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Nevada Senate Passes Domestic Partnerships

Timothy Kincaid

April 22nd, 2009

According to the Las Vegas Review Journal, the state Senate approved a bill allowing domestic partners most of the same rights as married couples. The bill now goes to the Assembly for approval before facing an anticipated veto from the Governor. Although the bill did not pass with a veto-proof majority, the bill’s sponsor is will work to get the support needed to overcome a veto. One interesting quote came from Senate Minority Leader Bill Raggio, R-Reno:

Raggio said that he has talked with friends who are domestic partners and that they said Parks’ bill goes too far. The rights they want and really need concern medical, inheritance and funeral decisions, he said.

I call bullpoop. While I do think couples did tell him that they need medical, inheritance and funeral decisions, I do not think that a single solitary gay couple encouraged him to vote against the bill because “it goes too far”.

And it’s time that news reporters stop letting these “my gay friends” claims go unchallenged. They are not credible and should not be treated as such.

It’s time for reporters to look the Senator in the eye and say, “Produce them, Raggio.”


Sources in Nevada tell us that Raggio is scupulously honest. So if he says his gay friends told him it was “too far” then they probably did. They also pointed out that Raggio’s in his 80’s so his friends are probably from a different generation.


We’ve heard from another Nevada source that challenges Raggio’s integrity. This source shares that Raggio has a history of anti-gay attitudes and that his “friends who are domestic partners” may well be fictional.

So again, we are back in a situation in which a politician uses nameless unspecified “friends” as evidence that his position is the correct one. Is he a truthful guy with old conservative friends or is he a shameless politician saying what he needs to say to support his agenda? Unless he trots his friends out, we’ll never know.

Why do we let them get away with this?



Brian Torwelle
April 22nd, 2009 | LINK

“most of the same rights as married couples”???

What does that mean exactly?

Christopher Waldrop
April 23rd, 2009 | LINK

I’d like to know what “most of the same rights as married couples” means as well. And if Raggio is honest and if he really has gay friends who have a problem with the bill, they should come out and say what exactly in it “goes too far”. If the bill granted same-sex couples all the rights granted marriage I think I’d have an idea of what “too far” meant. I’m not saying I’d agree–I think same-sex couples should either be given all the same rights as heterosexual married couples or the government should get out of the marriage business. I’m just saying that I think I’d know what their problem was. It’s hard to know, though, how someone could complain that a bill that grants some rights but still gives same-sex unions a lesser status “goes too far”.

The great thing is this is Nevada. Remember in 2000 when Nevada voters passed a law banning same-sex marriages? The funniest thing I heard at the time was from Lewis Black who said (I’m paraphrasing) this is a state where you can throw away $15,000 at a roulette table then marry a hooker you’ve known for twenty minutes at a drive-through wedding chapel. But they wouldn’t want same-sex marriages because it might make Nevada seem sleazy.

Timothy Kincaid
April 23rd, 2009 | LINK

Brian and Christopher,

My first commentary on the bill has a link to the language (pdf). The legislative counsel digest is:

This bill establishes a domestic partnership as a new type of civil contract recognized in the State of Nevada. Under the provisions of this bill, domestic partners have the same rights, protections, benefits, responsibilities, obligations and duties as do parties to any other civil contract created pursuant to title 11 of NRS. This bill also clarifies that a domestic partnership is not a marriage for the purposes of Section 21 of Article 1 of the Nevada Constitution.

Title 11 deals with marriage.

Nevada Blue
April 23rd, 2009 | LINK

I’m getting sick of “my gay friends” too, along with black, women, Islamic, Christian friends. Support of the statement should be demanded every time.

And while there is always the possiblility of gaining new perspectives from “insider” information, no one person represents a whole group anyway.

With Raggio, I can also see a situation where maybe he yells at some poor employee that he knows is gay, “Now they’ve gone too far; don’t you agree?”
“well, yes I guess so, though I’d really like to see my partner if he becomes ill.”

April 23rd, 2009 | LINK

To be fair, and to be accurate, Raggio didn’t say that he had GAY friends in domestic partnerships. He said he had FRIENDS in domestic partnerships.

If I understand the legislation correctly, it will be available to straight and gay couples.

It seems plausible to me that he does have friends in domestic partnerships who think the legislation goes too far, but they are STRAIGHT couples who have the option of marrying but probably chose not to for the very reason that they didn’t want all of the RESPONSIBILITIES of marriage. Such people would very likely complain that the domestic partner legislation goes too far.

Frankly I don’t think straight people should have a whole lot of say in what this legislation covers. They shouldn’t be allowed to strip it down to basics that THEY want so that they get TWO legal options while at the same time limiting the ONLY option offered to gay couples.

Anyway, I think it’s likely that if Raggio is telling the truth about his domestic partnership friends, they’re straight.

April 24th, 2009 | LINK

bill’s sponsor is will work

Should be “bill’s sponsor will work”

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