2023 Silver State Equality Spring Newsletter

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Legislative Priorities

Friends of Silver State Equality,

As we entered 2023, we remained determined to work with our partners and stakeholders to achieve full lived equality through the realization of LGBTQ+ civil rights and social justice in Nevada.

We anticipated that the climate for the 2023 Legislative Session would again be a difficult one. However, we could not foresee the outright assault on LGBTQ+ civil rights. This year, a record number of anti-LGBTQ+ bills were introduced in state legislatures across the nation, according to the American Civil Liberties Union — more than 500 in total, many of which specifically target Americans who identify as transgender.

Despite this, we have continued to move forward with our work here in Nevada. We’ve prioritized several bills seeking to improve the quality of life for LGBTQ+ people here, and we’ve kept engaging with lawmakers and everyday Nevadans alike to ensure that the LGBTQ+ community is treated with dignity and respect.

We’re excited to celebrate Pride this June with our theme Revolution of Love/¡Revolucion de Amór!, as well as recognize our 2023 accomplishments this fall at the Silver State Equality Awards. I hope you’ll continue to support us, and thank you for your commitment to our mission.

Until the work is done,

In Nevada, the political landscape is more optimistic than that of many other states, as an onslaught of anti-LGBTQ+ bills has not plagued the statehouse in Carson City. However, that doesn’t mean that we are taking any of our existing civil rights for granted; in fact, Silver State is sponsoring nearly half a dozen priority pro-equality LGBTQ+ bills as they move through the legislative process.

In Nevada, our landscape looks more hopeful as half a dozen priority pro-equality LGBTQ+ bills move through the legislative process.

Silver State Equality — along with the Nevada Equality Coalition — supports the following legislation, most of which has garnered bipartisan support:

SB 163 Insurance Coverage for Gender Affirming Care by Senator Melanie Scheible

Would allow health care providers licensed in another state with a ban on genderaffirming care who are also licensed in Nevada to provide care without worry of a health care licensing board disqualifying or disciplining them for providing genderaffirming care.

SB 302 Gender Affirming Care Shield Law by Senator James Ohrenschall

Would prohibit health care licensing boards from disqualifying or disciplining a provider who offers gender-affirming services and prohibit the governor from surrendering a person charged with a criminal violation in another state for receiving gender-affirming services in Nevada.

SB 172 Adolescent Access to Affirmative Care by Senator Dallas Harris

Would allow a minor to give consent to a licensed healthcare provider or clinic to provide preventative care and services related to sexually transmitted infections.

SB 439 HIV Modernization by Senator Dallas Harris

Builds upon policy changes in 2021 that decriminalized and destigmatized HIV as a communicable disease by increasing access to related services and care.

SB 153 Protections for Incarcerated Transgender Persons by Senator Melanie Scheible

Would require the Nevada Department of Corrections to create rules regulating the care and treatment of transgender, gender non-conforming and intersex incarcerated persons. SIGNED by Governor Joe Lombardo

SB 211 Marriage Certificate Name Change by Senator Dallas Harris

Senate Bill 211 would make it possible for someone to request that the name on their marriage certificate be changed by the county clerk or county recorder beyond the time of the initial issuance of the marriage license if the marriage was performed in the state of Nevada.

Welcome to our new board members
Hon. Tick Segerblom Dr. Lauren Chapple-Love Mihanee Williams

SSEQ Student Survey

In April, Silver State Equality’s LGBTQ+ Student Advisory Council launched its statewide LGBTQ+ student survey, which asks LGBTQ+ youth statewide in grades 7 through 12 to participate by sharing their experiences as an LGBTQ+ person with a specific focus on their experiences at school. The goal of the survey (which is available online) is to better understand the issues and challenges faced by LGBTQ+ youth in Nevada, and is carefully designed to be inclusive, respectful and relevant to LGBTQ+ youth.

