Reno wedding chapel considers same-sex unions

BY Advocate.com Editors

November 26 2002 1:00 AM ET

Even though Nevada does not recognize same-sex marriage, one Reno wedding chapel may begin performing same-sex commitment ceremonies similar to the wedding ceremonies offered in Las Vegas.

George Flint, owner of the Chapel of the Bells, said he has never provided same-sex ceremony services but thinks he will do so soon. He expects other Reno chapels to follow suit to help reverse a decline in the numbers of marriage ceremonies performed in northern Nevada. "We are turning away, like, three [same-sex] couples a month that want a commitment," Flint told the Reno Gazette-Journal. "If I can do those same-sex commitments, it's going to help fill up spaces."

Flint said he may require all same-sex couples to sign a waiver or consent form stating that they understand the ceremony is not a legal marriage or recognized by the state of Nevada.
"I don't have a problem with same-sex couples who are very fond of each other," he said. "They should be given the opportunity to have a commitment ceremony."

The commitment ceremonies do not bother foes of gay marriage, said Richard Ziser, chairman of the Coalition for the Protection of Marriage. His group spearheaded the campaign on behalf of Question 2, the recent anti-gay marriage measure approved by Nevada voters. "We really don't pay much attention to it at all," he told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. "If they want to have commitment services, that's fine by us. As long as the law does not recognize them."

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