MINUTES OF THE
SENATE COMMITTEE ON JUDICIARY
May 24, 1993
The Senate Committee on Judiciary was called to order by Chairman Mark A. James, at 2:05 p.m., on Monday, May 24, 1993, in Room 224 of the Legislative Building, Carson City, Nevada. Exhibit A is the Meeting Agenda. Exhibit B is the Attendance Roster.
COMMITTEE MEMBERS PRESENT:
Senator Mark A. James, Chairman
Senator R. Hal Smith, Vice Chairman
Senator Lawrence E. Jacobsen
Senator Mike McGinness
Senator Dina Titus
Senator Raymond C. Shaffer
Senator Ernest E. Adler
GUEST LEGISLATORS PRESENT:
Senator Dean A. Rhoads
STAFF MEMBERS PRESENT:
Dennis Neilander, Senior Research Analyst
Sherry Nesbitt, Committee Secretary
Maddie Fischer, Primary Secretary
Larry M. Hyde, Lobbyist, American Civil Liberties Union
Sherri Lakin, Member of the Public
Carolyn Nelson, Member of the Public
Janine Hansen, Lobbyist, Nevada Eagle Forum
Holly Wilson, Member of the Public
Judith B. Corbisielo, Member, Nevada For Constitutional
Robert D. Smith, Member of the Public
Robert A. Fulkerson, Lobbyist, Nevadans for Accountable
Kevin Kelly, Lobbyist, Nevada Attorneys for Criminal Justice
Lee Plotkin, Member of the Public
P. Kekaulike Roschill, Member of the Public
Dan Burdish, Member, Log Cabin, Las Vegas
Roger Vogel, Member, American Civil Liberties Union
Myra A. Sheehan, Attorney
Jerry Cade, M.D., Founder, Director, AIDS Unit, University
Trudy Larson, M.D., Member of the Public
Ted Gioidano, Member of the Public
Leslie Fiske, Member of the Public
Darren Uhl, Member of the Public
P. Tyrone Smith, Lambden Business Association
Donald P. McNeill, Member, Nevadans for Constitutional
John D. Foulk, Minister, Glory Temple Church
Lynn Chapman, Member of the Public
Becky Maddox, Member of the Public
Dave Dawson, Member of the Public
Steven G. Paul, Lobbyist, Self
Karen Hayes, Member, Nevada Eagle Forum
David Hayes, Member, Nevada Eagle Forum
Rob Schlegel, Member of the Public
Martin A. Koehler, Member, Metropolitan Community Church
of the Sierras
David Horton, Lobbyist, Committee to Restore the Constitution
Alicia Smalley, Member, National Association of Social
Michael Quackenbush, Member, National Association of Social
Derek Moreno, Member of the Public
Jean Ford, Member of the Public
Caryn Sternlich, Member of the Public
Rabbi Myra Soifer, Rabbi, Member of the Public
Diane Williams, Member, Nevada Women's Lobby
Russell West, Jr., Member, University of Nevada, Reno Graduate
Elisa Erquiaga, Member of the Public
Trudy Larson, M.D., Member of the Public
Kristina Chenevey, Member of the Public
Kelly Tuthill, Member of the Public
Paul Lorenzen, Member of the Public
Mark A. Barrett, Member of the Public
John Carroll, Member of the Public
Lucille K. Lusk, Lobbyist, Nevada Coalition of Concerned Citizens
Pro-Life Andy Anderson, Lobbyist, C.H.I.L.D. of God
Kit Miller, Member of the Public
Maya Miller, Member, Nevadans for Constitutional Equality
Jeanine Thiplett, Member, Nevada Eagle Women
Joe Dahl, Member of the Public
Harry Johnson, Member of the Public
Linwood Tracy, Member of the Public
Helen A. Foley, Lobbyist, Nevada Nurses Association
William A. Bible, Chairman, Nevada Gaming Control Board
Sharon Brandsness, Commissioner and Director, Nevada
Judy Matteucci, Director, State of Nevada, Department of
Leo Puchinelli, Chairman, Nevada Racing Commission
Senator James opened the hearing on Senate Bill (S.B.) 466:
SENATE BILL 466: Repeals prohibition against sexual conduct between consenting adults of same sex. (BDR 15-1219)
Kevin Kelly, Lobbyist, Nevada Attorneys for Criminal Justice, provided oral testimony in support of S.B. 466. He advised the bill expresses the privacy interest in which Nevada has a long history. He stated the committee had been provided with a package of documents containing various affidavits of biblical, sociological and medical experts. (A copy of this package is attached as Exhibit C and is located in the Research Library.) Mr. Kelly advised S.B. 466 is strictly a privacy issue. The bill is intended to clean up Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS) 201.190, and would preclude the government from entering into the privacy of an individual's bedroom. He explained this statute, when the criminal laws in Nevada were first compiled in 1911, came forth from common law. In common law, this statute, the infamous crime against nature, applied to both heterosexuals and homosexuals. There was nothing different in the common law as first enacted in Nevada in 1911. In 1977, the Nevada legislature amended NRS 201.190, and deleted any reference to heterosexual conduct. The statute then only prohibited homosexual or same gender sexual activity. Mr. Kelly stated this statute attempts to regulate or legislate morality. This was stated by the Nevada Supreme Court in 1914, in a decision In Re Benitez, 37 Nev. 146 (1914):
Nature has provided in the male and female the organs for the reproduction of the species. Any copulation by male with male or by male with female other than that copulation by and through the organs provided by nature for the reproduction of the species is an act against the order of nature. Hence, this must of necessity, be a crime against nature inasmuch as it is an act against nature's law.
Mr. Kelly advised the supreme court has always held this to be an act, and not the conduct or orientation of any person. This
is consistent with the holdings in common law, indicating that any sexual activity that did not result in procreation was against the nature of God. Mr. Kelly advised, to assure no misunderstanding, this bill has nothing to do with children, unwilling participants, but merely seeks to remove a law from the books which would invade the privacy of a man's home and his bedroom. Mr. Kelly advised there are six different statutes which would protect the public from any type of untoward conduct by anyone. He explained each of those statutes. NRS 200.366 prohibits sexual assault. This statute states that any sexual activity involving any unwilling participant would be a felony. If the victim is under 14 years of age, the punishment is life in prison with a minimum of 10 years. If the victim is over 14 years of age, the punishment is life imprisonment with a minimum of parole after 5 years of incarceration. If there is substantial bodily harm in the sexual assault, the punishment is life imprisonment with at least a 10 year minimum served. NRS 200.368 involves statutory sexual seduction. This statute pertains to anyone 18 years or older committing this crime on a person between 14 and 16 years of age. If the offender is over 21 years of age, the punishment is a felony, with 1 to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. If the offender is under 21 years of age, it is gross misdemeanor. NRS 201.195 is solicitation of a minor, a felony with a 1 to 6 year prison sentence. If solicitation occurred without any type of sexual activity, it is a gross misdemeanor. NRS 201.210 is the open and gross lewdness statute. The first offense is a gross misdemeanor, the second a felony with 1 to 6 years in prison and a $5,000 fine. NRS 201.220, prohibits indecent or obscene exposure. The first offense is a gross misdemeanor, and the second offense is a felony, with 1 to 6 years and a $5,000 fine. NRS 201.230, which is lewdness with a minor under 14 years of age. This is a felony, with 1 to 10 year imprisonment and/or a $10,000 fine. Mr. Kelly advised that under either of the statutes prohibiting open and gross lewdness or indecent or obscene exposure, a certificate from a psychologist or psychiatrist is required before the offender would be considered for probation or parole. The certificate must indicate that the individual is not a menace to the health, safety or morals of others.
