Employment Protections Advance in Nevada
April 14, 2011 by Adrian Matanza, Senior Regional Field Organizer
This week, the Assembly Committee on Commerce and Labor of the Nevada State Legislature voted in favor of AB211, legislation that would prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity or expression in employment. On a voice vote, the bill passed with all Democrats and two Republicans voting in favor. Assemblymen Kelly Kite (R-Douglas and Washoe County) and Ed Goedhart (R- Amargosa Valley) voted with all Democrats on the committee in favor of equality for all Nevadans.
Last month, I joined other Nevadans from across the state in Carson City, to speak with our legislators face to face. In addition to other bills relating to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, this one was especially important to me. At a time when Nevadans are hurting, transgender individuals should not have to worry about their gender-identity being a roadblock to meaningful employment. Being transgender should not mean that discrimination starts with the receptionist, even before stepping into the job interview. Being transgender should only mean that when she walks into a job interview, she is treated with respect, and on the same basis as every other applicant -- whether or not she is qualified to perform the job.
It was great to be able to sit down and have a one-on-one conversation with my legislator and let him know how I feel. Lynn Stewart, a conservative and AB211 co-sponsor, was receptive to what I had to say. I was invited to sit with him during the Assembly floor session, which gave me important one-on-one time to advocate for equality.
While AB211 won't automatically mean that transgender individuals are treated equally when applying for a job, it is a step in the right direction in achieving full equality.
If you haven’t written your legislators, urging them to support equality and pass employment protections for transgender people, click here to send them a message.
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