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Tuesday, May 18, 2010


The ACLU of Nevada is very pleased to announce that we learned today that the DMV is going to make changes that allow transgender people to obtain gender marker changes with a standardized form completed by their doctor. This change rightly puts the determination of whether someone’s gender has changed in the hands of medical professionals rather than individual DMV employees.

The ACLU of Nevada heard disturbing reports that individual DMV employees were asking inappropriate personal questions of transgender people who have submitted requests for gender marker changes, and even, in violation of HIPAA, contacting applicants’ doctors. After a particularly disturbing complaint that a DMV employee told a transgender person that God would not approve of her, we brought the incident to the attention of the DMV and a broader letter about the issues was sent on behalf of numerous community groups, from the Stonewall Democrats to the Log Cabin Republicans and the Abundant Peace Church.

The ACLU of Nevada and Jane Heenan from Equality Nevada met with the DMV and a representative from the Attorney General’s office, and negotiated the changes.

We understand that while the changes will not go into place immediately because they need to finalize the materials, the DMV is committed to instituting a humane policy that allows people whose gender has changed to get drivers’ licenses that reflect their identity and enable them to avoid harassment and discrimination. The representatives from the DMV and the Attorney General’s office that worked with have been extremely responsive and understanding, and we are glad that we could work with them to make this important change. We are also very grateful to Jane Heenan and Equality Nevada for insight into how the driver’s license issue affected the lives of transgender people. Finally, and most importantly, thanks to everyone who shared their stories and everyone who gave their support to the cause.

In Liberty,

Maggie McLetchie

Interim Southern Program Director and Staff Attorney

Friday, May 14, 2010


By Chris Miller
US Senator Larry Craig, Florida Congressman Mark Foley, California State Senator Roy Ashburn, Leader of the National Evangelicals Ted Haggard, the Catholic Church… the list could go on and on. What list? I am talking about a list of Republicans or right-leaning evangelical “leaders” or organizations that lived their life as hypocrites.
Numerous political figures have used the anti-gay rights issue to pander to their political base. Countless evangelical leaders and religious organizations have used the “homosexuality is a sin and is the reason for our moral decay” mantra for years. Both have used LGBT Rights as a “wedge” issue to scare voters.
Are we now turning the corner, or are Gay Republicans just being punked?
Here in Nevada we have had several LGBT issues brought to the state legislature for debate and vote. In the 2009 legislative cycle, two LGBT themed bills passed and became law, SB207 and SB283.
SB207, providing some citizens rights against discrimination in the form of public accommodations, passed the Nevada Senate by a vote of 19 – 2. The 2 no votes were Republican Senators Maurice Washington and Barbara Cegavske.
SB283, the Domestic Partnership bill, passed after a heated debate, and Governor Gibbons veto. The veto was overridden in the State Senate by a 14-7 vote. One of those voting no on both occasions, Republican Barbara Cegavske.

Nevada State Senator Barbara Cegavske

Ms. Cegavske recently attended an event hosted by a local LGBT Republican organization (yes, there is such a group). Ms Cegavske has demonstrated that she will not vote in favor of gay issues, but she will obviously shill for gay votes. Maybe this evangelical political figure has changed her beliefs? Maybe Gay Republicans are being falsely charmed to gain their support? I will leave that answer to you.

During a recent appearance on Orlando, Florida radio station WORL, Arizona Senate candidate J.D. Hayworth made the following comment during a conversation about gay marriage, “I guess that would mean if you really had affection for your horse, I guess you could marry your horse”

Arizona Senate Candidate J.D. Hayworth

Here is a picture of Mr. Hayworth at a Nevada Republican event attended by a member of a Nevada Republican LGBT organization. Did Republican Candidate Mr. Hayworth make the “marry your horse” statement to rally his base? Is he now backtracking to have the support of a community of horses? gays? Is he now in favor of gay marriage? Does anybody really know where JD Hayworth stands on LGBT rights issues?

Senator Cegavske and J.D. Hayworth are not the only current Republican candidates or elected officials who have shown up or schmoozed with the gays

US Senate Candidate Chad Christensen

For the record, in the 2009 legislative session, Assemblyman Christensen voted against SB207 (Public Accomodations) and SB283 (Domestic Partnerships). And my Republican friends tell me Mr. Christensen is pro-gay rights...Really?

Congressional Candidate Craig Lake

I did save the best for last. Lou "two-faced" Toomin changes political parties more often than most of us change underwear. Democrat, Republican, Democrat...which face is Lou wearing this election cycle? Maybe one of each. You see, Mr. Toomin is running in the Democratic Primary in AD 15, but here he is politicking for Republican votes.

AD 15 Democrat Candidate Lou Toomin at event hosted by Gay Republicans

Someone needs to tell Mr. Toomin that no matter how many times he changes parties, Republicans can't vote in the Democratic Primary and vice-versa.

So I ask the question, are all of these candidates in favor of LGBT rights? If elected, will they vote in favor of bills to protect LGBT Nevadans from Housing Discrimination? Employment discrimination? Will they support a movement toward the recognition of Marriage Equality?
Or are they just hypocrites saying or doing anything for a vote?
I say they are hypocrites and Gay Republicans are…
…just being PUNKED!

Monday, May 10, 2010


By Chris Miller

William A Pope May 3 at 5:14pm Report:
"You are welcome to be completely ignorant. I'll be boycotting Las Vegas as long as ignorant people there want to boycott Arizona. Nevada has a lot more to loose than Arizona does. Out of staters need to mind their own business."

William A Pope

When Arizona passed its new immigrant “Paper’s Please” law, I decided to voice my opinion thru facebook. I changed my facebook name to “Chris BoycottArizona Miller” and posted several stories about this law and an economic boycott encouraged by many other individuals and organizations as a protest to it. Shortly thereafter, I received the message above from William A. Pope.

For the record, I do not personally know Mr. Pope. He may have been a facebook friend prior to this message, if so, he has since de-friended me. Mr. Pope, like myself, is entitled to his opinions. I personally believe that the new Arizona law undermines the bedrock of justice in the United States by presuming guilt before innocence as it singles out a group of individuals in an unfair manor.

The issue that I do have with Mr. Pope and any Arizonan that tells “out of staters to mind their own business” is to practice what they preach. Last month, I went to the Arizona / Nevada border where I witnessed an endless stream of out of state cars, primarily from Arizona, come in to my state and spew lies and hate about my US Senator, Harry Reid. Mr. Pope, I do not recall seeing you at the border telling fellow Arizonans to stay out of Nevada’s business...Why not?

As far as the “ignorant” comment, I wish to ask the question…Why or how does voicing an opinion constitute a lack of knowledge? I am well-versed on this law and how it resembles the Gestapo tactics used against Jews and other minorities in Nazi Germany. I am appalled that in 2010, any person, let alone a whole state, can still think it ok to single out a group with such hate. No person is illegal!

So, Mr. Pope, as an American with immigrant ancestors, I will continue to voice my opinions thru a personal economic boycott of your state and I will also continue to use this blog, social media and any other means at my disposal to promote this boycott. I encourage all fair-minded Americans to join me.
We will not rest until this law is overturned!

The Grind