Mr. Kelly concluded by stating there exist a great number of protections in the statutes of the state of Nevada to preclude any conduct which would be inappropriate under any circumstances by anyone, whether they be minor or adult. The penalties are consistent with what has been true in the past, which is a gradation of offenses.
Senator Adler stated one concern which had been voiced to him by constituents regarding S.B. 466 is the feeling that these acts committed in public either by persons of the same sex or persons of different sex should be a crime. He asked Mr. Kelly to respond to this concern.
Mr. Kelly advised that with the number of statutes already on the books, there is adequate protection to satisfy the concern of anyone except those who choose to regulate or legislate morality in the privacy of an individual's bedroom or home. He reiterated that 80 years ago, the supreme court indicated that even if the behavior involved a male and a female the behavior was against the law. He stated if the 1977 amendment had not been passed, any type of contraceptive or masturbation or anything which created sexual activity outside of having children would be a violation of the traditional common law definition out of the holiness code, referred to in Leviticus. Mr. Kelly stated there is ample support to advise constituents that they are more than protected, unless they wish to regulate morality.
Senator James asked the status of U.S. Supreme Court cases and federal constitutional case law on this issue.
Mr. Kelly advised State of Nevada vs. Noel is presently pending before the Nevada Supreme Court. This case challenged NRS 201 under the Nevada constitution. A decision was made by the U.S. Supreme Court, in Bowers vs. Hardwick, a case out of the state of Georgia. However, the difference between the statute considered in Bowers and the Nevada statute is that Georgia has a statute which precludes any type of fellatio, cunnilingus or anal intercourse between married adults. Therefore, in the Bowers decision, the court ruled on the due process argument, and were not imputed with an argument concerning single male or female versus male and female being a violation of the equal protection law. Mr. Kelly advised that Nevada is one of only five states having a statute precluding the acts between consenting adults of the same sex.
Senator James asked for and received confirmation that the equal protection problems with the Nevada statute, has never been argued at the supreme court level.
Mr. Kelly affirmed that Bowers dealt strictly with due process and whether the state had the right to regulate both heterosexual and homosexual activity. The court stated there was no violation of due process.
Senator James asked for and received confirmation that the Bowers decision indicated no violation of due process, leaving open the question of violation of the equal protection clause.
Myra Sheehan, Attorney, Member of the Public, testified in support of S.B. 466. Ms. Sheehan's verbatim testimony is attached as Exhibit D.
Ms. Sheehan also provided the committee with proposed amendments to S.B. 466. A copy of those proposed amendments are attached as Exhibit E. Ms. Sheehan advised the bill and proposed amendments accomplish the goal of making it unlawful to commit certain acts against minors, protects prisoners from those who engage in acts which could spread the Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) virus, and repeals a law which is neither legally sound nor enforceable as written.
Senator James reiterated Ms. Sheehan's testimony that allegations under NRS 201.190 are used by vengeful spouses in order to gain advantage in a civil divorce case, and stated he understands these implications. He reiterated Ms. Sheehan's further testimony regarding NRS 201.190 being used to destroy people's lives, and asked what specifically she referred to in that context.
Ms. Sheehan replied her experience had been with private parties in domestic relation cases. She stated this has always surrounded the issue of custody. She advised in many cases a person has been restricted from visitation for the threat of having this law brought into the divorce court. She stated it has been used against people so they do not fight for custody, or ask for child support, or get visitation restricted. She advised she has never worked in the area of criminal law, and therefore, has not been involved in a case where the court has enforced this law.
Mr. Kelly added that Senator Brown had received information from Dana Bennett, Senior Research Analyst, Legislative Counsel Bureau, relative to a report from Tom Johnson who had checked with the central repository for Nevada records of criminal history. The date received indicated in the years 1990, 1991 and 1992, there were a total of 36 arrests under this statute statewide. He advised of that 36 arrests, one individual plead guilty, six of the charges were dismissed and four were convicted of lesser charges. This indicates that out of the 36 arrests, dispositions of only 11 were had. Mr. Kelly advised his experience has been that an individual may be arrested for any offense, the police reports go to the prosecutor who reviews them and finds he is unable to approve the charge because of failure to meet the burden of proof.
Senator James asked if Mr. Kelly was stating that the remaining 25 cases were dismissed.
Mr. Kelly stated there is simply no disposition for these 25 cases.
Senator James asked if those cases are pending.
Mr. Kelly replied that there is no basis to make that assumption. He indicated that this is a very common scenario in the criminal law field. Many times an individual has a great number of arrests, but on a report, for example, pending probation, several of those arrests will reflect no disposition. Generally those cases were not approved for prosecution by the prosecuting attorney.
Senator James asked if any case was found in which violation of NRS 201.190 was the only charge, and the case was prosecuted.
Mr. Kelly answered the only case of which he was aware, involving a private setting, was in Nye County. An individual apparently had an audio-video camera, and engaged in a violation of the statute. When the police searched the home for a drug-related offense, the video was found. The district attorney filed an additional charge of the infamous crime against nature. The district judge dismissed the charges for other reasons. Mr. Kelly advised this case is not reflected in the figures previously stated, because of its 1993 disposition.
Senator Adler asked for and received confirmation that Mr. Kelly was aware of only filing on acts committed in privacy.
Senator Adler asked if other cases are filed under the open and gross lewdness statute.
Mr. Kelly replied in those cases more often than not, the charges are reduced to open and gross lewdness. This is the case in Noel, presently pending before the Nevada Supreme Court. In that case, the prosecutor asked the court to dismiss the petition since it was now moot, and indicated that the state does not charge under NRS 201.190. At that point, the Nevada Supreme Court dismissed the charges. A motion was filed for reconsideration because an indictment had been filed on nine women for a live sex act taking place in Las Vegas at a convention.
Senator Adler asked the position of the District Attorney's Association on S.B. 466.
Mr. Kelly stated that in reviewing the sign-in roster, he did not see a representative from either the District Attorney's Association, the Judge's Association, or the Attorney General's Office, which is opposing S.B. 466.
Senator Adler asked for confirmation that the District Attorney's Association has not come forward either way.
Mr. Kelly replied that the association was not coming forward in this body to oppose the repeal of this section of NRS.
Senator Adler asked for confirmation that it is Mr. Kelly's experience as defense counsel that for the most part even though the charge is filed, the charge is dropped somewhere along the line for another charge.
