Kelvin Atkinson
Nevada Assemblyman Kelvin Atkinson (D-North Las Vegas) came out in front of the State Senate, saying: "I am a black, gay male." Facebook

In an hourlong-or-so gay marriage debate on Monday in the Nevada State Senate, Sen. Kelvin Atkinson (D-North Las Vegas) declared something he’s never said in public: “I’m black. I’m gay.”

Atkinson, 44, went on saying, “I know this is the first time many of you have heard me say that I am a black, gay male.”

The state Senate met over a measure that would repeal its ban on same-sex marriage, eventually passing it with a vote of 12-9, including 11 Democrats and one Republican voting in favor.

If the State Assembly, which has a 27 to 15 Democratic advantage, and both houses approve the bill in 2015, the measure will be voted on by the public in 2016.

In Atkinson’s argument for gay marriage, he denounced his opponents, saying, “If this hurts your marriage, then your marriage was in trouble in the first place.”

The Retail Association of Nevada found that 54 percent of Nevada voters favored repealing its gay marriage ban, which was passed in 2000 and 2002, and 43 percent who oppose the change in a February poll.

Watch the story of Atkinson's coming out below: