Equality Days at the Nevada Statehouse!
March 30, 2011 by Adrian Matanza, Senior Regional Field Organizer
This post is from Latoya Holman, a straight ally and co-founder of the Las Vegas steering committee. Latoya is also co-chair of the diversity committee and recently started Straight Allies for Equality (SAFE).
Day two of Nevada Equality Days began with a quick breakfast to get the day started. Each participant was assigned a legislator to sit with during the general session for the day but since we had some time before each chamber met, we each went over talking points and some of us even had the chance to make some quick stops into supportive legislators’ offices. Regional Field Organizer Adrian Matanza and I stopped by our loudest advocate’s office. Senator David Parks, Nevada’s first openly gay legislator also happens to be the lead cosponsor for all of Nevada’s pro-equality legislation. He is a staple of the Las Vegas LGBT community and it was great to see him in his element at the statehouse.
During the session, our biggest ally in the Assembly, Paul Aizley, introduced the entire group as well as every community partner involved with Equality Days. It was great to see legislators on both sides of the aisle excited to have their constituents in Carson City to make their voices heard. With over 75 participants, many making the 8-hour drive from Las Vegas to Carson City, the chamber gave a standing ovation.
Sitting with Assemblyman Tom Grady (R-Fernley), I was able to give him information regarding AB211, important legislation that would provide employment protections for our transgender brothers and sisters. I was able to explain to him, that as a straight ally, I strongly believe in equal treatment for everyone regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Assemblyman Grady also introduced me to his colleague, Harvey Munford (D-Las Vegas). A strong ally in the past, Assemblyman Munford thanked me for the information I shared regarding the legislation and invited me back anytime to learn more about the legislative process and to share my life story which brought me to this fight for equal rights. I will definitely take him up on that!
We’ll be continuing the work here in Nevada to make sure equality becomes reality. We’ve been calling our members in the state, urging them to make their voices heard. If you want more information on how to get involved, contact Steven Amend at [email protected].
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