Mr. Kelly answered he finds that if, in fact, there are two individuals engaging in inappropriate conduct, and it involves a public setting, the charge more often than not will be open and gross lewdness.
Senator James asked for confirmation regarding the adult bookstore case. He asked if charges were made under NRS 201.190 and also another law, not open and gross lewdness.
Mr. Kelly replied that, to his knowledge, nine women were indicted under NRS 201.190.
Senator James asked how many counts were in the indictment.
Mr. Kelly stated there were allegations of pandering, living off the income of a prostitute and others. It was his understanding that the women were charged only with an infamous crime against nature.
Senator James asked what reason was given for dismissal of charges in the videotape case.
Mr. Kelly stated the order read that the case was moot because the district attorney had indicated in pleadings they short-circuited the petitioner's relief. The defendant had been charged with attempt of an infamous crime against nature, which is a felony. That was petitioned to the supreme court.
Senator James advised he was referring to another case, the videotape found in the rural case. He asked why the court dropped that charge.
Mr. Kelly recalled the court dropped the case because the videotape was beyond the scope of the search warrant.
Senator Adler asked if Mr. Kelly believes the current statute, as written, is constitutional.
Mr. Kelly replied he does not believe it is constitutional. He stated his belief that if members of the district attorney's office and the attorney general were asked, they would say they do not believe this is a constitutional statute.
Jerry Cade, M.D., Founder, Medical Director, AIDS Unit, University Medical Center testified in support of S.B. 466. Dr. Cade advised the facility is a 24 bed inpatient AIDS unit, which is now and has been full for many months. He stated there are more than 30 AIDS patients in the hospital at this time. He advised he is the founder and was the medical director of the AIDS outpatient clinic at University Medical Center. That clinic was opened in 1986 with five patients, and the clinic now treats nearly 1,000 patients. Dr. Cade stated his private practice is exclusively limited to AIDS patients.
Dr. Cade asked to enter into the record a letter from former governor Grant Sawyer. Mr. Cade read the letter verbatim, and a copy of the letter is attached as Exhibit F.
Dr. Cade advised he and Dr. Trudy Larson cochaired the statewide AIDS advisory task force subcommittee on discrimination. He advised one recommendation from that subcommittee was the repeal of the statute addressed by S.B. 466. He stated he had sent to each member of the Senate Committee on Judiciary letters outlining his logic, along with the anti-discrimination statement and a composition of the subcommittee. He advised there was no dissention from the subcommittee on the entire anti-discrimination statement.
Dr. Cade provided oral testimony in support of S.B. 466. A copy of his verbatim testimony is attached as Exhibit G.
Trudy Larsen, M.D., provided oral testimony in support of S.B. 466. She advised she is an infectious disease specialist in Reno. She began taking care of AIDS patients at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Medical Center in 1981, before the disease was identified as AIDS. She has been involved with AIDS patients since her move to Nevada in 1983. She is currently a co-medical director of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) Early Intervention Clinic in Reno, and has been on the statewide AIDS advisory task force since its inception under former Governor Bryan. She stated one thing conscientious physicians do is to take sexual histories. This is done basically to ask about activities which could place people at risk for getting various infections such as HIV. She stated that, pursuant to current statutes, the doctors ask about illegal activities in order to assess risks. Testing for HIV may imply to some that illegal activities have taken place. She stated it is difficult to create an environment of concern and put public health goals forward, facing a fear of recrimination due to reporting of HIV results and possible crimes against nature charges. She advised barriers to testing for HIV in Nevada need to be decreased. A creative environment needs to be created to carry on counseling and risk reduction, which does not have criminal behavior as a background. She advised that, because doctors report HIV positive tests in Nevada, there has been a subtle switch for people to go to California for anonymous testing. She advised this is detrimental in three different ways. First, the person may miss the opportunity to hear about, and be referred to, early medical services available for those with HIV. It is clear that early intervention results in longer, healthier lifestyles and saves a tremendous amount of money. Secondly, there is no opportunity to locally assist those individuals in contacting their partners for testing and counseling. This activity is a traditional public health approach which notifies persons of potential exposure to HIV, and assists with testing and follow-up. This is a critical part of attempting to slow the spread of HIV, and cannot be effectively done if potential high risk behavior is criminal. Thirdly, for purposes of funding programs for HIV prevention and medical care, the federal government uses state statistics. If Nevada residents are going elsewhere for HIV testing and care due to concerns about their behavior, Nevada loses out on federal monies which can be used in this state.
Senator James asked where Nevada stands in the incidence of AIDS.
Dr. Larsen replied Nevada is usually in the top 10. She stated this is taken from reported cases in the United States. She advised California and Nevada have the highest incidence rates in the western states.
Senator James asked for and received confirmation that California has no law similar to that in Nevada.
Senator James asked how many states have a law similar to that in Nevada.
Mr. Kelly replied only five states have the same statute as that in Nevada.
Senator James asked how many states have a law applying to both heterosexuals and homosexuals.
Mr. Kelly answered 21 states have such a law. This includes the five previously mentioned.
Rabbi Myra Soifer, Member of the Public, provided oral testimony in support of S.B. 466. Ms. Soifer advised she has been ordained for 15 years, and is a Rabbi in Reno. She stated in some ways she represents many more individuals than herself. Other members of the clergy, for reasons of scheduling conflicts, could not attend the committee hearing. She advised a letter will be read from one of these clergyman. She stated S.B. 466 involves a controversial moral issue. She advised that, because of this, the committee members would hear much about God and the bible regarding the bill. She suspected this testimony would be heard mostly from those opposing the bill. She stated there are many members of the clergy who are deeply committed to both God and the bible, who are on the side of S.B. 466. She stated particularly with regard to her own religious denomination, she advised that reformed Judaism is on record in several instances regarding this issue. She advised her denomination has congregations which are particularly gay and lesbian, and has formally passed measures welcoming gays and lesbians into all of the denomination's congregations, and it is on record that sexual orientation should not be a criteria for acceptance into the rabbinate. She stated that neither Nevada nor the United States is a theocracy. If it were, the legislature would have to change all sorts of legislation to follow biblical injunction. She stated S.B. 466 is a matter of the privacy of consenting adults whose behavior in no way affects other citizens of this state. She advised her job is to address any moral issues the bill may imply. She understands the legislature's job is to insure equal justice and freedom for all citizens of Nevada.
Alicia Smalley, Member, National Association of Social Workers, provided oral testimony regarding S.B. 466. She advised she is a licensed social worker and a certified rehabilitation counselor. She is on the national board of directors for the National Association of Social Workers (NASW), and cochair of the legislative committee for NASW, Nevada chapter. She advised NASW has a national membership of 140,000 members who are bound to adhere to the organization's code of ethics. She said S.B. 466 is consistent with NASW's beliefs. NASW's code of ethics states:
A social worker should not practice, condone, facilitate or corroborate with any form of discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, age, religion, national origin, marital status, political belief, medical or physical handicap or any other preference or personal characteristic condition or status.
