Nevada Legislature Votes to Protect LGBTQ Children

Nevada lawmakers approved two pro-LGBTQ bills: Assembly Bill 99 would require prospective foster parents to participate in training on working with LGBTQ children; Senate Bill 201 bars so-called “conversion therapy.”

The Nevada Capitol in Carson City

The Nevada Senate on Tuesday passed two bills to protect LGBTQ youth, with the votes taken on Equity Day in the Nevada Legislature.

Sponsored by Sen. David Parks (D-Las Vegas), Senate Bill 201 bars mental health professionals from using anti-LGBTQ so-called “conversion therapy” to “treat” minors. The bill was approved 15-5, with five Republican senators opposed.

“Conversion therapy is a discredited practice that falsely claims to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity. It is opposed by mainstream mental health practitioners and organizations,” Parks accurately stated.

SB201 now heads to the lower house for consideration, and its passage is expected.

The Nevada Senate also voted 18-2 to approve Assembly Bill 99, which, in part, requires prospective foster parents to undergo training on how to better guide and support lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning children who may come into their care. It also directs state and local agencies and facilities to treat children in their care appropriate to the gender with which the child identifies.

According to the Las Vegas Review Journal, “During committee hearings, former wards who had been placed in foster care described emotional abuse when the families they had been placed with belittled them for their sexuality or isolated them from other children so has not to influence them.

AB 99 now returns to the state Assembly for consideration of amendments added by the Senate. If passed, it would await signature by Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval before becoming law.

“As an adoptive father, please believe me when I tell you how important this legislation is,” he said, adding the bill will ensure “every child goes to a home with loving and understanding parents.”

AB 99 now goes back to the Assembly for consideration of amendments added by the Senate.