NEVADA SENATE DEMOCRATS STATEMENT ON SENATE BILL 192

Feb. 26, 2014

NEVADA SENATE DEMOCRATS STATEMENT ON SENATE BILL 192

The Nevada Senate Democratic Caucus is made up of one of the most diverse group of legislators in the nation. It was because of our majority in the State Senate that SJR13, the marriage equality bill, passed last session – paving the way for all Nevadans to be treated fairly and equally under the law. It was our Caucus member, Senator Pat Spearman, who introduced Senate Bill 139, which extends hate crime protections to include crimes motivated by a victim’s gender identity or expression. Our entire Caucus joined Senator Spearman in pushing for this landmark legislation and voted in full support of this bill.  

The vote in favor of Senate Bill 192 by some of our Caucus members was not intended to put into law the same discriminatory measures as outlined in the Arizona legislation. In fact, SB192 contained specific language not included in the AZ legislation making clear that it did not trump federal or state civil rights. SB192 was the consequence of trying to find a balance between protecting religious rights in our State, while also making sure we expand equal rights under the law for all Nevadans.

Looking at the landscape since Senate Bill 192 was passed in the Senate last year and some of the consequences seen in other states with similar laws, we want to make clear that our members who voted in favor did not do so with the intention to discriminate against any group of people. If similar legislation were to be introduced in future legislative sessions, the Nevada Senate Democrats would stand together to unanimously oppose it. 

 

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