Ms. Smalley advised the code of ethics further states that social workers should act to prevent and eliminate discrimination against any of these persons or groups. She advised NASW will support the repeal of all laws against any form of consensual adult sexual activities. She stated that, because the social work profession has a responsibility for serving disadvantaged and oppressed groups and persons, social workers must ascertain the needs and promote the well being of these groups. A percentage of social workers and their clients are members of these groups. Ms. Smally stated at various times, many human behaviors have been defined as deviant; for example, masturbation, sexual relationships between unmarried people, and birth control. The NASW understands that the social definitions of homosexuality have varied over time. Homosexuality is no longer viewed as pathological by the mental health profession. She further stated that oppression of people has been expressed in religion, cultures, civil and criminal legal codes, and institutionalized discrimination. She stated S.B. 466 is a step in the right direction to alleviate this discrimination.
Michael Quakenbush, Member, National Association of Social Workers, Committee on Lesbian and Gay Issues, Nevada Chapter, testified in support of S.B. 466. He asked the committee to re-examine the state statute which discriminates against one group of people. He suggested this can be done by allowing consenting adults of the same sex the right to privacy and freedom of sexual expression without government intrusion. He advised historically, the profession of social work has been on record in its policy positions against discrimination, and supports the repeal of this specific legislation nationwide. He stated social workers are guided by the professional code of ethics. They are required to act to prevent and eliminate discrimination against any person or group. He stated that as social workers, his group asks specifically that the legislature repeal the Nevada crimes against nature law to end legal and institutional discrimination. He advised the policy statement of the NASW recognizes that homosexuality has existed throughout history and that same sex sexual orientation should be afforded the same respect as that of opposite sex sexual orientation. He stated the NASW appeals to the legislature to join them in their commitment toward ending discrimination of all people. He advised the NASW is committed to working toward the building of a society in which all people will be accepted as equals without regard to their sexual orientation. NASW affirms that individuals are entitled to the right of self-determination as long as this right does not infringe on others. He stated that, to this end, NASW shall support legislation and other appropriate means which will establish and protect the equal rights of all persons without regard to their sexual orientation. Mr. Quackenbush advised the Counsel on Social Work Orientation recently mandated that content on lesbians and gays be included in all university and college social work curriculums nationwide.
Diane Williams, Member, Nevada Women's Lobby (NWL), testified in support of S.B. 466. Ms. Williams stated the NWL was created to promote equity for women and children, and its purpose is to be a unified voice which advances legislation affecting women and children in Nevada. She stated the NWL fights actively against discrimination based on gender, and finds the crimes against nature law to be discriminatory to the rights of women and their adult consenting partners. She advised the law is unconstitutional, because these crimes against nature are considered normal behavior between consenting heterosexual adults. She stated consenting same gender adults have the right to participate in these particular sexual acts in their own privacy as well.
Helen A. Foley, Lobbyist, Nevada Nurses Association (NNA), provided oral testimony in support of S.B. 466. Ms. Foley stated NNA's position is that people who are infected with the HIV virus should certainly come forward and be treated. The NNA would hate for individuals not to come forward because of fear of penalty by violating the current statute. Therefore, it could be very harmful, not only to themselves, but to all Nevadans.
Larry Hyde, Lobbyist, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Nevada, provided oral testimony in support of S.B. 466. Mr. Hyde advised he is the chairman of the legislative committee of ACLU, Nevada. He stated he was also appearing as a citizen of Nevada and a member of a generation, growing up in the 1930s, which was taught to be homophobic. He advised it came only very gradually to him, and perhaps to others of his generation and later ones, to realize what business was it of theirs and why should they care what people do in the privacy of their own homes. He stated this is a privacy issue, and homophobia is based on a misunderstanding. He suggested homophobia is also based on an attempt to regulate morality. He stated government should not look to the bible, but to the constitution. He further stated the interest of government is non-existent in these cases.
Holly Wilson, Member of the Public, provided oral testimony in support of S.B. 466. Ms. Wilson's verbatim testimony is attached as Exhibit H.
Robert Smith, Member of the Public, provided oral testimony in support of S.B. 466. Mr. Smith's verbatim testimony is attached as Exhibit I.
Lee Plotkin, Member of the Public, provided oral testimony in support of S.B. 466. Mr. Plotkin's verbatim testimony is attached as Exhibit J.
Martin Koehler, Member, Metropolitan Community Church of the Sierras, provided oral testimony in support of S.B. 466. Mr. Koehler advised Reverend Roy A. Cole, Minister, Metropolitan Community Church of the Sierras, could not be present to testify, and therefore Mr. Koehler read into the record Reverend Cole's letter to the committee. A copy of this letter is attached as Exhibit K.
Jean Ford, Member of the Public, provided oral testimony in support of S.B. 466. Ms. Ford advised she currently teaches women's studies and political science at University of Nevada, Reno. Ms. Ford advised she served as a senator in the 1979 and 1981 legislative sessions, and served on the Senate Committee on Judiciary for both of those sessions. She stated she felt of all the legislative committees on which she served, this was the one which most dealt with justice in the law. She stated service on this committee was a challenge, often a frustration. She stated some days were very hard when people came with strong opposing opinions based on upbringing, lifestyle, myths and stereotypes. She advised during her time in the legislature, and certainly before and since then, there has been a progression of change in Nevada. She stated that state legislatures have removed discriminatory laws. She advised the 1970s were probably the most active for the legislature in this area, and realization dawned that many laws on the books are discriminatory. She recalled many laws were removed; many with discrimination based on gender, some with discrimination based on age, some with discrimination based on handicap, and some with discrimination based on race. She stated each was difficult, and legislators did not have unanimous majority opinions coming from their districts that these things should be done. She suggested S.B. 466 asks the legislature to repeal a law which violates equal protection and privacy. She stated her belief that it is important for the legislature to now look at discrimination based on sexual orientation. She stated Nevada has far more important things to do than to try and regulate an individual's private behavior. She stated that individuals in Nevada are allowed to openly buy sex in many counties, but no guidelines are put on the type of sex. She suggested consenting adults should be allowed to go about their private business without the government intruding. She stated her belief that the important thing for the committee to do was what is right, which is to pass S.B. 466, and then to work to educate all Nevadans regarding why protection of all individual privacy rights is so important.
Russell West, Jr., Member, University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) Graduate Student Association, provided oral testimony in support of S.B. 466. Mr. West stated he is currently a master's degree candidate, and president-elect of the graduate student association. Mr. West advised in the past week, he had met with the student body presidents from Truckee Meadows Community College, Western Nevada Community College, the present UNR president of associated undergraduate students and the outgoing UNR associated undergraduate student president. He stated he and all others mentioned urged the passage of S.B. 466. He advised he met in the past week with Joseph Crowley, President, UNR, who told Mr. West he would send a letter to the committee supporting S.B. 466. Mr. West advised in the Spring of 1991, the University of Nevada broadened its affirmative action policy upon recommendation of the faculty senate, to include sexual orientation. He advised this action was taken because it is in the nature of the university community to fight all discrimination through the search for knowledge. He stated the university's mission is based on the individual's right to be free from unwarranted intrusion or discrimination in private matters. Mr. West suggested that as people recognize the individual's right to write, to inquire, and to speak, it must also be insured that no one's right to individual liberty and privacy is limited. History has taught that the infringement of one right will often lead to the infringement of many. Mr. West advised, therefore, that he and his fellow student government leaders heartily urge the recommendation of S.B. 466 to the full senate.
