Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Jackpot, Nevada!

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Jackpot, Nevada!

Article excerpt

While tumult has enveloped gay rights measures from Maryland to California this year, an employment nondiscrimination act quietly waltzed through the Nevada legislature in May, en route to Republican governor Kenny Guinn, who signed the bill May 29.

The bill makes Nevada the 11th state to protect gays in the workplace. The Silver State also becomes something of a model for successful gay rights legislation, having repealed its sodomy law in 1993 and added sexual orientation to its hate-crimes statute in 1995. There was little gay-baiting testimony, and the antidiscrimination bill even attracted support from the right-leaning Las Vegas Review-Journal.

"For some people it's startling that a Republican would sign this, but the governor believes this is a prototypical Republican issue," said Pete Ernaut, Guinn's chief of staff, of the bill. "It's for less governmental involvement in people's lives."

Indeed, openly gay assemblyman David Parks, a Democrat and the bill's sponsor, said he would have failed without support from Guinn and four Republicans in the GOP-ruled state senate who voted for it. In the Democrat-led assembly, two Republicans from the state's most rural locales also voted for the bill. …

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