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Nevada Senator Kelvin Atkinson came out during an emotional debate to repeal the state's gay marriage ban.
A Nevada state senator came out during an emotional debate on repealing the state's gay marriage ban.
“I’m black. I’m gay,” Kelvin Atkinson told his colleagues in a trembling voice, according to the Las Vegas Sun. “I know this is the first time many of you have heard me say that I am a black, gay male.”
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The announcement took a number of people by surprise.
A Democrat from North Las Vegas, Atkinson is also a Chicago native and a single father with an outspoken social media presence.
He's now the fifth openly-gay member of the Nevada legislature.
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Following debate, the state Senate narrowly approved that bill that would strike the gay marriage ban from the state constitution and replace it with language requiring Nevada to recognize such unions.
It now moves to the state Assembly for further consideration.
If passed by lawmakers this year and in 2015, it would go to voters in 2016 for ratification.