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/ atdnext@gmail.com 
Chris Miller, President 
(702) 569-6744/ chrisisademocrat@gmail.com 
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.