LGBT rights in Nevada
|LGBT rights in Nevada|
|Same-sex sexual activity legal?||Legal since 1993|
|Gender identity/expression||Transsexual persons may receive new birth certificate after sex reassignment surgery|
|Nevada Question 2 (2002) limits marriage to only between a man and a woman|
|Adoption||Full joint adoption is only legally allowed within a domestic partnership|
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons in the U.S. state of Nevada have most of the same rights and responsibilities as heterosexuals within a domestic partnership, however may face some legal issues not experienced by non-LGBT residents.
Sodomy laws 
Nevada decriminalized sodomy in 1993, ten years before the U.S. Supreme Court in Lawrence v. Texas struck down laws that criminalized private consensual sexual activity. Senator Lori Lipman Brown introduced Senate Bill 466 on May 13, 1993, to decriminalize what the statutes called "infamous crime against nature". At hearings, two doctors linked repealing the sodomy laws with a public health measure to combat the stigma and spread of of HIV. Other supporters included including Reno, Nevada Rabbi Myra Soifer, former Senators Helen Foley and Jean Ford, gay rights advocate Lee Plotkin, and progressive activist Bob Fulkerson. Opponents included Janine Hansen of the Nevada Eagle Forum and Independent American Party of Nevada and Lynn Chapman who said that repealing the sodomy laws would increase the spread of HIV/AIDS and would "open the floodgate ... in legalizing, condoning and recognizing homosexuality to be on an equal footing with heterosexuality" and lead to "such things as homosexual marriage and adoption of children." In the course of the legislative process, the words "infamous crime against nature" were replaced by "anal intercourse, cunnilingus or fellatio in public". Other amendments, including one to require sex education in schools to provide "factual information regarding the dangers of such activities" of "a homosexual lifestyle or the infamous crime against nature", were defeated. Democratic Governor Bob Miller signed the legislation on June 16, 1993.
Anti-Discrimination Laws 
During the 1999 Legislative Session, the legislature added prohibition of discrimination based on a person's actual or perceived sexual orientation in public and private employment and public accommodations to state law. In the 2011 Legislative Session, Republican Governor of Nevada Brian Sandoval approved and signed into law three bills, A.B. 211, S.B. 331, and S.B. 368 which prohibit discrimination in areas of employment, housing and public accommodation on the basis of "gender identity or expression." S.B. 331 also prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex at public accommodations, and S.B. 368 also prohibits housing discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. All three laws took effect on October 1, 2011.
Hate Crime Statutes 
Section 193.1675 of the Nevada Revised Statutes deal with additional penalties for the commission of crime because of certain actual or perceived characteristics of victim. During the 2001 Legislative Session Nevada hate crime laws were amended to included sexual orientation; however, they do not include gender identity or expression. In the 2011 Legislative Session, S.B. 180 was introduced by Senator David Parks to add "gender identity or expression" to Nevada's hate crime laws but with one Democrat, Senator Lee voting with the Republicans, the bill failed. In the 2013 Legislative Session, S.B. 139, which includes "gender identity or expression" under Nevada hate crime laws, was introduced by a broad bipartisan group of sponsors and cosponsors and passed the Senate Floor with a vote of 20-1. According to Las Vegas Review Journal reporter Laura Myers, Senator Hardy, the sole "no" vote against S.B. 139, said that he should have voted in favor of S.B. 139 after talking with Senator Pat Spearman, the legislature's first out person of color, pastor and retired military veteran. The proposed law was passed by the Nevada Assembly Judiciary Committee The same bill passed the Assembly Floor by a vote of 30-11, in two days time the Republican Governor of Nevada Brian Edward Sandoval (who supports adding "gender identity or expression" to the Nevada hate crimes statutes) is to sign the bill into law. Once signed into law, the law goes into effect on October 1, 2013.
Recognition of same-sex relationships 
In 2013, the state legislature began work on legislation that repeals the constitutional ban and substituting a gender neutral definition of marriage.[b] The Senate approved the legislation on April 22 on a 12–9 vote. A committee of the Assembly held hearings in May.
On May 21, 2009, the state legislature passed the Domestic Partnership Responsibilities Act 2009 to grant both opposite-sex and same-sex couples all the responsibilities, obligations, rights, entitlements and benefits of marriage within a type of domestic partnership registry without calling it marriage. Governor Jim Gibbons vetoed the bill, saying he did not personally oppose rights for domestic partners but felt he needed to respect the voters' wishes on the question. On May 31, 2009, both the Assembly and Senate overrode his veto. The law went into effect on October 1, 2009.
