Las Vegas Pinoys: Same-sex marriage would boost state economy

By Bev Llorente, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

May 22, 2014

LAS VEGAS, Nev. – In a city where the wedding industry is a big draw, legalizing same-sex marriage in Sin City would boost not only the economy, but a hassle free ceremony that will relieve LGBT groups from traveling to the neighboring state of California where same sex marriage is recognized.

Pinay wedding chapel owner Marina Welch of the Riviera Royale Wedding Chapel says that although same sex ceremony rites are done, legalizing same sex marriage for wedding chapels would be a possible gold mine for the industry.

“It would be huge for a business like ours,” she said. “There’s nothing wrong with it. If somebody wants to be happy together, who are we to judge that?”

Louie Cellona and his partner traveled all the way to San Diego to get married. They said that it could’ve been convenient for their family and friends if the ceremony took place in Nevada.

“We definitely reap a lot more of the marriage benefits here,” he said. “It’s actually recognized here but the difference is we can’t get a marriage certificate here if we were to do a civil wedding here in Las Vegas”

Cellona and his partner are now living in Las Vegas. They are hoping that same-sex marriages will be finally legalized in Nevada.

Although domestic partnership is recognized in the Silver State, immigration attorney Vissia Calderon says that the benefits of being married, as opposed to domestic partnership, are totally different.

“It doesn’t matter if they reside here in Nevada which doesn’t recognized same-sex marriages. For purposes of federal immigration, they will grant benefits to same-sex couples even if they live in Nevada and marriage took place in California”

Since the US Supreme Court struck down part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, gay and lesbian couples can now be legally wed in 19 states and the District of Columbia.

In Nevada, eight LGBT couples challenged Nevada’s 2002 voter approved ban that was upheld by a federal judge in 2012. The 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco hasn’t scheduled arguments yet. Nevada Attorney general Catherine Cortez Masto indicated that they are no longer opposing the on-going ban for same-sex marriage.

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  • JRB
    23 May 2014 at 8:53 am - Reply

    No way Nevada will let same-sex ban stop in sin city. Look people of same-sex you don’t belong in a city that people don’t want you around it makes the city look bad? The 19 states that have same-sex people is nuts.