An automated call that accuses state Sen. David Parks, D-Las Vegas, of being on the side of "perverts" went out over the weekend to Parks’ constituents.
The call distorts Parks’ role in pending legislation dealing with the rights of transgendered people. It’s the work of conservative activist Tony Dane, who has been sending out anti-Parks messages for many years. Parks is the first and only openly gay Nevada state senator.
The call tells listeners, "A Senate bill introduced by your state senator makes it legal for men dressed as women to use public restrooms." It goes on to say that he has also endorsed Assembly Bill 184, which would allow people to choose what sex is listed on their driver’s licenses, and mandate that employers "cannot fire an employee if they come to work dressed as the opposite sex."
It concludes, "Now perverts can prey on women legally in women’s restrooms? Senator Parks says if we don’t agree, it’s us not being tolerant. Folks, we’ve tolerated enough." The automated call gives a phone number for people to call to join a recall effort.
The Assembly took up a set of bills Friday that would expand rights for gay and transgendered people. Senate Bill 207 would include the transgendered in those protected against discrimination in public accommodations, meaning someone who is anatomically male but lives as a woman could use a women’s public restroom. However, it was not introduced by Parks — the bill came from the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee. The bill as originally introduced didn’t cover the transgendered — that provision was introduced during the hearing at the request of people who had come to testify.
Assembly Bill 184 would prohibit employment discrimination against the transgendered. It originally included a provision on driver’s licenses, but that part of the bill has been removed.
Calls to the "Recall David Parks Committee" were returned by Dane. He said 4,000 people picked up the anti-Parks call and about 1,000 said they would support a recall. Under state law, a recall petition against Parks would need more than 11,000 signatures.
Dane said he is not only targeting Parks — he has also put out calls in the Senate districts of Bob Coffin and Allison Copening urging constituents to tell them not to support the legislation in question, but not asking for a recall.
Dane said allowing men to legally go into women’s bathrooms "in drag" would make it easier for them to attack women and evade capture. In addition, he said, their presence would make women uncomfortable.
"To satisfy a very minute part of the population (the transgendered), you’re going to create a huge danger, giving the perverted an open door to prey on women easier," he said. "That’s what this law is going to do."
What about anatomical females who dress and live as men? Dane said they should use the women’s bathroom, regardless of whom it makes uncomfortable, because that’s where they’re supposed to go.
Dane said he continues to go after Parks because "he is not representing his district, he is only representing the homosexuals in his district."
Parks said today he supports the bills in question, noting that nothing in them makes any kind of molestation or sexual predation legal in any way. He said he had been hearing about the robocalls from constituents who found the calls "vile" and were outraged on his behalf.
"I’m too busy doing things up here (in Carson City) to pay much attention to it," he said. "I’m working on the over 30 bills I’m pursuing. It’s a very broad agenda — I’m not up here, as some would like to think, with a single agenda."