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Home Means Love is Love, Home Means Nevada

Reynolds Sandbox reporter Alina Croft has lived in Nevada for 14 years and has seen the state grow more progressive over time with new ballot measures passed, including in this latest election cycle.

2019 Pride festival in Reno, NV. Photo by Nico Colombant.

First in the Nation

This election cycle Nevada recently became the first state in the United States to pass a state constitutional amendment in order to protect and legalize same-sex marriage with more than 820,000 votes and a 62.43% approval for the measure.

While same-sex marriage has been recognized as legal since 2015 when the Supreme Court ruled that any state bans on same-sex marriage were unconstitutional, no other state has made the leap to be quite as progressive as adding it to the state constitution.

Now, this doesn’t impact me directly. I don’t identify myself as a part of the LGBTQIA+ community, but I strongly consider myself to be an ally and an advocate for equal rights and protections of my LGBT friends and family. This passage feels personal to me and I am so proud to call myself a Nevadan right now, knowing I voted for this and was able to see this change throughout my lifetime. It’s quite monumentous.

The Associated Students of the University of Nevada participating in the 2019 Reno Pride Parade. Photo by Nico Colombant.

Don’t Let Nevada Steal the Spotlight

While I would love to toot my own state’s horn as fighting for the rights of this community, I also have to shine a light on every other major breakthrough this election had.

In Delaware, Sarah McBride became the first trans state senator to be elected.

Jabari Brisport is now the first LGBT person of color (POC) to win a seat in the state senate in New York. In the Empire state, the two first openly gay black men, Ritchie Torres and Mondaire Jones, were also elected to Congress in the 15th and 17th Congressional Districts respectively.

The Vermont State Legislature will now have Taylor Small, the first out trans person elected there, in a seat for this upcoming term.

Mauree Turner of Oklahoma became the first non-binary person to be elected to the state legislature, the House, in all of the United States.

The Florida legislature will now have a seat for the first Black LGBTQ woman elected.

Finally, Kim Jackson is the first State Senator of Georgia to be LGBTQ.

The crowd at the 2019 Reno Pride festival. Photo by Nico Colombant.

What does any of this have to do with me?

I recognize that by my identification with my sexuality, my gender, and my race, I have privileges that many people don’t have. But to be blunt, they should. It is absolutely ridiculous that just because I am a straight white woman in 2020 that I have more rights and representation in government. I want to see even more diversity than this election brought with it. I want every little girl, boy, or person to look at their government and see someone like them, someone they can relate to and aspire to be like one day.

This year had a lot of wins for many communities that have been marginalized, but I am not done fighting with them for true equality. There is going to continue to be a change in the United States, because I and so many others, refuse to stand down and take what has been generationally been accepted as correct.

So yeah, I as the person I am may not see any big changes in my direct life, but what about my future children? Or my family and friends? The future is coming quickly and like I said, change needs and will continue to happen.

Op-ed by Alina Croft for the Reynolds Sandbox



A pop up election newsroom from the Reynolds Sandbox. We covered the 2018 cycle and will be back for 2020.

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