Friday, September 23, 2011

NSDC Statement on Booing of Gay Soldier at Last Night's GOP Debate

Andrew Davey, Secretary & Political Director 
Derek Washington, President 
(702) 576-4978/ 
We at Nevada Stonewall Democratic Caucus (NSDC) have been celebrating the end of the discriminatory and dangerous “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” (DADT) policy that had been forcing LGBTQ American soldiers out of our military. This was harming our national security by preventing our military from simply recruiting the best and brightest that they needed to protect our country. Last fall, Senator Harry Reid fulfilled his promise to pass repeal. And this week, President Obama fulfilled his promise by implementing repeal of DADT.
Yet last night at the Fox News/Google Republican Presidential Debate in Orlando, Florida, America saw complete and utter disrespect for our military and our country when a gay soldier was booed by Florida Republicans in the audience for simply asking the Republican candidates if they were serious about reinstituting DADT.  This American soldier, Stephen Hill, is currently serving our country in Iraq. He has been busy defending our freedom, yet Florida Republicans refuse to allow him the freedom to serve his country, or even the freedom to ask politicians questions regarding military policy for that matter!
We at NSDC have to ask when this kind of behavior became acceptable. When is it ever acceptable to dishonor our country by booing an active duty soldier? And when is it ever acceptable to treat any soldier as a second-class citizen simply because of who he or she loves?
What made this embarrassing display of juvenile behavior even worse was when Former Pennsylvania Senator and current Republican Presidential hopeful Rick Santorum proceeded to disparage Stephen Hill, call for the return of DADT, and behave as if all that booing of Hill had never happened. And with the sole exceptions of Former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman and Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson, none of the other Republican Presidential Candidates condemned the homophobia and disrespect for a US soldier displayed by the audience at that debate. And when confronted after the debate, both Republican frontrunners Rick Perry and Mitt Romney had trouble mustering any courage to defend Hill and fully condemn what happened at that debate.
It is tragic that sound military and national security policy is being rejected by most Republican Presidential Candidates, and it is disgusting that Florida Republicans actually felt comfortable in dishonoring an American soldier serving our country so honorably abroad. This should really tell America all we need to know about these candidates and their willingness to actually do what is best for our country.
Nevada Stonewall Democratic Caucus was founded in 2005. Our membership consists of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Nevadans and our straight allies. We will lobby and educate members of the Nevada State Legislature to protect the rights and advocate on behalf of Nevadans who are routinely discriminated against because of their sexuality and gender identity. 

Friday, June 24, 2011

NSDC Statement on Marriage Equality Passage in New York

Andrew Davey, Secretary & Political Director
(702) 806-1340/
Chris Miller, President
(702) 569-6744/

We at Nevada Stonewall Democratic Caucus (NSDC) are glad to see the passage of marriage equality in New York today. With Assembly passage already done and four Senate Republicans joining twenty-nine Senate Democrats to pass the bill out of The State Senate tonight, the bill will soon go to Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo's desk for his signature.

And thanks to the persistence of both Governor Cuomo and the many equality activists working tirelessly to make this day happen, New York is making history. New York will the the sixth US state to enact civil marriage equality (following Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont, and New Hampshire), the third state to do so through the legislative process, and the most populous state ever to do so.

We at NSDC salute our friends, family, and fellow allies in New York for their much deserved victory, and we are committed to working for progress on marriage equality and the end to all unjust discrimination here in Nevada and nationwide.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

NSDC Statement on AB 211 Becoming Law

Chris Miller, President NSDC
The Nevada Stonewall Democratic Caucus is pleased that Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval has today signed AB211, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, into law. This new law will now make Nevada a member of an ever-growing group of states plus the District of Columbia that has added gender identity and expression to existing employment discrimination laws.

 The Nevada Stonewall Democratic Caucus (NSDC) and its members have worked tirelessly on this issue along with a broad coalition of LGBT and ally organizations. NSDC President Chris Miller stated, “Nevada’s LGBT Community has come a long way in the last few years and I am pleased that Stonewall and its members played a part in the passage if this important piece of civil rights legislation.“ Yasmena, Director of Transgender Outreach stated, “What many people take for granted is a privilege to the transgender community. For instance being qualified, driven and capable to deliver a job are not guaranteeing factors for transgender Nevadans to land a position, However, signing AB211 into our law will make a big difference. It’s about time!”
The NSDC would like to thank Governor Sandoval and ALL members of the Nevada Assembly and Senate who voted for enactment of this law that now shows the country that Nevada is a fair and welcoming state for all.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A Note from Chris Giunchigliani

Chris Giunchigliani is the Democrat running for Mayor of Las Vegas, and is a past officer of Southern Nevada Stonewall. She has a strong pro-equality track record, but her opponent has made some concerning, and at times contradictory, statements on providing equal rights for Nevada's LGBTQ families. Early voting starts this Saturday for municipal election runoffs in the Clark County cities of Boulder City, Henderson, Las Vegas, Mesquite, and North Las Vegas.

May 17, 2011
Contact: Chris Giunchigliani 521-1663 or Gray and Associates 388-7788

Carolyn Goodman opposes gay marriage

Candidate for Mayor admits opposition to gay marriage, shows “stunning lack of knowledge of LGBT issues”

LAS VEGAS-Sunday night Carolyn Goodman and Chris Giunchigliani finally debated on Channel 8 news. Carolyn Goodman has refused to debate Chris Giunchigliani since April 21st and has canceled over a half dozen previously scheduled debates. It was clear from Carolyn Goodman’s confusing responses last night why she has been so hesitant to debate.

Carolyn Goodman was asked about her comments at a forum  in front of the Lambda Business Association, moderated by Steve Friess (it was not a debate—Goodman refused to share the stage and left in the middle of Giunchigliani’s interview).  At the event she was asked if she supported gay marriage and she commented that if she were gay and wanted to get married she would “be going to a state right now that legalizes a marriage of same sex individuals” but opposed gay marriage in Nevada.

