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WATCH: Nevada Lawmaker Comes Out During Gay Marriage Debate

Democrat Kelvin Atkinson represents North Las Vegas in the Nevada Senate. i i

Democrat Kelvin Atkinson represents North Las Vegas in the Nevada Senate. Cathleen Allison/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Cathleen Allison/AP
Democrat Kelvin Atkinson represents North Las Vegas in the Nevada Senate.

Democrat Kelvin Atkinson represents North Las Vegas in the Nevada Senate.

Cathleen Allison/AP

With all the other news demanding our attention in the past week, we missed an interesting dispatch from Nevada: Just as the state Senate began moving toward repealing a ban on same-sex marriage, a state senator surprised his colleagues with an announcement.

The Las Vegas Sun reports this happened on Monday during a floor debate. The paper reports:

"In a particularly emotional moment, Sen. Kelvin Atkinson, D-North Las Vegas, publicly declared for the first time that he is gay.

" 'I'm black. I'm gay,' Atkinson said in a trembling voice after describing his father's interracial re-marriage that would have been banned earlier in American history. 'I know this is the first time many of you have heard me say that I am a black, gay male.'

"Atkinson went on to rebut the argument that gay marriage threatens any other definition of marriage."

"If this hurts your marriage, then your marriage was in trouble in the first place," Atkinson added.

The Nevada Senate went on to vote 12-9 in favor of sending SJR13, an amendment to the Nevada Constitution requiring the recognition of all marriages regardless of gender, to the full assembly.

Good Morning America reports: "Atkinson, a young single father and Chicago native, has served as a Democratic member of the state's Legislature for more than a decade."

Gawker points us to video of the floor speech:

YouTube

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