LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak signed legislation today to protect members of the LGBTQ+ community from discrimination.
The new law will safeguard the confidentiality of sexual orientation and gender identity in data collection, while beginning to address the needs of an underserved community.
Silver State Equality, Nevada’s statewide LGBTQ+ civil rights organization, praised the Nevada Legislature and Sisolak for the accomplishments included in SB109.
The new law also defends an individual’s freedom to decline to provide this information to state agencies without fear of being denied services or assistance.
Silver State Equality released the following statement from State Director André C. Wade:
To help decrease disparities that LGBTQ+ persons already experience as evidenced by higher rates of poverty, suicide, homelessness and violence, we must have accurate data specific to the LGBTQ+ community – data that enables us to accurately assess the specific needs of our community. The passage and signing into law of SB109 allows the collection of this necessary data. Simultaneously, everyone who provides personal information to government entities must be able to trust that the information will remain confidential and will not be used to deny services otherwise available. Silver State Equality thanks SB109 author and sponsor, State Senator Pat Spearman, along with members of the Nevada Legislature and Governor Sisolak, for safeguarding our rights and for looking toward a future where our community’s needs are recognized and met.
Nevada Senator Pat Spearman (D-Las Vegas), SB109 author and first openly lesbian woman to serve in legislative office, said:
As many states in the nation attack the civil rights of LGBTQ+ people, the Nevada Legislature showed the nation and the world that decency and respect for our fellow human beings stands strong. With the passage of signing into law SB109, in addition to other LGBTQ+ legislation, Nevada is paving the way for a future where the civil rights of all are protected. While there is still much work to be done on behalf of the LGBTQ+ community and communities of color, I’m optimistic.