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Nevada becomes 1st state to protect gay marriage in constitution
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Nevada becomes 1st state to protect gay marriage in constitution

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Nevada voters overwhelmingly agreed Tuesday to make the state the first in the nation to protect same-sex marriage in its constitution.

Nearly two-thirds of Nevada voters said the state’s constitution should be amended to remove a provision stating marriage is only between a man and a woman. Read a USA Today report on the results here.

According to the Associated Press, Nevada voters added four new amendments to the state constitution, including the right to same-sex marriage, a Voters' Bill of Rights and a renewable energy mandate.

Nevada voters removed an inactive same-sex marriage ban from the state constitution. The measure's passage comes two decades after the electorate voted to add the ban to the constitution and ensures same-sex marriage will remain state law even if a future U.S. Supreme Court overturns its 2015 decision legalizing it throughout the country.

“This overwhelming majority should be a reminder that LGBTQ equality is not just the right thing to do, it is exactly what Nevadans want,” said Briana Escamilla, Human Rights Campaign’s Nevada director.

Voters' approval enshrines same-sex marriage as a right in the constitution and establishes that religious organizations and clergy members have the right to refuse to perform a marriage.

Although the U.S. Supreme Court has overturned state same-sex marriage bans, before Election Day the provisions remained in the constitutions of 30 states. By approving the initiative, voters made Nevada the nation's first state to overturn a ban.

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Photos: Election Day scenes from across America

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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