A couple of good bills are making their way through the Legislature. Both align with progressive values and we should all do what we can — contact legislators, attend hearings, etc. — to show our support.
- SB331 would revise the public accommodations law to include gender expression. Like AB211, which would amend Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) to include gender expression, this is an important bill addressing inclusiveness and protection for a group of people who are routinely targets of discrimination, harassment, and other dangers. SB331 is scheduled for a hearing at 1 pm on April 1.
- AB314 is a bill that would create a comprehensive, sexual education curriculum. The curriculum would be standardized for use state-wide. We need this bill so badly here in Nevada, which has the second-highest teen pregnancy rate in the nation according to the Guttmacher Institute (PDF) and in a five-way tie for highest rate of teen abortions. Comprehensive sex education has been proven effective not only in lowering the teen pregnancy rate (which in turn lowers the teen abortion rate), but also stemming the spread of STDs (including HIV/AIDS). The fact is, the majority of teens will become sexually active — jumping from an average 13% by age 15 to 7-in-10 of all 19-year-olds. This is not just about sex! This is about the health and welfare of our teens and young adults! It’s about public health! It’s about understanding family planning! And it is about educating the next generation of adults so they can make appropriate decisions about whether or not they are ready for sexual activity. Abstinence plays a role but we do our children a disservice when we neglect to educate them about all the options available. I do not see a hearing set for this bill, yet. However, if you are interested in getting involved contact Annette at Annette.Magnus@pprm.org.