Photo from source, LVRJ
Here's a big duuuhhh moment. Las Vegas (and the state of Nevada) are known as the marriage capital of the world. We have big extravagant weddings, fleets of limos, fancy wedding chapels. We also have little po-dunk chapels with Elvis impersonators officiating drunken unions of people like Britney Spears. But one place we missed the boat was same-sex marriage.
Some years ago, an unpleasant man named Richard Ziser, with the help of equally unpleasant right-wing radio host Alan Stock, managed to get a constitutional amendment passed (twice!) to restrict marriage to one man-one woman. There was much hypocrisy involved, with a call to morality and "faith." The ironies were abundant.
First, we are a state where gambling is legal, prostitution is legal in many counties, cigarettes are smoked in public (horrors!), booze is consumed with abandon, and our strip clubs are legendary. Also, Ziser (a protestant) and Stock (Jewish) were mightily aided in their effort by the Mormon Church. Mormons have a heavy influence in Sin City--ironically enough. But as far as I know, the three religious influences here rarely mix well. Unless you give them an easy target.
There was no organization in place with enough power to stop them. Nobody stood up and said, "Civil rights of the minority should never be voted upon by the majority." And let's face it, it is very easy to vote against other people, especially when you get to feel morally superior.
The amendment passed handily, and is now in force. But the state that is minutes to the south of Las Vegas has now legalized same-sex marriage. And gays (like yours truly and The Other Half) have gone or are going there in droves to get hitched! When you figure that my marriage--a very simple affair--cost around $600, and that most people are going to do it up a whole lot bigger than we did. . .well, California is raking it in. And Las Vegas, Reno and the rest of Nevada have missed the boat. And in a time when most cities are hurting, and Las Vegas now comes in third in tourism. . .well, I say we blame Richard Ziser. Thanks. . .DICK.
Side note: The comments section of the Las Vegas Review-Journal surprised even me. I expect a junior high school level of discourse on gay topics at Free Republic. Any AOL News story can also be expected to pull in sub-literate bigots on any topic. But I was especially distressed to see such nastiness, and a complete lack of class from many of the commenters found at the R-J.
Same-sex marriage ban might be costing Nevada
Read it at: Las Vegas Review-Journal
And for a great ribbing of Richard Ziser, go to: Las Vegas City Life