Nevada Senate Passes Domestic Partnership Bill
April 23, 2009
This guest post from Nevada was submitted by Steve Amend of HRC's national political committee: On Tuesday, I arrived in Carson City from Las Vegas for Nevada's first Equality Days at the Nevada Legislature. David Gordon, HRC's Political Co-Chair from Reno and I met with HRC Associate Director of Diversity Allyson Robinson to go over our plan for meeting with legislators and other attendees. At 6 p.m., a number of HRC leaders and volunteers attended the opening reception for Equality Days at the Governor's Mansion. Many legislators were in attendance, along with Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez-Mastos and Controller Kim Whalin. To my surprise, Nevada's First Lady, Dawn Gibbons, attended and spoke in support of SB 283, a bill to establish domestic partnerships. She told us she couldn't understand why there was such a big deal about this legislation. "I have a lot of gay friends and their relationships have lasted longer than many marriages," she said, bringing chuckles to the crowd (she was referring to her own public and contentious divorce from the Governor). We found out late in the day that the Nevada Senate would be voting on Senate Bill 283 during a night session. So, after the reception and a quick tour of the Mansion, we headed to the Senate Chambers to listen to debate on the domestic partnership bill and show our support. There were over 80 supporters in the gallery witnessing this historic debate. Senators defeated an amendment presented by Sen. Raggio (R-Washoe) that would have left a mere shell for domestic partnerships and then moved back to debate on the original bill. Our good friend and openly gay senator David Parks did an outstanding job of defending his bill from the questions of the non-supporting senators. The vote finally came at 9 pm, and with push of a button, Nevada's Domestic Partnership Bill passed the Senate by a 12-9 vote. Those in the gallery quietly exited and then celebrated to loud cheers and applause in the hallway. We personally thanked those that voted in favor of the bill, including the 2 Republicans Senators, Mike McGinness and Randolph Townsend. After the vote, the Senators that carried the vote asked that we go across the street the Frickin Frack to celebrate. What a night!
May 21, 2013