In Sunday night’s debate she claimed the comment was taken out of context. She then reaffirmed her opposition tomarriage equality but thinks if there was “urgency” for a gay couple to get married, they should leave the state, but then return once they were married. She failed to define “urgency.”

Her remarks come as commentators are noting Nevada’s failure to stay competitive in  the expansion of the tourist wedding market, losing out to gay-friendly states.

Carolyn Goodman appeared to not understand the fact that if a gay couple is married out of state and returns, Nevada doesn’t recognize their marriage or their rights as a family.

"Carolyn Goodman has repeatedly shown a stunning lack of knowledge on LGBT issues, especially marriage equality" said National Stonewall Democrats board member Bill Jacobs.  “Las Vegas deserves a Mayor who is ready to take the reins and begin governing on the first day of work, not someone who will need an extended on the job training program.”

"I find it offensive that Carolyn Goodman would suggest that I go to another state if I felt the need to have the same rights as any other loving couple in Nevada", said LGBT community leader James Healey.

Chris Giunchigliani for Mayor
1717 South 15th Street, Las Vegas, Nevada 89104
Personal Cell Phone: 521-1663
Chris Giunchigliani for Mayor Headquarters
6600 West Charleston, Suite 120 Las Vegas, Nevada 89146
Headquarters Phone: 834-3333

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Will Joe Heck Keep His Promise? Or Follow the Radical Right Agenda Again?

It looks like House Republican leaders care more about pleasing teabagger extremists than doing the right thing. They are again playing politics with both our civil rights and our national security.

The House Armed Services Committee voted Wednesday to bring to the floor the 2012 defense authorization bill with three antigay amendments — one criticized by a gay service member advocacy group as “a shameful and embarrassing waste of time.”

The three amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act, all largely passed along party lines, would require the four service branch chiefs to sign off on “don’t ask, don’t tell” repeal; prohibit weddings for same-sex couples on military facilities by chaplains; and affirm that the Defense of Marriage Act applies to Defense Department policies. [...]

Alexander Nicholson, executive director of Servicemembers United, doubted that any of the amendments offered would ultimately pass in the Senate — or be signed into law by President Obama. “The offering of this amendment was a shameful and embarrassing waste of time," Nicholson said of the Hunter amendment. "The service chiefs have unequivocally said that they do not want this extra burden forced upon them, so if Congress really values their advice on this issue they should take it and forget this unnecessary and unwanted amendment."

Of the antigay amendments passed, Rep. Adam Smith, ranking member of the committee, said in a late Wednesday statement: "'Don’t ask, don’t tell' forces capable and willing young men and women out of our armed services and undermines national security. These amendments only seek to delay the repeal of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ and further undermine our military readiness.”

So once these wasteful amendments go to the full House for floor votes, will Joe Heck agree to this nonsense? Last year, he said he supports repeal. But with House GOP leadership and "tea party" bigwigs demanding more discrimination in the military, will Heck buckle under the pressure (as he usually does)?

Call Joe Heck at (202) 225-3252 and let him know what you think about Congress wasting time on these pointless votes while people here in Nevada need jobs. Also make sure to ask him to oppose these amendments and stay true to his word to let DADT repeal stand. We can't stand for any more of this. The unlawful discharges must end and we must let the military keep the service members needed to keep our country safe.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

NSDC Statement on AB 211's Passage

Andrew Davey, Secretary & Political Director 
(702) 806-1340/ 
Chris Miller, President 
(702) 569-6744/ 
We at Nevada Stonewall Democratic Caucus (NSDC) were encouraged today by 
the passage of AB 211 in the Nevada State Senate today.  If this bill is signed into 
law by Governor Sandoval, it will represent significant progress in the fight for 
LGBTQ equality here in Nevada. AB 211 is the fully inclusive ENDA (Employment 
Non-discrimination Act) that rejects the notion of “legalized” workplace 
discrimination against transgender Nevadans. 
As of now, far too many workers have lost their jobs for no good reason. And as 
we in Nevada are still enduring the pain of a difficult recession and the beginning 
of a fragile economic recovery, we can not afford this kind of chronic, forced 
unemployment. Workplace nondiscrimination truly is a jobs issue, and AB 211 
goes a great distance to better ensure all Nevadans who seek honest work can 
obtain it. 
As the 76th Session of the Nevada Legislature continues, NSDC will continue to 
watch what happens in Carson City, advocate for bills that advance LGBTQ 
equality, and work for a fair & sensible budget that works for all of Nevada’s 
working families. And with The Legislature’s passage of AB 211 today, we are 
confident about continued progress on ending unjust discrimination, advancing 
civil rights, and ensuring all in our community can access quality education & 
health care. 
Nevada Stonewall Democratic Caucus was founded in 2005. Our membership consists of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Nevadans and our straight allies. We will lobby and educate members of the Nevada State Legislature to protect the rights and advocate on behalf of Nevadans who are routinely discriminated against because of their sexuality and gender identity. 