On April 10, 2012, Lambda Legal filed a lawsuit, Sevcik v. Sandoval, in U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada on behalf of eight same-sex couples, claiming that Nevada's categorization of same-sex domestic partnerships consigns same-sex couples to "a lesser, second-class status" and constitutes a violation of the U.S. Constitution's guarantee of equal protection. Chief Judge Robert Jones ruled on November 29 that Nevada's denial of marriage rights to same-sex couples does not violate the Equal Protection Clause. Lambda Legal said it would appeal the decision.
Federal income tax 
The Internal Revenue Service ruled in May 2010 that its rules governing communal property income for married couples extend to couples who file taxes in a community property state that recognizes domestic partnerships or same-sex marriages. Couples with registered domestic partnerships in Nevada, a community property state, must first combine their annual income and then each must claim half that amount as his or her income for federal tax purposes.
Gender identity 
Public opinion 
A July 2011 Public Policy Polling survey found that a plurality of voters in the state support same sex marriage. 45% of Nevada voters thought that same-sex marriage should be legal, while 44% thought it should be illegal and 11% were not sure. A separate question on the same survey found that 77% of Nevada voters supported the legal recognition of same-sex couples, with 39% supporting same-sex marriage, 38% supporting civil unions but not marriage, 22% favoring no legal recognition and 2% not sure.
An August 2012 Public Policy Polling survey found that a plurality of voters in the state support same sex marriage. 47% of Nevada voters thought that same-sex marriage should be legal, while 42% thought it should be illegal and 11% were not sure. A separate question on the same survey found that 80% of Nevada voters supported the legal recognition of same-sex couples, with 40% supporting same-sex marriage, 40% supporting civil unions but not marriage, 17% favoring no legal recognition and 2% not sure.
A February 2013 poll found majority support for same-sex marriage among Nevada voters. The Retail Association of Nevada poll found that 54% were in favor of it, 43% were opposed, and 3% had no opinion on the matter.
See also 
- Politics of Nevada
- LGBT rights in the United States
- Rights and responsibilities of marriages in the United States
- Recognition of same-sex unions in Nevada
- Minutes of the Senate Committee on Judiciary, 67th Session, May 24, 1993
- Journal of the Nevada Senate, 67th Session, May 26, 1993, pp. 897–9
- Journal of the Nevada Assembly, Volume 2, 67th Session, June 14, 1993, pp. 1145–47
- Journal of the Nevada Assembly, Volume 2, 67th Session, June 14, 1993, pp. 1147–1151
- Sandoval signs transgender job discrimination bill
- Bill targeting Strip arena among 27 signed by governor, 4 vetoed
- "Nev. senate panel amends, passes gay marriage bill". Reno Gazette-Journal. April 11, 2013.
- Chereb, Sandra (April 22, 2013). "Gay marriage resolution advances in Nevada". Reno Gazette-Journal. Retrieved April 23, 2013.
- "Dozens testify on Nevada same-sex marriage". Reno Gazette-Journal. May 9, 2013. Retrieved May 10, 2013.
- Vogel, Ed (25 May 2009). "Gibbons vetoes domestic partner bill". Las Vegas Review Journal. Retrieved 10 August 2012.
- "Nevada Lawmakers Reject Veto of Domestic Partnership Bill". Fox News. 31 May 2009. Retrieved 10 August 2012.
- Geidner, Chris (10 April 2012). "Lambda Legal Files Federal Lawsuit Seeking Marriage Equality in Nevada". Metro Weekly. Retrieved 10 August 2012.
- "Court to Hear Lambda Legal's Nevada Marriage Case". Lambda Legal. Retrieved 10 August 2012.
- Johnson, Chris (November 29, 2012). "Nev. federal court rules against same-sex marriage". Washington Blade. Retrieved November 30, 2012.
- New York Times: Tara Siegel Bernard, "Tax Season Gets Trickier for Some Gay Couples," March 29, 2011, accessed April 5, 2011
- Public Policy Polling: "NV supports prostitution, gay marriage, but not online poker," August 5, 2011, accessed August 10, 2011
- Public Policy Polling: August 28, 2012, accessed August 30, 2012
- "54% Support Repealing Ban On Marriage Equality In Nevada". Gayapolis News. Retrieved 2013-02-26.
- Amendments to the Constitution of Nevada must be approved twice by voters if initiated by the people, or twice by the legislature and once by voters if initiated by the legislature.
- The legislature needs to approve it in two different sessions in order for it to appear on the 2016 ballot at the earliest.