Elisa Erquiaga, Member of the Public, provided oral testimony in support of S.B. 466. She stated that no one present at the hearing was asking for special treatment or privileges. She advised these people are simply asking that S.B. 466 extend privacy rights to everyone equally. She stated one thing that being a Nevadan means to her is that the state recognizes what is most human about people is the variety and diversity of lifestyles and expressions. People want to celebrate their differences as well as acknowledge their similarities. She stated this is important to the residents of Nevada, and is what is affirmed in Nevada's laws. She advised history provides scientific evidence of the inferiority in people based on the color of their skin, and biblical arguments which support the idea that the sun is not the center of the universe. She stated her hope that the legislature would step back, take a broader look, and say humans are diverse with diversity in expression, and affirm this by supporting S.B. 466.
Senator Titus stated she agreed with Senator Ford regarding issues heard by the Senate Committee on Judiciary. The committee deals with such important issues, and the testimony heard is always moving. She recalled testimony regarding previous bills on child abuse, stalking, and others. She stated her belief that no other testimony had been more moving or important than what the committee has heard today. She further stated her belief that the committee should commend and thank the people who are willing to talk about this issue of privacy, and what is probably the most private things in their lives.
John Carroll, Member of the Public, provided oral testimony in support of S.B. 466. His verbatim testimony is attached as Exhibit L.
Senator James asked that the written testimony of Bob Fulkerson, Lobbyist, Nevadans for Accountable Government, be included in the record. Mr. Fulkerson was not able to testify in person. Mr. Fulkerson's written testimony is attached as Exhibit M.
Sherri Lakin, Member of the Public, provided oral testimony in opposition to S.B. 466. She stated she is opposed to the bill due to its connection with pro-homosexuals, a very small yet highly active special interest group. She stated her belief that, just as the voice of this special interest group did not start with S.B. 466, it will not stop there. She referred to a paper written by Michael Swift, known as "the gay revolutionary." Ms. Lakin stated this paper was first published in a paper called "The Gay Community News," and the copy she had was reprinted from the July 27, 1987 Congressional Record. A copy of this paper is attached as Exhibit N. She stated this is an essay on the dream of the homosexual activist, and tells how homosexuals wish to gain power. Ms. Lakin read from the paper, quoting nearly all of the text. She stated the paper speaks of what moral people do not speak of, in the homosexuals' desire to do physical things to boys and men. She stated, however, the desire to overcome them and society in spiritual and emotional ways are even more horrible. She advised the paper says how homosexuals would like to kill and defile those who think what they do is wrong. She stated the paper says how surprised the public might be to discover how many highly visible people are homosexuals. Ms. Lakin stated her belief that if S.B. 466 is passed, the public will be playing into the hands of the activists who hate morality, family, government and the human race.
Carolyn Nelson, Member of the Public, provided oral testimony in opposition to S.B. 466. She stated her objection to considering making it lawful for adult males or adult females to have relations with one another. She stated this plays into the hands of disease. She stated heterosexuality contributes to society by creating the race and uniting the genders in the most intimate, meaningful bond. Whereas, homosexuality costs society. She stated many homosexuals become indigent and the cost for this is covered by taxpaying citizens and those who pay extra high rates in hospitals to cover the expenses of the indigent. She stated diaries were kept by gays. Several of these diaries suggested these people had close to 100 partners per year. She stated when this rate of activity occurs in the adult population, there will be more disease. She advised that with the garden variety of the germs mutating, coming into our country and going to other countries, the citizens of Nevada need to take some responsibility and not allow this to happen. She stated when a law encourages or condones a behavior, the behavior will probably expand and increase. She advised if drunk driving were to be made acceptable, there would probably be more of this behavior. However, when people know there is a law against an activity, they tend to think more about committing the behavior which is unlawful. She stated, regarding the exchange of viruses, bacteria, and fungus which occurs among homosexuals, garden variety sexual practices of homosexuals are a medical horror history. She stated dozens of different men each year get together and exchange these viruses. She stated many if not most of these encounters occur while the participants are drunk, high on drugs, and/or in an orgy setting. She stated many of these encounters occur in extremely unsanitary settings. She further stated that a 1984 Denmark study showed one-quarter of homosexuals visited the United States during that year, and many had gone on to New York, Las Vegas, and other cities. She stated those living in the United States were going to foreign countries. She advised this population of homosexuals and lesbians is a cesspool for disease. She asked if this is what Nevadans want for our society, and to drain the financial resources of Nevada.
Janine Hansen, Lobbyist, Nevada Eagle Forum, provided oral testimony in opposition to S.B. 466. She stated she had with her a stack of petitions collected in about 1984 in Washoe County, when her organization was engaged in a battle to stop the gay rodeo. She stated over 8,000 signatures were gathered in 1 week. She stated her belief that this expresses the concerns of much of the public in promoting and celebrating the homosexual lifestyle. She stated her belief that it is important to recognize that today, many of the people who signed the petitions are not represented, and their concerns about their community need to be represented. Ms. Hansen stated she is a native Nevadan, and has real concerns regarding changing the law with S.B. 466. She stated not only does the bill condone an activity which in many cases leads to abuse and other problems, but also puts the public on a slippery slope of other connected problems. She stated that, because of her position of opposing the gay rodeo, she has suffered harassment. Her name, address, phone number, business phone number, her mother's phone number, and her brother's business numbers were all published in the homosexual publication in Las Vegas for distribution with the indication to harass her and members of her family. She stated when she was at the state fair gathering signatures, she was harassed and several times had to call security guards for protection because of the violent threats received. She stated oftentimes when she has spoken on this subject she has felt extreme concern regarding her safety, and stated she would not speak again unless she had someone with her for protection. She stated this points out to her what is obvious. She referred to what is happening to the Boy Scouts. She stated it is not the purpose of homosexuals to gain rights just so they can exercise them themselves. Rather, she advised it has been the position of advocacy and forcing their lifestyle on others which has caused concern. She stated her son is a Boy Scout. She advised the scouts have suffered the persecution of the homosexual movement, because of the movement's political advocacy that the scouts should be forced against their freedom of association and freedom of belief, to engage homosexual scout leaders. She stated this is very objectionable to many parents who find homosexuality a threat to their children and families. She stated her organization's concern with S.B. 466 is that it is a point of advocacy for the homosexual lifestyle which will deny many other people's rights. She advised she has seen this in her own life as she has been persecuted for her political point of view. She stated previous testimony indicated same-sex relationships should be afforded the same respect as other relationships. She asked if this means they want homosexuals to be allowed to marry, adopt children, and have foster children. She stated as S.B. 466 is eliminated, all of those other issues will come into view. She stated if not this year, in the next session, legislators will be forced to say they voted for or against the first step in an advocacy point of view for homosexuals. She quoted from an article in the Reno Gazette Journal regarding a Nevada court case:
The Nevada Supreme Court refused 3 to 2 Thursday to restore parental rights to transsexuals who underwent a sex change operation and switched names from Tim to Suzanne Daly. The majority opinion written by Justice Thomas Stephen held that the termination of parental rights is best because of the risk of serious maladjustment, mental or emotional injury to the 12 year old daughter. The girl, according to her mother, viewed Suzanne Daly as weird and gross. Future prospects for emotional family stability are also dimmed by Suzanne's indication the child should know her friends who include lesbians, homosexuals, and transsexuals.