Monday, April 25, 2011

Nevada Stonewall Statement on Today's Senate Votes

Andrew Davey, Secretary & Political Director
(702) 806-1340/
Chris Miller, President
(702) 569-6744/ 
We at Nevada Stonewall Democratic Caucus (NSDC) were encouraged today by the passage of SB 331 and SB 368 in the Nevada State Senate today.  If these bills become law, they will represent significant progress in the fight for LGBTQ equality here in Nevada. SB 331 addresses and moves to remedy public accommodations discrimination against transgender Nevadans, and SB 368 addresses housing discrimination that is still allowed against any LGBTQ Nevadans.
However, we were disappointed by the painfully narrow failure of SB 180 today. If passed, this bill would have penalized dangerous and abhorrent hate crimes against transgender Nevadans. No one deserves to be violently attacked for who one is, but this regularly happens to far too many transgender Nevadans. And until our state hate crimes statute is revised to include anti-transgender hate crimes, far too many people in this state will still be vulnerable to such unjust brutal attacks.
As the 76th Session of the Nevada Legislature continues, NSDC will continue to watch what happens in Carson City, advocate for bills that advance LGBTQ equality, and work for a fair & sensible budget that works for all of Nevada’s working families. And despite today’s disappointing loss on SB 180, we are hopeful that Senate passage of SB 331 and SB 368 are the start of further progress on ending discrimination, advancing civil rights, and ensuring all in our community can access quality education & health care.

Nevada Stonewall Democratic Caucus was founded in 2005. Our membership consists of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Nevadans and our straight allies. We will lobby and educate members of the Nevada State Legislature to protect the rights and advocate on behalf of Nevadans who are routinely discriminated against because of their sexuality and gender identity. 

Monday, April 18, 2011

Good Day for Equality: AB 211 Passed Assembly

(Also at Nevada Progressive)

Here's some actual good news to come out of Carson City today: AB 211 passed!

OK... So? So... This.

As of today, it's still "legal" to fire transgender people from work for no good reason. AB 211 will change that if passed and signed into law. We're now about 1/3 of the way there with Assembly passage, so now we need full Senate passage, then preferably a signature from The Governor. (If Sandoval vetoes, then we need at least 2/3 support from each house of The Legislature to override.)

So now is the perfect time to contact your State Senator and let them know you want AB 211 passed.

Thursday, April 14, 2011


By Chris Miller, President

If citizens electing representatives is the bedrock of our democracy, then why is there a bill in Carson City to change all of that. AB548, currently in the Assembly Education Committee will take away our rights as Nevadans to elect members of the State Board of Education. This bill, if passed, will make those 9 positions appointed. Why, because lawmakers want to control policy, reward friends and make you think it is in our best interest – it is NEVER in our best interest to let them take away our right to vote!

Some other points to note:

1. AB548 would be taking away the right of the citizen voter for elected representation by REGION.
2. Most appointed positions are given to white males and are not reflective of demographics. Current board is comprised of 5 women and 4 men. Ethnically, there are 2 African Americans, 3 Hispanics and 5 Caucasian members.
3. AB548 would give the Governor a 'rubber stamp' Education Board to make curricula. textbook and policy decisions.

The last is important because last year in Texas, the conservative Texas State Board of Education approved new textbooks. Among the changes form the old books: Students would be required to learn about the “unintended consequences” of Title IX, affirmative action, and the Great Society, and would need to study conservative icons like Phyllis Schlafly, the Heritage Foundation, and the Moral Majority.

The slave trade would be renamed the “Atlantic triangular trade,” American “imperialism” changed to “expansionism,” and all references to “capitalism” have been replaced with “free enterprise.”

The role of Thomas Jefferson – who argued for the separation of church and state – is minimized in several places, and the standards would emphasize the degree to which the Founding Fathers were driven by Christian principles.

The politicized textbooks would be a problem just inside Texas, but economic factors have given the state a huge influence over textbooks throughout the country. Unlike many other states, Texas makes the decisions on a state level on what books local school districts can buy. So when the state makes a decision on what books to purchase for its 4.7 million high school students, publishers take notice. The only bigger market for textbooks in the country is California, a state whose budget is in such disarray, it announced that it won’t be buying new books until 2014. In the meantime, an anonymous industry executive told Washington Monthly, “publishers will do whatever it takes to get on the Texas list,” even if that means caving in to right-wing activists.

Needles to say, if Gov Sandoval gets the right to appoint individuals instead of the electorate exercising it's rights under a democracy, we could be next here in Nevada.

This bill may be voted out of committee as early as today. Please take a moment and call members of the Assembly Education Committee and tell them why you oppose this bill.

Assembly Education Committee

David P. Bobzien (Home) 775-393-9709 (Leg. Bldg.) 775-684-8559

Vice Chair:
Marilyn Dondero Loop (Cell) 702-556-0224 (Leg. Bldg.) 775-684-8833

Paul Aizley (Home) 702-361-8262 (Leg. Bldg.) 775-684-8821

Elliot T. Anderson (Home) 702-733-4073 (Leg. Bldg.) 775-684-8835

Olivia Diaz (Home) 702-501-8994 (Leg. Bldg.) 775-684-8553

Lucy Flores (Wk) 702-437-0587 (Leg. Bldg.) 775-684-8583

April Mastroluca (Cell) 702-286-8568 (Leg. Bldg.) 775-684-8855

Harvey J. Munford (Cell) 702-375-0601 (Leg. Bldg.) 775-684-8545

Dina Neal (Home) 702-738-5870 (Leg. Bldg.) 775-684-8587

Ira Hansen (Cell) 775-221-2502 (Leg. Bldg.) 775-684-8851

Randy Kirner (Home) 775-852-3857 (Leg. Bldg.) 775-684-8848

Richard McArthur (Home) 702-396-1065 (Leg. Bldg.) 775-684-8829

Lynn D. Stewart (Cell) 702-370-2185 (Leg. Bldg.) 775-684-8823

Melissa Woodbury (Home) 702-762-3110 (Leg. Bldg.) 775-684-8503

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Do Not Support Hate and Bigotry

The following individuals responded to the Nevada Concerned Citizens Group Values Voters Guide. This group is an organization that we would consider Religious Right Zealots. The only thing we can say is that to even agree to complete their questionnaire and seek their endorsement would mean they support Hate and Bigotry.

We truly applaud the candidates NOT on this list.

