In March, the Nevada Legislature was abuzz over a constitutional amendment. Not that long ago, SJR 13 would have been unthinkable. But now, Nevada is on the path to marriage equality.
This and other recent civil rights advances were on everyone's mind at this year's Las Vegas PRIDE. There was plenty to celebrate this past weekend in Downtown Las Vegas. And there was plenty to reflect on. While the overall vibe of the Friday night parade was quite fun and lighthearted, there was a more serious moment.
Assembly Member James Healey (D-Enterprise) and State Senator David Parks (D-Paradise) briefly talked about what's at stake, especially in regards to marriage equality. They drove in the parade, along with Culinary 226, PLAN, ProgressNow Nevada, Rep. Steven Horsford (D-North Las Vegas), Rep. Dina Titus, and HRC Las Vegas. And they drove alongside floats for casinos, bars/nightclubs, religious groups, social groups, and much more.
The fun continued the next day at the PRIDE Festival at the Clark County Government Center... Along with plenty of good work. Representatives from Senator Harry Reid's (D) Las Vegas office came by to talk with festival goers. The Clark County Democratic Party and Southern Nevada Stonewall were registering voters at their table, while the PLAN crew were doing the same at their table. Oh, and Rep. Horsford even came by to say hi to festival goers.
Senator Parks and Assembly Member Healey later had a chance to speak again at the festival. They were joined by Assembly Member Lucy Flores (D-North Las Vegas), who shared what PRIDE means to her.
Throughout the weekend, folks were reminded of the meaning of PRIDE. After many years of struggles for acceptance, the seeds of equality are finally sprouting. In just the past four years, Nevada has seen progress on relationship recognition, hate crimes, employment discrimination, and more. Half of Nevada's Congressional Delegation (guess who...) now support full LGBTQ civil rights. And now, Nevada is finally on the road to marriage equality.
And of course, the festival had plenty of fabulous live entertainment. After all, this was a celebration. After many years of shame, Nevada's LGBTQ community can finally begin to reap the rewards of PRIDE.