A copy of this article is attached as Exhibit O. Ms. Hansen stated this kind of problem will begin to surface more and more often as homosexuals seek custody of their children, and the great concerns of many parents surface.
Ms. Hansen then referred to a copy of an article from the Gay Community News, December 17, 1983. A copy of this article is attached as Exhibit P. Ms. Hansen advised this article is from the National Man Boy Love Association (NMBLA). She stated that, although S.B. 466 does not legalize sex with children, once the floodgate is let down, the continuing pressure will mount as it has everywhere. She stated the purpose of the NMBLA is to eliminate all laws regarding sexual consent. She stated one statement made by Boston activist Charles Shivley, speaking before a NMBLA conference said he wished to attack the pre-supposition that parents have a heredity right to their children that homosexuals do not have. She stated this means, in other words, homosexuals seek to undermine, eliminate and destroy the parental responsibility for their child. She stated Shivley also proposed abandoning the term "age of consent," saying that everyone is born having consent and the state takes it away. She stated this means little children and teenagers are born with the right to consent to be abused by pedophiles and others.
Senator James asked if Ms. Hansen was suggesting that S.B. 466 had something to do with that kind of activity.
Ms. Hansen stated she is suggesting that the bill will open the floodgate to the problem. She stated S.B. 466 is only the first step in legalizing, condoning and recognizing homosexuality to be on an equal footing with heterosexuality. She stated it is her organization's concern that children will be victimized by the acceptance of homosexuality.
Ms. Hansen stated that David Thorstad, another NMBLA member, criticized the gay movement for avoiding the question of age of consent and called for greater discussion of the issue. She advised that Mr. Thorstad stated that each case should be considered individually. Ms. Hansen wondered if they are going to ask the child, rather than the parents, what he thinks. She stated Mr. Thorstad said the organization had tried to link the issue to the question of empowering and liberating young people. She stated apparently, Mr. Thorstad feels that to allow children to be sexually abused is to empower them.
Senator Titus stated she had been reading the same article from which Ms. Hansen skipped over to the highlighted sections. Senator Titus stated the article discusses a member of the organization who criticizes the gay movement because it has not taken the position he has taken. She advised the article goes on to say the organization has avoided the questions and caused a great deal of controversy in the gay movement. She stated this would suggest that NMBLA is a very small group within the gay movement, and not the approach of the gay movement at all, which was what Ms. Hansen is trying to suggest.
Ms. Hansen advised the article is from 1984, and there is much more liberal thinking today than there was previously.
Senator Titus asked if Ms. Hansen has a more recent article which would substantiate this assertion.
Ms. Hansen stated she did not have an article with her, but they are available. She advised she was not suggesting that all homosexuals are involved in this type of activity. Her purpose in bringing this up was to identify a problem about which parents and many people such as those who signed her petitions have concerns. She stated the major concern is with their children, the promotion of homosexuality as an acceptable lifestyle, and the problem it brings to today's society. She stated the article is one example of an ideology and philosophy which is threatening families.
Senator Adler asked if Ms. Hansen's focus is against public or private activities.
Ms. Hansen stated her concern is with the public acceptance of homosexuality. She stated she does not believe it is practical to invade people's bedrooms to find out what they are doing. Her concern is with the public's acceptance of homosexuality.
Senator Adler asked if Ms. Hansen does not object to a law outlawing private activity, but objects to public activities.
Ms. Hansen stated she supports the law as it is currently written, which would also outlaw private activity. However, she stated her belief that this tends to hold the gate which would open the problems of homosexuality.
Senator Adler asked if Ms. Hansen cared to focus any resources on private activities.
Ms. Hansen answered that she did not wish to do this.
Ms. Hansen then referred to a study which was in the Nebraska Medical Journal. This study states that in the United States in the 1940s, about 14 percent of homosexuals admitted to having sex in public restrooms. She stated as of 1983, that had increased to 66 percent. She stated this is a concern to many people who feel this is not necessarily a private activity when it is conducted in public places. She further stated that, as homosexuality is accepted and condoned, these activities will increase.
Ms. Hansen referred to a videotape of a gay parade in San Francisco in 1991, which also contains excerpts of a gay parade held in public in Washington, D.C. She stated the videotape is so obscene that it was very difficult for her to view. She stated she would submit it to committee for those members who would like to see the kind of public sex activity which is taking place in places where there exists no law protecting people from these types of activities. She stated her belief that it is important for each member of the committee to watch precisely what goes on in other areas. She stated it is beyond her interest to describe those activities which are a part of homosexuality, but that it would be important for the committee to have a first-hand experience of looking at the videotape. She also advised she would leave a brochure which discusses what homosexuals do in those activities.
Ms. Hansen stated her position is that the law should be maintained which will provide a means of protection for families and the ensuing problems of promotion and acceptance in the law of homosexuality. She stated what homosexuals do in their bedrooms obviously had not been pursued in the state of Nevada and is not the issue. She stated the issue is the public acceptance and the condoning and promotion of homosexuality. She stated her belief that if the committee would talk to their constituents and determine their stand on the issue, they might find there is a very different public sentiment which has been indicated by those who have opposed the issue of homosexuals in the military. She stated there are concerns which are being ignored in the testimony previously heard by this committee.
Senator James asked if Ms. Hansen was suggesting that the current law is preventing this type of public activity from happening in Nevada, and that if the law is repealed that kind of thing will go on in this state.
Ms. Hansen stated her belief that the law as it stands is a deterrent, particularly for public sex. She further stated that as homosexuality is condoned the concerns of parents will increase, the family will continue to feel the assault of the homosexual movement. Many people who feel their rights have been violated by the political agenda of the homosexual such as in the boy scouts will have less opportunity to oppose the activity, because homosexuality will come on an equal footing with heterosexual and marriage relationships. She reiterated this will open the floodgate to such things as homosexual marriages and adoption of children. She stated S.B. 466 is just the beginning, and her organization is very concerned about public acceptance and promotion of homosexuality.
Senator James asked for confirmation of Ms. Hansen's understanding that S.B. 466 does not legalize any public acts. He reiterated Mr. Kelly's testimony regarding seven statutes which make that and other conduct illegal. He stated that if this law is repealed, it only repeals the law making these acts a felony between consenting adults.
