Following yesterday's ruling from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals striking down same-sex marriage bans in Idaho and Nevada, the clerk for Clark County in Nevada announced that same-sex couples will be able to begin seeking marriage licenses starting today at 2 P.M. local time. Clark County encompasses Las Vegas within its boundaries. The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports:
Clark County Clerk Diana Alba said the Marriage Bureau will start issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples at 2 p.m. today, according to county spokesman Erik Pappa.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals expedited the date when its decision to void Nevada’s same-sex marriage ban will take effect, he said.
The Marriage Bureau is at 201 E. Clark Ave., on the first floor of the Regional Justice Center in downtown Las Vegas.
Meanwhile, the 9th Circuit, which promised to issue its mandate "forthwith", did just that, issuing an order that declared its ruling shall take effect immediately:
The judgment of this Court, entered October 07, 2014, takes effect this date. This constitutes the formal mandate of this Court issued pursuant to Rule 41(a) of the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure.
Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval--who previously stated that he believes marriage is between one man and one woman but also said he would respect a decision from the courts that contradicted his personal beliefs--issued a statement of support for the 9th Circuit's decision:
“The ruling today confirmed my previous position that the State’s arguments against same sex marriage are no longer defensible in court. The SmithKline decision in February changed the legal standard which is why we originally withdrew our appeal. I respect the decision of the Court,” said Governor Brian Sandoval.
Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto, urged local clerks to work with the appropriate district attorneys to determine whether to start issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples:
“We are encouraged by the decision of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. However, although the Ninth Circuit has filed its decision in the case, it has not yet issued its mandate. The parties have 14 days to seek reconsideration or seek a stay to file an appeal with the United State Supreme Court. County clerks should work with their respective district attorneys on the appropriate course of action."
The court's mandate had not been issued at the time of both Sandoval and Cortez Masto's statements.
Watch a video of equality advocates celebrating yesterday's ruling and read the mandate issued by the 9th Circuit, AFTER THE JUMP...