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Nevada lawmakers reject veto of partnership bill

By BRENDAN RILEY, Associated Press

CARSON CITY, Nev. -- Nevada's Assembly voted Sunday to override Gov. Jim Gibbons' veto and to change state law so that domestic partners, whether gay or straight, have many of the rights and benefits that Nevada offers to married couples.

The Assembly's 28-14 vote - the bare two-thirds majority needed - followed the state Senate's vote a day earlier to enact the measure into state lawbooks over the conservative Republican governor's objections.

The bill provides that domestic partners have the same rights as married couples in matters such as community property and responsibility for debts. It also prohibits discrimination against domestic partners.

Critics contended that domestic partners can sign private contracts to accomplish many of the goals of the bill, and that it conflicted with the intent of Nevadans who voted in 2002 for a constitutional amendment supporting marriage between a man and a woman.

The measure states, among other things, that no "solemnization ceremony" is required and it's "left to the dictates and conscience of partners entering into a domestic partnership" whether to have such a ceremony.

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