Ms. Hansen stated she understood the bill, but that this would not be the only thing repealed. She stated her belief that public acceptance of homosexuality would result in the other laws being jeopardized. She stated that public acts are already in existence, even though they are not legal.
John D. Foulk, Minister, Glory Temple Church, provided oral testimony in opposition to S.B. 466. He reiterated previous testimony that someone would be at this hearing with the word, and stated that he must speak out as a minister. He stated his understanding of S.B. 466, as far as saying it does away with the law against consenting adults. He agreed there had been stirring testimony regarding this law. He stated he had observed that the law has not put anyone in jail for having sex in their bedroom. He stated he did not see anyone, when Mr. Smith admitted he was homosexual, putting handcuffs on him and taking him away to jail. He referred to the testimony of the man representing the Metropolitan Community Church, a homosexual church, and stated no one has arrested that church or the members for having homosexual relationships. He stated no one has taken the law in Leviticus 20:13, speaking about a man laying with another man as he lays with his wife being put to death. He advised he does not advocate this, but does believe as a minister of the gospel that the law in Nevada has been on the books for a number of years. He stated that it is a gate to prevent other activities and stated he feels very strongly the law should stay the way it is. He referred to the videotape offered by Ms. Hansen, and stated viewing it would make a person regurgitate and be disgusted. He stated that by retaining the current law on Nevada books, is to say to the people that the state is opposed to this type of activity in our community and that homosexuality on the street will not be condoned. He referred to public homosexual activity in San Francisco increasing as the laws have become looser and more free. He referred to Romans 1, speaking about God giving the people over to a reprobate mind because the men left their natural use for women and women left their natural use for men, and became bed partners. He stated his belief that if the current Nevada law is removed the legislature is saying it is alright to do this. He stated his belief that the current law is a deterrent to other laws which will be passed in generations to come. It will open doors for gay couples to adopt children and other activities. He stated his belief that the current law upholds the morality upon which our nation was established in the beginning, which was the word of God.
Senator James referred to Reverend Foulk's statement that if the law was being enforced he might look at it differently. He asked, for example, if someone started to enforce this law would Reverend Foulk then urge the legislature to act to repeal the law.
Reverend Foulk stated at that time he would have to reconsider the matter. He stated that, even though he does not advocate the law in Leviticus 20:13, he believes these men are killing themselves.
Lynn Chapman, Member of the Public, testified in opposition to S.B. 466. She stated she has had acquaintances who have died of AIDS, is acquainted with homosexuals, and is very fearful for them. She stated she did not understand how the behavior which spreads this disease can be condoned.
Senator James advised the law is not being enforced.
Ms. Chapman asked who is to say the law would not be enforced at a later time. She stated perhaps the law was made for a reason.
Senator Adler stated his belief that there is some misconception. He advised this is not an old law, but rather was amended in 1977 to address homosexuals, and the prior law outlawed this behavior among any individuals.
Senator James stated it seems that what all the medical people are saying is fairly accepted scientific knowledge. That is that AIDS does not care what sex someone is or what is their sexual persuasion.
Ms. Chapman stated the problem is that by repealing the law, an okay is being put on the behavior which can cause the spread of the disease and can cause death.
Senator James asked Ms. Chapman to respond to the medical people who testified that the existence of the law prevents people from getting tested for AIDS. Therefore, these people do not know they have the disease and continue to spread it unwittingly without having received treatment or knowledge of prevention. He stated his concern and his question was how Ms. Chapman would respond to whether or not the law needs to be repealed to encourage that testing and get the disease under control.
Ms. Chapman stated she found it hard to believe that people are afraid to come forward and have testing when there is a homosexual church practicing openly in the Reno area. She stated if homosexual people are not afraid to attend their church, being afraid to go in for testing does not make sense.
Senator James reiterated the doctor's testimony, and stated that it rings true to him that people who fear what they are doing is illegal would be afraid to come forward and be tested. He stated this law might be a deterrent to coming forward for testing, but is not a deterrent to the conduct itself.
Ms. Chapman reiterated repeal of the law would be acceptance of a lifestyle, which possibly is not acceptable to the majority of the people.
David Horton, Lobbyist, Committee to Restore the Constitution, provided testimony in opposition to S.B. 466. Mr. Horton stated he is a former district attorney in Lander County. He wondered how many members of the committee saw the C-Span program on Saturday, May 22, 1993, dealing with homosexuality. He stated this program provided much information which may be of interest to the committee. He stated he was struck by the pattern of strategy described there as to how the homosexual movement is using influence on the press and education to attain their ends, and the instrumentalities he had seen focusing in the testimony at this hearing, which are in conformity with that strategy. He advised an AIDS test is not the basis for a sodomy prosecution. He stated sexually transmitted diseases have for a long time been associated with conduct which has been criminal in one degree or another. He stated the question of testing as opposed to transmission is what needs to be focused upon. He stated this is not a civil rights issue, but rather a public health issue. He advised much attention in the media has been addressed to this being a civil rights issue. He suggested this is particularly dangerous when dealing with a situation where AIDS as a retro-virus, having a long incubation time, is very difficult to quarantine against, to detect, and to intercept in its course. He stated the information which is coming to the fore indicates that AIDS may be much more highly contagious and infectious than initially was supposed. He advised his son is engaged in microbiology research, and is currently conducting an experiment to see whether AIDS vaccination can be increased by civil orders of magnitude as to its possible success. He stated his view that changing the sodomy law is making his son's job more difficult. He stated the morality question has been alluded to, but there is another consideration. He advised Dante condemned the sodomites and the usuries to the same corner of Hell on the ground that they were both against the natural increase of nature. He stated regardless of what standards are used, it is known that there are certain inherent laws, regardless of what religion is practiced, and even if none is practiced. He stated one of these laws is that if society is trying to inculcate values in our youth, it makes it harder to inculcate constructive moral values if Nevada says that sodomy is okay. He stated this is what S.B. 466 seeks to do. He stated it has been said that this is a matter of privacy in a bedroom, and if so, these people are not bothered by the sodomy law. He stated this is not where it ends. He asked who is to pay the medical costs of $150,000 plus for looking after the terminal AIDS patient who was infected by the indirect encouragement of this type of admittedly high-risk activity. He stated he was shocked regarding the suggestion to do away with the sodomy law, to better handle the AIDS crisis. He stated his belief that this is a non sequitur. He stated his belief this would tend to accentuate the problem, not only with regard to any deterrents of encouraging youth not to engage in this practice, but also from the practical standpoint of condoning certain types of behavior tending to make difficult the discouragement of other types. He stated that he was not deterred from moving to Nevada 34 years ago and raising three children here because of the law against sodomy.
