Nevada Senate passes resolution to prohibit discrimination

Tue, Mar 23, 2021 (3:59 p.m.)

CARSON CITY — State senators passed a resolution today aimed at adding anti-discrimination language to the Nevada Constitution.

The resolution, identical to one the Legislature approved in 2019, would bar discrimination on the grounds of race, religion, sex or sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, disability or national origin.

If it passes the Assembly, the measure would go to the voters to decide on the 2022 ballot.

To amend the state constitution, lawmakers must pass identical resolutions in two consecutive legislative sessions before the question goes on the ballot.

Senate Joint Resolution 8 passed today on an 18-3 vote. Sens. Pete Goicochea, R-Eureka, Carrie Buck, R-Henderson, and Ira Hansen, R-Sparks, voted against the measure.

Sen. Pat Spearman, D-Las Vegas, said the “quest for equality has been met with the same obstinance over and over and over again.”

“In fact, many of the arguments that were against it today were the same ones that were against it in the 70s,” said Spearman, an LGBTQ member of the Legislature.

Senate Democrats and the majority of Republicans, however, voted in favor of the resolution.

Sen. Heidi Gansert, R-Reno, said equality is not a partisan issue, but “this resolution raises our emotions because it feels very, very personal.”

Sen. Scott Hammond, R-Las Vegas, said the issue is “a question of justice, period.”

There can be no true justice "without first and foremost ensuring each citizen is equal under the eyes of the law. I said that two years ago and I believe it still today,” said Hammond, who also voted in favor of the 2019 resolution.

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