Boulder City
Council Linda Graham
Council Rodney S. Woodbury
Mayor Linda G. Strickland
Mayor Roger Tobler ENDORSED

Council 1 Edward Hamilton
Council 2 John Simmons
Council 4 Ron Hubel
Council 4 Michael Mayberry ENDORSED

Las Vegas
Mayor Larry Brown
Mayor Katherine Duncan
Mayor Joe Falco
Mayor Larry M.Jeppesen
Mayor Christine Montez
Mayor Marlene Rogoff
Mayor Steven D.Ross ENDORSED
Mayor Anthony Wernicke

Council 1 Margarita Rebollal
Council 3 Tony Liker ENDORSED
Council 3 Carlo Poliak
Council 5 Randy Voyard

Council Leo Black Jr.
Council Kraig Hafen ENDORSED
Council Allan S.Litman
Council Justin Ludvigson
Council Robert Smith

North Las Vegas
Council 2 CarlGatson ENDORSED
Council 4 Wade Wagner ENDORSED

Henderson Municipal Court
3 William M.Waters

Las Vegas Municipal Court
2 Marco Angioni II
2 Sonny Bonaventure Chose not to have answers published
2 Robert Kurth
2 Susan Roger
2 George Trachtman Chose not to have answers published

North Las Vegas Municipal Court
1 MarshaKimble-Simms
1 Catherine Ramsey

Why Don't These Local Candidates Value Our Local LGBTQ Families?


March 31, 2011
Chris Miller: President, Nevada Stonewall Democratic Caucus 
(702) 569-6744/ 
Derek Washington: Chair, Stonewall Democratic Club of Southern Nevada 
(702) 576-4978/ 
Andrew Davey: Political Director, Stonewall Democratic Club of Southern Nevada
Secretary & Political Director, Nevada Stonewall Democratic Caucus 
(702) 806-1340/

As we at Stonewall read through Nevada Concerned Citizens’ (NCC) candidate questionnaire, we were saddened to discover that even more Southern Nevada municipal candidates agree with radical, anti-equality, serial campaigner Richard Ziser that Nevada’s LGBTQ families deserve no civil rights. Just to be clear, the candidates supporting Item #6 are saying LGBTQ families deserve no legal recognition and no human dignity. The candidates opposing Items #7 and #12 want our schools to do nothing as LGBTQ kids to be bullied to death, often literally. Basically, the candidates who are standing with Richard Ziser agree to carry out his agenda to attack many thousands of Southern Nevada families just for who they are.

In Henderson, Republican City Council candidates John Simmons (Ward 2), Ron Hubel (Ward 4), and Mike Mayberry (Ward 4) all support Item #6 and oppose Items #7 and #12. In addition, candidate Ed Hamilton (Ward 1) opposes Items #7 and #12, and would not commit to an answer on Item #6. Do not be fooled by what these candidates say about “valuing Henderson families”.  These candidates’ answers to Richard Ziser indicate that they do not value many thousands of Henderson families, as they seek to take away our domestic partner rights and encourage bullying against innocent children in school. Mike Mayberry is especially of concern, as he is the one Henderson candidate to actually earn Nevada Concerned Citizens’ endorsement. This means that Mayberry essentially endorses the same brand of extreme anti-LGBTQ bigotry that defines NCC, and that he does not share the same true family values as most Henderson voters.

And if that were not troubling enough, North Las Vegas Republican City Council candidates Carl Gatson (Ward 2) and Wade Wagner (Ward 4) also support Item #6 and oppose Items #7 and #12. Again, this means Gatson and Wagner stand with the NCC extremists in taking away LGBTQ families’ domestic partner rights and encouraging bullying against innocent children. Apparently, this was also sufficient for Gatson and Wager to earn NCC’s endorsement. North Las Vegas families certainly deserve better than this.

Families throughout Nevada truly deserve better than this. Our families have suffered alongside everyone else in this state during this recent recession, and local governments are better served focusing on economic recovery than legislating hatred and bigotry. For Henderson City Council candidate Mike Mayberry and North Las Vegas City Council candidates Carl Gatson and Wade Wagner to seek, and then earn, NCC’s endorsement, they had to demonstrate that they care more about promoting hate than encouraging sound economic development. All of the other municipal candidates in Las Vegas, Henderson, North Las Vegas, and elsewhere who wasted time answering NCC’s questionnaire and supporting their extreme positions also demonstrated a troubling lack of judgment.

We at Stonewall believe equality under the law is not a Democratic, Republican, or Independent issue. Rather, it is an American and Nevadan issue of justice. We are disgusted to see Nevada Concerned Citizens again push local candidates to pledge to waste local government resources on bigotry, and we are equally disgusted and disappointed by all the local candidates who took NCC’s bait.

Steve Ross and Larry Brown Support a Repeal of Nevada Citizen's Rights

By Chris Miller
President, Nevada Stonewall Democratic Caucus

As President of the NSDC and a member of the Nevada State Democratic Party Executive Board it is my job to proudly support Democratic candidates at all levels of government. As a leader in Nevada's LGBTQ community it is my job to call out those who are not supportive of LGBTQ rights.

Last night, March 30, 2011, I attended a mayoral forum hosted by Si Se Puede, the Latino Democratic Caucus. There were 4 Democratic candidates present to answer a variety of questions that effect Hispanic citizens of Las Vegas. Because of a response by some of the candidates to a recent endorsement questionnaire by the Nevada Values Coalition, there was a question asked concerning Nevada's current Domestic Partnership law during this forum. The 4 candidates were asked if they would support a repeal of the Domestic Partnership law that was enacted 2 years ago. Here are there responses:

Katie Duncan said "NO".

Chris Giunchigliani said she would never even answer any questionnaire from an organization that would be in favor of such a thing. "NO"


In the 2009 Legislative Session, Sen. David Parks courageously introduced SB283, The Domestic Partnership Act. A host of LGBTQ and Straight Ally organizations lobbied the Nevada Legislature to pass this bill and to then override Governor Gibbons Veto. We were successful.

