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 (