An anti-gay marriage measure on Nevada's November ballot was branded as "discriminatory" and "hateful" by opponents at a candlelight vigil Saturday night. About 150 people, some holding placards reading "Support All Families--Vote No on 2," gathered on the steps of the Washoe County Courthouse in Reno to urge defeat of Question 2. The one-hour event was sponsored by the gay political group Stonewall Democrats of Northern Nevada.
Speakers accused proponents of stirring hatred against gays and lesbians and of resorting to distortions to try to sell Question 2. They said the real purpose of Question 2 is not to protect marriage but to deny gays and lesbians the same rights enjoyed by everyone else. They also noted that state law already defines marriage as between only a man and woman and that Question 2's defeat would not change that.
"What Question 2 is really about is homophobic bigotry, plain and simple," said Rabbi Myra Soifer of Reno's Temple Sinai. "If it passes, the next thing we'll see are efforts to discriminate against gays in other areas."
The measure, which defines marriage as only between a man and woman, was passed by voters in 2000 with 70% in favor; it must be passed again this year in order for the Nevada constitution to be amended.