On a side note, I will never forget the historic night sitting in the gallery as the Nevada Senate passed this hugely important civil rights legislation.

Now, 2 years later, how we can have 2 Democrats running for Mayor of Nevada's largest city saying they would support a repeal of this bill is unfathomable. These 2 candidates want to remove rights from their citizens. To this I say...NO WAY!!

You can all make up your own mind on whom to vote for, personally, I will not support Larry Brown or Steve Ross for Mayor of Las Vegas.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Chair of the Nevada State Democratic Party

by Chris Miller

As most of you know, this coming Saturday, March 26, 2011, The State Central Committee of the Nevada State Democratic Party will meet in Reno to elect a new Chair. The two candidates are Chris Wicker and Roberta Lange. The NSDC has reached out to both candidates and asked for letters to share with our members.

After a flip of a coin, here is Roberta Lange's letter.

Members of Stonewall Democrats

I am proud to be a long-time ally of the LGBTQ community. During my tenure as Chair of the Clark County Democratic Party, I've worked closely with Stonewall Democrats and our allies -- nationally, locally, and statewide -- on a wide range of issues of importance to LGBTQ Nevadans.

I celebrated in 2009 when our State Legislature overrode Governor Gibbons' veto to pass the Domestic Partnership Responsibilities Act of 2009 allowing gay and lesbian couples their rights and official recognition of their love and commitment. In a historical blink of an eye, Nevada helped move the national goalpost from what once was considered impossible to what I believe, with our unrelenting efforts, to be inevitable: full marriage equality.

Transgender people experience some of the most extreme and pervasive problems of any group within the LGBT community. While our LGB citizens are already protected statewide from discrimination in employment and public accommodations as well as being included in our state's Hate Crimes law, I believe we must extend these protections to Nevada's transgender citizens as well.

As a former teacher, I strongly believe we must strengthen our ability to fight against the epidemic of LGBT bullying and discrimination in our public schools, both through educating the public and passing anti-bullying legislation.

I will continue to be a strong advocate of educating Nevadans
about all forms of discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender expression in order to build a better life for all of our state's citizens.

Roberta Lange
Candidate for Chair on the Nevada State Democratic Party

And here is the letter we received from Chris Wicker via Angela Brooks:

Dear Angela

Thank you for your request for information about my candidacy for Chair of the State Democratic party, which will be distributed to Stonewall members statewide.

One question you had is how I felt about GLBT issues. I would like to answer that in part by relating some of my history. My practice has been primarily business and commercial litigation since my arrival to Nevada in 1983. I remember in the 1980’s and early 1990’s, that many GLBT people did not feel they could be open about who they were. In the late 1980’s or early 1990’s, there was a gay rodeo in Reno for a few years. For various reasons the sponsors of the gay rodeo tried to move it to private property in Churchill County. There was opposition to the gay rodeo in the local community culminating worth the District Attorney of Churchill County trying to shut it down. I volunteered with ACLU to represent the gay rodeo to try to allow it to take place. The District Attorney obtained Temporary Restraining Order, which would have the effect of closing the gay rodeo for that year. These were highly publicized occurrences and when I undertook to represent the gay rodeo, I had at least one District Judge and one Supreme Court Justice (neither of whom currently hold office) suggest to me that it was not in my professional interest to be associated with the gay rodeo, particularly because I had business clients and worked a prominent law firm. I ignored those suggestions and represented the gay rodeo before the Nevada Supreme Court, which was headline news the next day. I’ll never forget when I was arguing that the gay rodeo was protected under First Amendment as an expression of gay pride one of the Justices interrupted me and said, “What is this gay pride you are talking about? I have never heard of it” A majority on the Supreme Court refused to overturn the Temporary restraining Order and the gay rodeo in Nevada was effectively destroyed.

Sometime later I was representing a major oil company in litigation that had the attention of the Executive Vice President. One of the employees I worked extensively with disclosed to me, after he found out about my work with the gay rodeo, that he was gay. Subsequent to that, the in-house attorney and I supported him when he came out that he was gay to sis supervisors in the company. He later became the head of diversity for the United States subsidiary of the oil company. Subsequently moved to Pennsylvania to become head of diversity for a major food corporation. Subsequent to his coming out to the oil company, the in-house company attorney retired and at the conclusion of litigation, I was never retained again by that company.

I relate these stories to demonstrate that I have supported GLBT issues through action for over two (2) decades. In Washoe County I am proud to say that we have had many officers who were members of the GLBT Community. Perhaps more importantly, I believe that it simply is never an issue within the Democratic Party whether somebody is a member of the GLBT Community, everybody is simply activist Democrats. We still have work to do in the larger community.

I campaigned for and gave money to members of the GLBT Community that ran for public office. Over the years, I actively opposed the anti-gay marriage initiatives in Nevada.

No matter who is elected as State Chair, I am fully confident that the GLBT Community will continue to be fully integrated in the party, and the GLBT Community issues will be taken on as other issues important to the Democrats are.

In my opinion, the more important issue facing the GLBT and Democrats in general is the rise of the extreme right wing and the fact that Republican politicians seem to be afraid to even sneeze without obtaining the permission of their extreme right wing. This extremist element is hostile to many things important to Democrats and is clearly hostile to the GLBT Community. It is therefore critical that a strong chair is elected who understands this danger and is capable of fighting those dangerous extremist elements.

