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LGBTQ community scores big legislative victories in Nevada

Posted at 5:18 AM, Jun 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-15 10:24:03-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — The Nevada Legislature passed a slate of pro-LGBTQ bills into law during the 81st regular session ending in June, and at least five of the bills were signed into law during PRIDE month by Gov. Steve Sisolak.

Sisolak made a special trip to the Henderson Equality Center to celebrate the grand re-opening and one-year anniversary of Henderson's only LGBTQ equality center and signed four of the bills into Law on June 5.

"We sign hundreds of bills in Carson City, and we go through a process," Sisolak said. "And we're making an exemption because it is so important that we bring these bills to the community."

The bills require local governments to collect demographic data about the LGBTQ community much like they already do with race and sex (SB 109), promote LGBTQ owned businesses (SB 237), updates draconian HIV laws (SB 275), and allows pharmacists to treat HIV related illnesses (SB 325).

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One bill not signed at the Henderson Equality Center was backed by its founder Chris Davin, and Sisolak had already signed it ahead of the re-opening ceremony.

SB 194, in part, deals with the history of LGBTQ people and their impact in the United States.

Davin helped write language into the education standards bill establishing guidelines for teaching LGBTQ culture, history, and national impact among other diverse groups in schools.

"We need to learn about everyone in history," Davin said.

He says it's important for young people to learn the history of pivotal events in U.S. history like the Stonewall Riots, and for kids who identify as LGBTQ to understand they're not alone and can make a difference.

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"When you can actually see that people made a difference it gives them the hope that just because people are anti-LGBT it gives the dream that regardless they can strive for something," Davin said.

Davin says he also helps conduct a biannual survey of students in Clark County to determine what they've learned about LGBTQ history in school, and he will use the data to gauge how much impact the new law had.

He said if the effects were negligible he would be back in the Nevada Legislature for the 82nd regular session in 2023.