Same-Sex Marriage Separates Candidates in Nevada


The Las Vegas Review-Journal Capital Bureau:

President Barack Obama's support for gay marriage was bound to become a campaign issue for Nevada legislative races in November's general election.

That's where Republicans, who generally don't like the idea, and Democrats, who mostly back it, will duke it out.

But just two weeks after the presidential announcement, the idea already is stirring up a Democratic primary race for state Senate.

The race for Senate District 1 in North Las Vegas between incumbent John Lee and newcomer Patricia Spearman provides the first test of the election season to determine whether Nevada residents support gay marriage.

In one corner sits Lee: Mormon, white, politically moderate and a legislator who voted against domestic partnerships and who opposes gay marriage.

Lee also has served the past 15 years in the Legislature and holds the Senate Democratic Caucus endorsement.

In the other chair is Spearman: evangelical minister, black, gay and a liberal who favors same-sex marriage. She never has held political office in Nevada.