If I am elected Chair, I look forward to working with Stonewall Democrats as I will with all of our diverse organizations.
Thank you


W. Chris Wicker

Monday, March 21, 2011


Andrew Davey, Secretary & Political Director

Chris Miller, President
(702) 569-6744/

We at the Nevada Stonewall Democratic Caucus (NSDC) were encouraged to see well over 1,000 Nevada college students converge upon our State Capitol today to demand that Governor Brian Sandoval and our legislators consider real solutions to our state budget crisis that encourage future economic recovery rather than further jeopardize Nevada’s future. Under Sandoval’s proposed budget, both UNLV and UNR would be forced to eliminate entire departments, athletic programs, many hundreds more teachers, and further degrade the state of higher education in Nevada. And even with all these brutal cuts, both schools will still have to implement upwards of 12% tuition increases!

In addition to the proposed dismantling of UNR and UNLV, Sandoval’s budget would also jeopardize Nevada’s State Colleges and Community Colleges. These are critical links that open the doors to higher education for many thousands of Nevadans who otherwise can’t access college, but CSN would have to eliminate classes and raise tuition under Sandoval’s plan. And even worse, the entire campuses of Nevada State College in Henderson and Western Nevada College in Carson City might have to close!

So why are we at NSDC so concerned about education? We are Nevadans, too. In fact, some of our members are college students, and there are tens of thousands more LGBTQ students at public colleges and universities throughout the state. And even for our members who are not in school themselves, we all have family members and friends in school.

We all have a stake in ensuring economic success here in Nevada, and studies by The Brookings Institute and London School of Economics, as well as statements by local business leaders, have made clear that investment in public education is critical to achieve the economic diversification our state desperately needs for healthier and more sustainable economic growth in the future. This is why we ask that The Legislature adopt a truly balanced approach to balancing the budget, an approach that preserves Nevada’s colleges and raises the revenue needed to sustain them. As we join our fellow LGBTQ community groups in traveling to Carson City next week for Equality Days, we at NSDC will be asking our legislators and Governor Sandoval to take this balanced approach to preserve opportunity for a better future for all Nevadans.


Nevada Stonewall Democratic Caucus was founded in 2005. Our membership consists of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Nevadans and our straight allies. We will lobby and educate members of the Nevada State Legislature to protect the rights and advocate on behalf of Nevadans who are routinely discriminated against because of their sexuality and gender identity.


Friday, March 18, 2011

OFA's LGBTQ Equality Community Action Night

On Wednesday, NSDC President Chris Miller joined Southern Nevada Stonewall Chair Derek Washington, along with other local LGBTQ community activists and OFA activists, at OFA's weekly "Community Action Night". This week, it was all about LGBTQ equality. Here's Chris discussing pro-equality legislation pending in Carson City.

Of course, we'll keep you updated as the 76th session continues.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Bye Bye DOMA?

(Originally from Nevada Progressive)

Apparently, some good things have been happening since Tuesday. Legislation to repeal DOMA has been introduced, and now there's a chance it might actually pass the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Now in case you were wondering why this is so important, take a look below.

The so-called Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, purports to give states the "right" to refuse to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states. A number of authorities, including Laurence Tribe, a Harvard University law professor, have challenged the constitutionality of such a move. The full faith and credit clause of the U.S. Constitution requires states to recognize the "acts, records and proceedings" of all other states. For example, marriages performed today in Mississippi are considered valid in Wisconsin, Oregon, Arizona and every other state. Under this law, same-sex marriages that are legal in one state may or may not be legal in another state.

DOMA also creates a federal definition of "marriage" and "spouse" for the first time in our country's history. This is an unprecedented intrusion by the U.S. Congress into an area traditionally left to the states. Marriage is defined as a "legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife," and spouse is defined as "a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife." Marriages that do not fit this description would not be eligible for any benefits offered by the federal government. Under DOMA, even if a state were to recognize same-sex marriages, the federal government would not. The people involved would be unable to receive a number of benefits, including those related to Social Security, survivorship and inheritance.

Basically, Congress mandated federal agencies in 1996 to treat LGBTQ families as second-class citizens. This blatant and disgusting discrimination must end. And for the first time ever, there's real momentum to make it happen.

According to HRC's new poll, a full 51% of Americans oppose DOMA, while only 34% still support it. So why does House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) still want to waste our tax dollars defending it in court, as well as waste everyone's time whining about this rather than doing anything on job creation?

This is why this legislation matters. As I've said before, it's about time we do some offense after being beaten to death with no real defense. We need to keep reminding our members of Congress to do what's right for all our families instead of using our community as political footballs for any longer.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Andrew's Testimony for SB 180

(Also at Nevada Progressive)

Earlier this week, I testified to The Legislature, in this case The Senate Judiciary Committee, in support of SB 180.

So what exactly is SB 180? Click the above link, then come back to this page to read my testimony below, then please contact your legislators and ask them to support SB 180. Thanks.


When a violent crime is committed, it may seem like a no-brainer to call the police. But when the victim is transgender, the situation all too often becomes much more complicated. The victim might be treated as the criminal, or the victim's case is not taken seriously, or perhaps the victim is too afraid to even report the crime.

This is why SB 180 is needed, and this is why SB 180 should not considered some sort of "special treatment". Rather, it levels the playing field and ensures that everyone in our state is treated equally. Many local law enforcement have had past problems handling crimes against transgender victims, and perpetrators have used excuses like "gay panic defense" to seek leniency from the courts, so there is critical need for state guidance to ensure transgender people are no longer easy targets for violent crime.

Human Rights Campaign has recently analyzed FBI crime statistics and estimated that one of every 1,000 homicide victims in this country is transgender. At least 15 transgender people are killed in hate crimes each year in this country. Just in 2002 alone, 27 known transgender people were killed in hate motivated murders. Remember that these are not just statistics, but real people as well.

