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