LGBTQ ISSUES

Members of the LGBTQ community and lawmakers celebrated the passage of bills that recognize the parental rights of stepparents and same-sex parents (AB115), destigmatize human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) (SB275), and protect LGBTQ people from discimination and harrassment in settings including the workforce and corrections faciliities (SB51). 

One of the bills that passed, SB109, requires government agencies that collect data about race and ethnicity to also start asking for information about sexual orientation or gender identity, but the bill aims to ensure that information is kept confidential, and providing that it is optional. Proponents say collecting the data will help address disparate health outcomes for LGBTQ people. 

Another bill, SB237, broadens the definition of the term “disadvantaged business” in existing law to include individuals who are part of the LGBTQ community, allowing those businesses access to the same type of assistance and loan programs afforded to other minority-owned businesses. 

Additionally, transgender people still report being denied insurance coverage in spite of laws and policies such as a 2015 bulletin issued by the Nevada Division of Insurance prohibiting the denial, exclusion or limitation of medically necessary health care services based on gender identity or expression.

To further protect the rights of transgender Nevadans, lawmakers put forward SB139, a bill that would require insurance companies, including Medicaid, to provide medically necessary treatment for gender dysphoria, including hormone replacement therapy and gender reassignment surgeries. But the bill came with a $1 million fiscal note, and did not survive after it passed out of its first committee.

Advocates lamented the death of the measure, worrying that without the requirement, the mental health of people who have gender dysphoria would suffer and could lead to higher risk of suicide.