I know people who have survived attacks, and I have close friends who have lost friends to violence. This is certainly no laughing matter. The passage of SB 180 may very well mean the difference between life and death, so I urge you to pass SB 180 and help save many Nevadans' lives.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Lobby Training and Phone Bank

The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and
Progressive Leadership Alliance
invite YOU to a special

Update on Legislative Progress,
Lobbying Training and
Phone Banking
In Support of Transgender Equity

Please Join Us:
Sunday 6 March from 2p to 5p
PLAN’s Southern Nevada offices
732 S. 6th Street (at Gass), Ste. 200

Please RSVP to
Michael Ginsburg: or 702.418.4999
Howard Watts:

Food and Refreshments will be served

We are making good progress in our work to gain legal protections in employment and public accommodations for Nevada’s transgender citizens. Learn more about this work from the folks who are doing the most to support transgender civil rights. We are honored to have several members of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force ( joining us. The Task Force has been at the forefront of advocating for transgender justice since before it was hip, way back in the early/mid-1990s, and they were on the conference call that started this latest round of legislative advocacy with me and others in December 2007. PLAN has made Transgender Equity one of their highest legislative priorities and has contributed generously in time and money to support these efforts in the past two-plus years – in my opinion, we wouldn’t be where we are without the good folks of PLAN.

* Employment Bill: AB211
* Public Accommodations Bill: BDR799
* The Task Force Reports: Injustice at Every Turn: the National Transgender Discrimination Survey (February 03, 2011)
Transgender and gender non-conforming people face rampant discrimination in every area of life: education, employment, family life, public accommodations, housing, health, police and jails, and ID documents. This data is so shocking that it will change the way you think about transgender people and it should change the way you advocate. The National Transgender Discrimination Survey was conducted by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the National Center for Transgender Equality (

Thursday, February 24, 2011

NSDC Statement on Education & The Budget


Chris Miller, President
Olivia Gobert-Hicks, Vice President
Karen Grayson, Treasurer
Andrew Davey, Secretary & Political Director

At Large: Sandy Eddy, Derek Washington, Daela Gibson, Angela Brooks

Whether you are a student yourself, a parent of young ones in school, or just a concerned citizen hoping for a sustainable economy in Nevada's future, you are affected by the state budget and whether or not we allow Brian Sandoval and his far right "Tea Party, Inc." friends to abuse the budgetary process to destroy public education in this state. Already those in college are being hit by tuition and other fee increases and K-12 students have to endure overcrowded classrooms and inadequate classroom resources. We can't take any more cuts... Now is the time to let our state heal and build a brighter future!

Brian Sandoval's budget would take $270 away from every Nevada student if allowed to pass. Since Nevada's schools are already among the most underfunded in the nation, this would mean even fewer resources for needed textbooks, after school programs, sports programs, other extracurricular activities and much, much more! Since everyone from the London School of Economics & The Brookings Institute to local business leaders have stated that Nevada must invest MORE (not less!) in K-12 and higher education to develop the kind of workforce that companies will want to locate here for, it is imperative that we save our schools in order to finally diversify our economy and create more lasting jobs in this state.

This is why this is an "LGBTQ issues" that our community should care about, and this is why we ask you to join us next Monday at 5:00 PM for a special Nevada Legislature Town Hall at Green Valley High School. Please come and let your voice be heard if you're free Monday evening, and please consider testifying if you are a student and/or you have children in public school.
Please stay tuned for future updates from Stonewall on this and other important Nevada issues. As the 76th Legislature rolls on, the Nevada Stonewall Democratic Caucus and Stonewall Democrats Southern Nevada will keep you informed on important legislation pending in Carson City, and what we can do about it.

Facebook: NV Stonewall Dems
Twitter: NVStonewallDems

Nevada Stonewall Democratic Caucus was founded in 2005. Our membership consists of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Nevadans and our straight allies. We will lobby and educate members of the Nevada State Legislature to protect the rights and advocate on behalf of Nevadans who are routinely discriminated against because of their sexuality and gender identity.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Part Where You Come In

{Why exactly are schools and the state budget "LGBTQ issues"? Whether you are a student yourself, a parent of young ones in school, or just a concerned citizen hoping for a sustainable economy in Nevada's future, you are affected by the state budget and whether or not we allow Brian Sandoval and his far right "Tea Party, Inc." friends to abuse the budgetary process to destroy public education in this state. Already those of us in college are being hit by tuition
and other fee increases, and already K-12 students have to endure overcrowded classrooms and inadequate classroom resources. We can't take any more cuts... Now is the time to let our state heal and build a brighter future! Please consider joining us at Green Valley HS next Monday if you're in Southern Nevada, and stay tuned for more budget updates here!}

Do you really need me to restate the facts that we've covered extensively? And that our friends at The Nevada View, The Sausage Factory, and Desert Beacon have detailed?

Our state is in dire straits. There's no way to avoid the awful truth. Our unemployment rate is the highest in the nation. Our economy has suffered from extreme boom and bust cycles for decades. There's a growing chorus of economists and business leaders telling us we must have better schools to produce the better educated workforce our state so desperately needs to diversify the economy and thrive, but Governor Sandoval continues to blithely ignore them and hopes to proceed in cutting our schools (and our economic future) to death.

So what else can be done? What else can be said? Can anything be done to change this?

This is the part where we come in.

We MUST let our legislators, the public servants we elect to represent us in state government, know what direction we want our state to take. Are we the masters of our own fate? Or will we let some nebulous external force (insert Tea Party Inc link) make us into its ideological slaves?

What are you prepared to do to save our state? What are you planning to do to rescue your state? Go to Green Valey High School next Monday and speak some much needed truth to power? Ask Governor Sandoval and The Legislature to agree on a fair budget?

