LGBT Bills Pass Nevada State Senate, Assembly
A Senate and separate Assembly bill both involving LGBT children passed their respective houses in the Nevada Legislature on Tuesday.
Tuesday was equality day at the Nevada legislature, and two bills successfully passed the Senate floor that would aim to provide helpful resources to the LGBT community.
The first bill that passed the Senate floor would ban the practice of conversion therapy for LGBT youth under the age of 18.
The other bill would require specialized training for foster parents of an LGBT child.
These two bills each received bipartisan support, collecting a number of yes votes from republican lawmakers. Democrats who sponsored the bills say they weren't surprised by the vote count, calling today a huge success.
Democratic Senator David Parks expressed his pleasure with the support for SB 201 after a majority of the lawmakers voted 15 to 5, with one absent, in favor of banning conversion therapy.
"Very pleased to see that it got passed," says Parks. "People who are in the medical field generally don't practice it, but there are some organizations who do continue to practice and this is to address that."
SB 201 would prohibit mental health professionals from providing sexual orientation or gender identity therapy to a person under the age of 18 who identifies with the LGBT community. While not all republicans were in support of the bill, Senator Becky Harris says she’s still no way in favor of this medical practice.
"I think it's a despicable practice and I certainly don't support it," says Harris. "I wasn't convinced that there are adequate protections for a youth who may have an adult mentor to be able to ask questions in a safe place where they can feel safe."
Many Senate republicans were however in favor of another equality based bill that would create training requirements for foster parents of an LGBT child. A majority vote of 18 to 2, with one absent, was the verdict for AB 99.
Republican Senator Scott Hammond is a parent of three adopted children himself, and says it's an obligation for every child, no matter sexual orientation, to go to a home with understanding parents.
"As a child I would imagine you want to go to a family who understands who you are ahead of time, says Hammond. "That's what this bill does, it gives a little bit more understanding, it gives more training to foster care parents."
AB 99 will now be sent back to the Assembly for enrollment and then will go to the governor’s office. If passed, these training's for foster parents could be placed into the budget by 2018.
The Senate bill now goes to the Assembly for approval.
For more legislative information, go to http://bit.ly/2oWQC15