Monday, March 30, 2009

Tempers flare and emotions show during Nevada gay rights bill debates

From Lez Get Real:

"Carson City, Nevada- Debate was intense, tempers flared and emotions ran high during committee hearings in the Nevada Senate and State Assembly on Friday as several bills dealing with same-sex domestic partnerships and discrimination based on sexual orientation and “gender identity or expression” were discussed.

"Last week, Sen. David Parks, D-Las Vegas, introduced two of these bills into committee… Senate Bill 283, which calls for a new type of civil contract for domestic partnerships, in which domestic partners would have the same rights, protections and benefits as a married couple in Nevada and Senate Bill 207, which is designed to give protection from discrimination based on sexual orientation in public accommodations. Both came under fire from opponents.

"Richard Ziser, a former Republican nominee for the US Senate and a Nevada Concerned
Citizen lobbyist, expressed strong opposition to Senate Bill 283, pointing out that 6 years ago the Nevada State Constitution was amended to define marriage to be between one man and one woman and contended the bill was a move to circumvent that amendment.

"But in emotional testimony, Pamela Brooks of Reno, tearfully told the committee how she had been denied access to the body of her long-time partner after she passed away in a hospital, saying she was treated like a criminal and told to leave the hospital room.

“Since I was not next of kin, I had no rights to my deceased partner, could not have her final effects like her commitment ring, wallet or even an article of clothing to take away, I never saw her body again, and that was the last of our relationship,' Brooks told senators, adding that she 'doesn’t want special rights, only equal rights.'”

Read the rest of the article from Lez Get Real that contains information about the heated debate and personal offenses on Bill SB207, which would bar discrimination in public areas based on one's sexual orientation.

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