Whatever you can do, just do it. This is the part where you come in. What will you do to save our state?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

NSDC Statement on MGM Resorts' New Health Care Policy


Andrew Davey, Secretary & Political Director
(702) 806-1340/
Chris Miller, President
(702) 569-6744/ 

We at the Nevada Stonewall Democratic Caucus (NSDC) are delighted to learn that MGM Resorts International, Nevada's largest employer and the world's second largest gaming company, is reiterating its commitment to transgender inclusive non-discrimination policies and revising its health care policies in order to ensure a fair and inclusive workplace for all its employees, including its transgender employees. MGM has a long and distinguished record of treating its gay and lesbian employees with respect and dignity, and in supporting Nevada's LGBTQ community, so we are glad to see MGM step up and give the same respect and dignity to transgender workers who have long sought this level of equality.

We want to thank all our NSDC members and activists who have worked months, and even years, to secure workplace equality for all LGBTQ workers at MGM Resorts International, as well as other Nevada employers. We particularly want to thank our friends and partners at HRC Las Vegas who have worked tirelessly in lobbying MGM leadership to make their company and their workplace fully inclusive and welcoming to all LGBTQ Nevadans. In addition, we want to thank our friends and colleagues at Equality Nevada, including the always awe inspiring equality activist Jane Heenan, for constantly beating the drum for equality and taking direct action to let MGM know that we Nevadans wanted them to give its transgender workers the same fair and equal treatment as every other MGM employee. And finally, we would like to thank all the rest of our amazing fellow community activists for working inside and raising noise outside to make this all happen. We are incredibly proud of everyone who worked alongside each other and with MGM to do this for MGM's transgender workers and Nevada's transgender community.

We at NSDC understand that our work is far from over, and we will not stop or rest until all LGBTQ workers in Nevada and nationwide can enjoy the same fairness and equality that LGBTQ workers have now achieved at Caesars Entertainment, Wynn Resorts, and now MGM Resorts International. We hope to continue to work with our community partners here in Nevada to continue encouraging more local employers to make their workplaces fully inclusive, and to let our legislators in Carson City and Washington, DC, know that we all prosper when we are all equal.


Nevada Stonewall Democratic Caucus was founded in 2005. Our membership consists of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Nevadans and our straight allies. We will lobby and educate members of the Nevada State Legislature to protect the rights and advocate on behalf of Nevadans who are routinely discriminated against because of their sexuality and gender identity. 


Tuesday, February 1, 2011


Last Saturday, NBC aired an episode of “Saturday Night Live” (SNL) containing a skit that is still haunting us. In this skit, male actors with facial hair dressed in women’s clothing and proceeded to mock transgender women in a fake ad for “Estro-Maxx”, a fictional estrogen replacement therapy. Not only did we find this skit far from amusing or comical, but we were also horrified by SNL’s horrifying use of misleading, bigoted stereotypes of the daily lives of transgender people.
Many in our community are transgender, and the rest of us have transgender friends and family members. We know that this kind of humorless “humor” does nothing but reinforce the ugly stereotypes that are used to excuse continued discrimination against transgender people, and against lesbian, gay, and bisexual people as well, for that matter.
We at the Nevada Stonewall Democratic Caucus urge local media not to make the same mistake made by Comcast and “Saturday Night Live”, and to instead do their homework and realize that transgender people are people, too, and not some flat caricatures we can point and laugh at.
We also hope this will be a wake-up call for the people of our great State of Nevada. Transgender people are currently being denied work, housing, health care, and numerous services and accommodations that the rest of us take for granted. And as of now, they have no options for legal remedy. This must change, and we hope our Legislature will take action this year to fix this and stop the cycle of “legal” discrimination here in Nevada.
What we saw on SNL last weekend may have been disgusting, but we can take action now to ensure this anti-transgender hatred and bigotry is legitimized no more.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Battle of the Budget

By Chris Miller, President Nevada Stonewall Democratic Caucus

Saturday is a day most of us use to run errands, complete household chores or maybe sleep-in after a long, hard work week. Not this past weekend! on Saturday, January 29, 2001, over 800 Nevadans gathered at the Grant Sawyer building to voice concerns over the state's budget and its $2 billion plus shortfall. The decrease in revenue, along with a Governor and several Republican legislators who have pledged "no new taxes", have combined for a crisis, the likes of which, have never been seen in this state.

As the President of the largest statewide LGBT Democratic political organization, I was asked why the budget fight is so important to the LGBT community. Let me share some information.

1. Education. Many LGBT Nevadans are have families and children. Families send their children to public schools or to state colleges and universities. Although Nevada schools rank near the lowest in the US, cutting salaries, services and per student spending will only make this crisis even more drastic. The other issue is the education level of the LGBT community. Let's face it, gays strive to be educated. Budget cuts effect college tuition, class availability and even department availability.
2. Social Services. Everything from HIV/AIDS funding to the Nevada Commission on Equal Rights are part of the services that are being reviewed for budget cuts. The Nevada Commission on Equal Rights was almost entirely dismantled during the special legislative session last year. It is an important agency for all Nevadans, especially for LGBT Nevadans. As for HIV/AIDS funding, cutting services to this segment of the state could mean the difference to life and death.
3. Public Safety. Police, Fire, NHP, etc. All of these agencies are here to protect and to serve ALL citizens. Cuts to these agencies could be devastating to this state's crime rate that snowballs into a variety of issues including increases in insurance rates.

How do we have our voices heard? First, pay attention. Know the issues and the options to fix them. Attending events similar to Saturday's Town Hall is a great way to see and share passion on the items that are on the 'chopping block'. Contact the Governor's office, your Senator or Assembly person to let them know, as a constituent, how you feel. Lastly, follow us. The Nevada Stonewall Democratic Caucus (NSDC) is determined to keep the LGBT community informed on budget issues along with social legislation ranging from employment and housing protections to hate crimes and anti-bullying laws.

You can follow us on this blog or on facebook and twitter.
Facebook -!/pages/NV-Stonewall-Dems/103381189740388
Twitter - @nvstonewalldems

Nevada Stonewall Democratic Caucus - The Grassroots Voice for Equality In Nevada!