This past week has been especially important for LGBTQ families. In Washington, all eyes were on the US Supreme Court as the DOMA and Prop 8 cases faced oral arguments. And in Carson City, SJR 13 finally had its hearing in the Nevada Legislature.
As mentioned Tuesday, there was an abundance of powerful testimony during the hearing in the Senate Legislative Operations & Elections Committee. One who certainly couldn't be ignored was Assembly Member James Healey (D-Enterprise). Healey not only discussed the merits of the bill, but his own family experience and his own life's journey as an out gay man in Nevada.
You just have to see and listen to this to believe it. So watch it below.
By the end of James Healey's testimony, many in the room were on the edge of their seats. And this, along with Senator Ben Kieckhefer's (R-Reno) surprising and incredibly strong endorsement of SJR 13 and marriage equality, set the tone for the rest of the day. And what a day Tuesday was!
Later in that hearing, prominent anti-equality trolls Richard Ziser and Janine Hansen tried to spin away everything that had just occurred... As well as the huge shift in public support for marriage equality in recent years. When Ziser went too far in playing fast & loose with facts & figures, Senator & Committee Chair Pat Spearman (D-North Las Vegas) delivered a stunning rebuke. In a measured response that helped preserve decorum, she just asked him to provide real evidence for his lofty claims.
Yet in just doing that, it was another ground breaking moment. Who thought the day would ever come when an out lesbian African-American State Senator would check Richard Ziser?! It finally happened on Tuesday. And Nevada
At some point, we'll all be thinking about family this weekend. On Tuesday, Nevada's LGBTQ families finally had a chance to tell the Nevada Legislature about their experiences and explain why civil marriage equality is so important. It's certainly an experience that I will never forget.