weather icon Clear

Equity Day votes in Nevada Legislature protect LGBTQ youth

CARSON CITY — The Nevada Senate approved two bills Tuesday to protect LGBTQ youth, with the votes taken on Equity Day in the Nevada Legislature.

Senate Bill 201, sponsored by Sen. David Parks, D-Las Vegas, prohibits mental health professionals from conducting sexual orientation or gender identity conversion therapy on minors.

“Conversion therapy is a discredited practice that falsely claims to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity. It is opposed by mainstream mental health practitioners and organizations,” Parks said.

The bill passed 15-5, with Republican Sens. Pete Goicoechea, Don Gustavson, Scott Hammond, Joe Hardy and Becky Harris opposed.

Hardy, a Boulder City physician and a member of the Mormon church, voiced concerns on the floor that the bill could prevent a church member from counseling a youth who comes to them for guidance on sexuality.

SB201 now goes to the lower house for consideration, and passage is expected. A similar bill passed the Senate in 2015 but died in the Assembly.

Foster care bill

Also approved Tuesday was Assembly Bill 99, which among other things requires foster parents to undergo training on working with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning children.

It also requires state and local agencies and facilities to treat a child in their care as having the gender with which the child identifies.

During committee hearings, former wards who had been placed in foster care described emotional abuse when the families they had been placed with belittled them for their sexuality or isolated them from other children so has not to influence them.

AB 99 passed the Senate 18-2, with Republicans Hardy and Gustavson voting no.

Hardy said he feared requiring foster parents to undergo training would discourage people from becoming foster parents.

“I feel that we need to cast a wider net for foster parents,” Hardy said, adding, “I don’t want to discourage anybody from being a foster parent.”

Hammond, who voted against the conversion therapy bill, urged his colleagues to support the training.

A father of three adopted children, Hammond acknowledged bringing a child into a family “can be an intimidating proposition.”

He said his children have brought “a greater understanding than we ever thought was possible,” about things he and his wife never thought about, as well as a deep love.

“They have brought out the best in me,” Hammond said.

“As an adoptive father, please believe me when I tell you how important this legislation is,” he said, adding the bill will ensure “every child goes to a home with loving and understanding parents.”

AB 99 now goes back to the Assembly for consideration of amendments added by the Senate.

Contact Sandra Chereb at schereb@reviewjournal.com or 775-461-3821. Follow @SandraChereb on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Politics Videos
Bernie Sanders Unveils Affordable Housing Plan - Video
Bernie Sanders sits down with the Las Vegas Review-Journal to talk about his new affordable housing plan he unveiled at Plumbers & Pipefitters.
Jim Marchant talks gun control and Dreamers - Video
Republican Candidate for District 4 Jim Marchant talks about gun control and immigration policies. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Hurricanes, Gender, and Science in the Press
Imagine if the mainstream media’s current hurricane-sized obsession with scientific accuracy applied to gender.
Cory Booker on college tuition and minimum wage
Cory Booker talks on the RJ Politics podcast about college debt, informing workers about their rights and livable wages.
Nevada Politics Today: Teacher raises - VIDEO
Jason Goudie, the chief financial officer for the Clark County School District, talks about teacher pay and raises. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Media's Double Standard On Incitement And Trump - Video
Over the weekend, an Elizabeth Warren-supporting socialist who opposed gun violence used a rifle to commit a mass murder in Dayton, Ohio. The media has downplayed that aspect of the tragedy.
Project Our Care Tour Kicks Off In Las Vegas
U.S. Rep. Dina Titus joined health care advocates and local residents as part of Protect Our Care’s nationwide bus tour kick off in Las Vegas on Monday, August 5, 2019. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Bernie Sanders talks about guns, response to El Paso shooting
Sen. Bernie Sanders spoke about his response and continued policy ideas about guns and gun control to the Review-Journal after a panel of other topics. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Pete Buttigieg On Gun Control And Climate Change - Video
Pete Buttigieg talks about his campaign for the 2020 election and how Nevada is a vision of what the future can be.
Beto O'Rourke speaks in Las Vegas
Presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke spoke to supporters at the East Las Vegas Community Center in Las Vegas, Thursday, Aug. 2, 2019. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Former Nevada Senate leader Kelvin Atkinson sentenced to prison
Former Nevada Senate Majority Leader Kelvin Atkinson, who pleaded guilty to misusing campaign funds, was sentenced to 27 months in prison on Thursday, July 18, 2019. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Trumps Strength is also a Weakness - Video
One of Donald Trump’s greatest strengths — his ability to shape national narratives — is also a great weakness.
Tax the Rich Bus Tour makes a stop in Las Vegas - Video
The Tax the Rich Bus has stopped in Las Vegas as part of its summer tour. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Assemblywoman Daniele Monroe-Moreno hosts BBQ - Video
Assembly Woman Daniele Monroe-Moreno hosts BBQ to bring the community together to hear about the candidates up for election and for people to gather and have fun.
Democrat Virtual Caucus - Video
Elizabeth Warren visits Las Vegas
Senator Elizabeth Warren made a campaign stop at the East Las Vegas Community Center on Tuesday July 2, 2019. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Aaron Ford Speaks About Bill AB431
AB431 is a bill sponsored by Nevada Assembly Speaker Jason Frierson to restore the right to vote for formerly incarcerated individuals. Attorney General Aaron Ford spoke at the AM&E Church in North Las Vegas about the bill, on Monday, July 1, 2019. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Right Take: Biden's Racially Questionable Comments
Joe Biden has uttered racially charged statements for years. Now that he’s the frontrunner for the Democrat presidential nomination, he may finally face prolonged scrutiny for them.
Lawsuit challenges Nevada’s new diabetes drug disclosure law

Two pharmaceutical groups have filed a lawsuit in federal court challenging the constitutionality of a bill passed by the 2017 Nevada Legislature requiring disclosure of the pricing of diabetes drugs.

Nevada Legislature approves final payment for ESA software

The final action on Nevada’s controversial private school choice program came Thursday when the Legislature’s Interim Finance Committee approved $105,000 to pay off the remaining costs incurred by a vendor who was working on the development of software to implement the program.

Recall targets a third Nevada senator

A third recall petition against a female Nevada state senator was filed Wednesday.

Federal government approves Nevada’s education plan

Nevada is among four states to get U.S. Education Department approval of its plan as required under a new federal education law, the Every Student Succeeds Act, or ESSA.