The survey will remain open through July 31, 2023. All collected responses will remain anonymous, and results will be released in the fall of 2023. Once the results are tabulated, council members will prepare a report for stakeholders and make presentations to legislators, school district members, nonprofit and community leaders and others interested in the welfare of LGBTQ+ students and who seek to advocate for inclusive programs and policies that benefit all students.

“We created the Nevada LGBTQ+ Student Survey to help shine a light on the successes, challenges and concerns experienced by Nevada’s LGBTQ+ students,” said Jessica Munger, Silver State Equality Program Manager. “The data collected will allow for a greater understanding the needs of LGBTQ+ youth and ultimately help to cultivate a safe and supportive school environment for all students, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.”

The Silver State Equality LGBTQ+ Student Advisory Council was formed at the beginning of the 2022–23 school year to help create a culture of inclusion in Nevada’s schools while working to counter bullying, harassment, social isolation, and bigotry that dramatically increase risk factors for LGBTQ+ students. Twelve diverse LGBTQ+ students from across the state make up the council, which receives funding from NV Energy and the Caesars Foundation. The Council has been meeting virtually with adult mentors throughout the academic year.

Other Programs

MPOX (monkeypox)

Our current education program is focused on raising awareness in the community about the symptoms, transmission and prevention of MPOX. Part of that programming included an event aimed at raising awareness about sexual health which encouraged MPOX testing and vaccination (specifically focusing on encouraging people to get their second vaccine dose). The SSEQ team continues to distribute MPOX information and personal care products across the state. SSEQ also maintains an online resource page to empower the LGBTQ+ community to get tested and vaccinated to prevent the spread of MPOX. Thanks to the community’s strong response, Nevada has seen low transmission rates, and the number of active cases has decreased dramatically.

Vaccinated & Proud

Vaccinated & Proud, Silver State Equality’s COVID-19 and flu vaccination campaign, continues as we see the numbers of COVID-19 and its variants surge and fall. This campaign is focused on ensuring the LGBTQ+ community (and allies) are fully vaccinated and receive recommended booster shots. The SSEQ team has spent a great deal of time educating the public and encouraging the community to utilize our online resource page, which features resources to help our community navigate the process of getting vaccinated as well as tips to stay healthy and what to do if you think you might be COVID-positive.

...the idea for a survey was born out of the Silver State Equality’s LGBTQ+ Student Advisory Council... to counter the bullying, harassment, social isolation, and bigotry that dramatically increase risk factors for LGBTQ+ students.
blockthepox.com/ or silverstateequality.org/monkeypox/ for more information.

Equality “Lobby” Day

On April 5, a contingent of approximately 60 LGBTQ+ community members and allies from across the state descended on the Nevada State Capitol for the 2023 Equality “Lobby” Day. Participants attended and some gave testimony during the SB 302: Gender Affirming Care Shield Law hearing. They learned about the legislative process and were briefed on Silver State Equality’s LGBTQ+ priority legislation, in addition to hearing from legislative panels and lobbying their legislators (from all sides) on important legislation that will come before them this session.

2nd Annual National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day Dinner & Show

This event celebrated the gains made in HIV prevention and highlighted the work being done to decrease HIV stigma and boost HIV testing, prevention, and treatment to envision a future without HIV/AIDS. Sponsors included Aetna, NV Energy Foundation and The Links, Incorporated Las Vegas (NV) Chapter.

join us! silverstateequality.org/events GET YOUR TICKETS TODAY! EQUALITY AWARDS LAS VEGAS Cocktail Reception & Awards Presentation Thursday, September 14, 2023 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm KAOS at Palms Casino Resort Upcoming Events: ∂ This quarter, catch us at the following Pride festivals being held across the state: Henderson Pride Festival, Pahrump Pride Festival, and Northern Nevada Pride Festival in Reno ∂ Equality Luncheon, June 29 Nevada Headquarters Mailing Address: 4780 West Ann Road #5357 North Las Vegas, NV 89031 Phone: (702) 755-6288 email: andre@silverstateequality.org

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