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Nevada State Senate Bill 283 went into effect this week, recognizing rights of same-sex couples equal to those of married couples. And 800 couples have already taken the State up on the civil union legislation.
Not to be mistaken, Nevada's state constitution still bans same-sex marriage, but the new domestic partnership bill means more rights and recognitions for same-sex couples and heterosexual couples who apply. These include community property rights and right to seek financial support after a dissolution of the union. Ending a domestic partnership in Nevada will be equivalently complex as carrying out a divorce in the state.
The measure was sponsored by Senator David Parks and faced opposition from Nevada Governor Jim Gibbons. However, his veto was overridden by state lawmakers in late May 2009.
It remains to be seen how companies in the state will respond to the measure. The bill does not require companies to extend insurance to domestic partners, but with the legal recognition of domestic partnership status employers may feel the pressure to offer coverage.
Nevada joins 10 other states in conferring legal recognition to domestic partnerships. The other states that have legalized domestic partnership include: California, Nevada, Colorado, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, New Jersey, Oregon, Wisconsin, and Washington.