Nevada state Sen. Kelvin Atkinson (D-North Las Vegas) decided to come out of the closet during a legislative debate Monday over a measure to repeal the state’s gay marriage ban.
“I’m black. I’m gay,” he said, according to the Las Vegas Sun in a “trembling” voice. “I know this is the first time many of you have heard me say that I am a black, gay male.”
He dismissed the idea that gay marriage threatened other marriages. “If this hurts your marriage, then your marriage was in trouble in the first place.”
The measure passed the Senate by a 12-9 vote, with 11 Democrats and one Republican voting in favor. It would remove the ban on gay marriages in the Nevada Constitution. If passed by the Assembly, which has a 27-to-15 Democratic advantage, and both houses again in 2015, the repeal would then be put to voters in 2016.
Nevada voters passed a gay marriage ban in 2000 and 2002. The legislature passed a domestic partnership law over former Gov. Jim Gibbons’ (R) veto in 2009. A February poll by the Retail Association of Nevada showed that 54 percent of Nevadans favor repeal while 43 percent oppose.
Out and Proud Celebrities
25 photos Launch gallery
1. EJ Johnson
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2. Robin Roberts announced her sexual orientation on Facebook in 2013. (Photo: AP)
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3. CNN Anchor Don Lemon
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4. Previously married to a man for seven years, Wanda Sykes officially came out in 2008.
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5. NBA player Jason Collins
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6. Fitness trainer Shaun T came out in 2013 and married his longtime boyfriend.
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7. Michael Sam announced he was gay in an ESPN interview.
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8. Singer Meshell Ndegeocello is an open lesbian and huge advocate for gay rights.(PR)
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9. Orlando Cruz is the first active, openly gay boxer.
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10. Elton John announced he was gay in 1976, and has been openly out since. (PR)
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11. Director and Producer Paris Barclay has been with his partner for 14 years. (PR)
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12. R&B singer Frank Ocean recently divulged to the world that his first love was a man. (AP)
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13. André Leon Talley, fashion icon and editor at Vogue Magazine. (PR)
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14. TV personality and hair stylist Miss Lawrence.
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15. Singer Melissa Etheridge announced she was a lesbian in 1993 and has been a huge gay rights activist since. (PR)
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16. "Precious" and "The Butler" director Lee Daniels
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17. Andre Charles or famously known as drag queen RuPaul has been openly gay for many years. (PR)
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18. Ellen Degeneres and Portia De Rossi have been married for four years. (PR)
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19. Famous Latino singer Ricky Martin finally came out as gay in 2010. (PR)
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20. Famous Choreographer Bill T. Jones is openly gay. (PR)
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21. Former N'Sync band member Lance Bass announced he was gay in 2006. (PR)
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22. "Fast Car" singer Tracy Chapman. (PR)
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23. Anderson Cooper came out in an open email to fans. (AP)
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24. Celebrity hair Stylist and TV personality Derek J.
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25. Catwalk coach Miss J. Alexander.
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