black, gay Democrats? Two.) Democrats took control of the body in 2006, and haven’t given it up since; Atkinson rose in the period when gay marriage was fading as a controversy. “If this somehow interrupts your marriage, then your marriage was in trouble in the first place.”