TODAY: Pence, Heller and Laxalt Bring Dangerous and Politically Toxic Anti-LGBTQ Attacks to Nevada

by Ianthe Metzger

LAS VEGAS -- Today the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) civil rights organization, exposed the records of anti-LGBTQ U.S. Senate candidate Sen. Dean Heller and Nevada gubernatorial candidate Adam Laxalt, who are scheduled to campaign with Vice President Mike Pence in Las Vegas today. Laxalt and Heller have long records of undermining LGBTQ equality, which include opposition to marriage equality and support for the discriminatory “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.

“The choice in this election could not be clearer for Nevada voters,” said HRC Nevada State Director Briana Escamilla. “Pence, Heller and Laxalt have pushed anti-LGBTQ policies that are dangerous and politically toxic. The more than 600,000 Equality Voters in Nevada will not stand for their discriminatory agenda. That’s why HRC is on the ground mobilizing members and supporters across Nevada to reject the politics of hate, and elect pro-equality champions Jacky Rosen and Steve Sisolak in November.”

Gubernatorial candidate Adam Laxalt has made virulent anti-LGBTQ activism a cornerstone of his political career. Laxalt opposes marriage equality, previously vowing to “vigorously” defend the state’s now defunct marriage ban, and supports banning LGBTQ people from serving openly in the military. Laxalt has also supported a license to discriminate in the healthcare system that would prioritize physicians’ beliefs over life-saving patient care, and he opposes the Obama Administration’s critical guidance protecting LGBTQ youth facing discrimination in our schools. HRC has endorsed Steve Sisolak for Governor, a strong advocate for LGBTQ equality who supports marriage equality and non-discrimination protections for the LGBTQ community in all aspects of life.

While in office Senator Heller has opposed marriage equality and voted against the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” He has also opposed including sexual orientation or gender identity as protected classes in hate crimes laws. HRC has endorsed Rep. Jacky Rosen (NV-03) for Senate, a champion for LGBTQ equality. Since joining Congress, Rosen has been an outspoken critic of the Trump-Pence Administration’s assault on the LGBTQ community, from revoking discrimination protections for transgender children in public schools, to attempting to render the LGBTQ community invisible in the U.S. census. She is a co-sponsor of the Equality Act and the Global Respect Act, legislation that would strengthen U.S. foreign policy related to anti-LGBTQ discrimination abroad.

In Nevada, HRC has identified more than 600,000 “Equality Voters” -- voters who support LGBTQ-inclusive policies including marriage equality, equitable family law, and laws that would prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. HRC has prioritized investments and organizing in Nevada in the 2018 cycle, and has staff and resources on the ground in the state. Last year, HRC announced a coast-to-coast campaign called HRC Rising, which represents the largest grassroots expansion in the organization’s 38-year history.

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people. HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.



Paid for by Human Rights Campaign PAC (, not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s campaign committee.

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