Paul Lorenzen, Member of the Public, testified in opposition to S.B. 466. He stated the only special interest group he represents is the registered voter. He stated he has listened to the gay rights movement discuss the issue of AIDS and gays. They say on the one hand that government should devote more attention, funds and research into AIDS because it is a problem shared by everyone. He stated this gives the impression that this disease is so dangerous to the whole population that major resources should be invested. Yet, on an issue such as S.B. 466 the issue of AIDS is brought up on the flip side of that perspective where to discriminate against gays is to discriminate against victims of AIDS, as though the major problem with AIDS is within the gay community. Mr. Lorenzen stated his belief that one of those positions needs to be taken, perhaps at the expense of the other. In his opinion, the second is the better position, that AIDS is an issue of the gay community, because expansion of AIDS in the heterosexual community has not been documented. He asked the committee not to let this discord confuse the issue. He stated his second concern is the issue of discrimination based on sexual preference. He advised many laws in the civil rights area are based on the principle of nondiscrimination based on race, sex, age, and so forth. He stated these are all based on non-behavior features. He said to discriminate on someone based on those sorts of things is something a person has no control over, and is in fact unfair. He stated the law in question does not deal with something a person has no control over, but a particular behavior. He stated he could say he had a tendency to be a thief.
Senator James asked about religion which is not something a person is born with, and cannot be the basis of discrimination.
Mr. Lorenzen agreed, and stated this is a freedom based on the constitution.
Senator James stated Mr. Lorenzen said discrimination concerns should not extend to something which is behavior based. However, society does not discriminate against someone on the basis of the religion a person chooses to practice. Therefore, why should society discriminate on the basis of another behavior.
Mr. Lorenzen reiterated that freedom of religion is established in the constitution. The others are issues of fairness, based on something a person has no control over. He stated his point is that to claim the current issue is a civil rights law is improper, and that it is a behavioral regulation. He urged the committee not to confuse this with a civil rights issue. It is a governing of behavior which, as long as the majority of the people of the state feel it is an inappropriate behavior and harmful to society, ought to remain on the books.
The punishment for a felony is 1 to 6 years in the state penitentiary. Senator James stated he did not understand why this is logical. If people are engaging in this conduct and are committing a crime, the legislature would be reaffirming again the desire for it to be a crime if S.B. 466 is not passed. He stated if that is the case, the law would still not be enforced. Some of the witnesses in favor of keeping the law say if the law were enforced it should be repealed. Senator James stated that, if the law was enforced, all of the citizens of Nevada engaging in this conduct could be put behind bars. His question was, why keep such a law on the books? Is it to protect some larger social agenda or to stop the floodgate? He asked why these questions should not be addressed when they arise. He stated the question here is whether someone who engages in this conduct is worthy of a sentence of imprisonment, as would be any other felon - - why an otherwise law abiding citizen who breaks no other law, is a functioning, taxpaying member of society, who engages in this conduct is a felon, and belongs behind bars. Senator James asked how in this day and age society can justify keeping such a law around.
Mr. Lorenzen stated this is not a civil rights issue. He stated this is a conduct issue, and he urged the committee to keep that point in mind. He stated, as to the enforcement issue, there are many laws in the state which are not enforced with many infractions, for example the 55 mile per hour speed limit law. He stated enforcement tends to come after the violation gets more severe than simply a technical violation. He stated his belief that this is probably an appropriate response for law enforcement. As long as the behavior, spoken to in the law at issue, is confined to private homes and is not causing other complications or validating other harmful behavior, perhaps the enforcement should be in the same manner. When it becomes part of a pattern or causes other ramifications, it would become another component of the enforcement which may be available. He reiterated his belief that there are many unenforced laws on the books, which does not necessarily mean those laws should be removed.
Senator James asked what good it does to have a law on the books which is not enforced.
Mr. Lorenzen replied that it makes a statement.
Senator James stated adultery and pre-marital sex is not condoned, but there is no law making it a felony. He asked why there should not be a law against adultery in Nevada. He stated it is not a crime to commit adultery, but stated his belief that everyone who believes in the institution of marriage or religion would say it is wrong to commit adultery.
Mr. Lorenzen stated Senator James' example might point out the very reason the opponents of S.B. 466 think the law should remain. He stated that, because there is no law against adultery and pre-marital sex, there is rampant adultery and pre-marital sex. He stated in the early part of this century there existed a different value system which was implanted in our society by other means. He further stated our society does not enforce these values and therefore the values dissipate. He stated his belief that by removing the law at issue, the same result would occur. The value system which our society is trying to hold together would dissipate also.
Mr. Lorenzen stated, regarding people not coming forward for testing for AIDS because of threat of enforcement, he suggested this could be resolved by having an amnesty provision in the law. He suggested the law could state that if someone came forward for testing on his or her own volition, that person would have amnesty against prosecution.
Mr. Lorenzen stated he would like the committee to consider the adage, "your rights end where my nose begins." He stated that if the impact of the behavior being discussed in this law stayed within a person's bedroom and had no impact on the rest of the public, the removing of the law might have merit. He stated, however, there seems to be much evidence in scientific literature that homosexual population tends to have a higher degree of AIDS. He stated this affects him because the health costs increase and insurance costs go up. He stated his belief that he should have a right to have a say in the kind of behavior of other people which ends up impacting him financially.
Senator James stated he had heard just the opposite. He had heard that in one of the African countries AIDS was spreading so fast in the heterosexual population that this is now the major concern. He stated he did not have written data in this regard, and would welcome anyone in the medical community to provide him with this data. He referred to Mr. Lorenzen's earlier statement that AIDS is not a heterosexual disease. Senator James stated his belief that it really is in other parts of the world, and it should be taken seriously in this country.
Mr. Lorenzen agreed that there are parts of the world having much greater expansion of the disease in the heterosexual community. He stated he has read and been told by medical experts that the act of sodomy, having to do with the anal passage, tends to generate a higher degree of bleeding than would vaginal intercourse. Because of the higher incidence of bleeding which is caused by that particular act, and the fact that AIDS spreads by bleeding or transmission by fluids, that this is one of the reasons why a homosexual act would tend to transmit the disease easier than a heterosexual act.
Senator Adler stated the committee had heard much debate over AIDS and whether or not the passage of the bill would create a health risk. He stated if this was what was being done, the legislature would certainly make cigarette smoking a felony as well. He stated he was not sure which way all of the arguments over AIDS cut, having listened to the physicians and people on the other side. He stated he was not sure this information should decide the bill, because the information seems to be fairly inconclusive.
Mr. Lorenzen stated Senator Adler's point was well taken.
Senator Adler stated alcoholism is an activity which society should discourage, as is cigarette smoking. He advised he had lost more friends to cigarette smoking than anything else.
Mr. Lorenzen stated he appreciated the committee's attention to his comments. He suggested that, while he is not a medical expert, if medical aspects are a concern perhaps a panel of experts on both sides might be helpful.
Senator Shaffer stated he believed Mr. Lorenzen had made a very positive suggestion. He suggested if the committee's concern is in addressing the medical problem, and the desire is to treat everyone without the possibility of arrest, an exemption could be made in the law to omit those coming forward for testing for prosection, and leave the law on the books.
Senator James advised that the committee would hear the testimony regarding S.B. 475, and would then continue with the hearing on S.B. 466. The hearing was closed on S.B. 466.
Senator James opened the hearing on Senate Bill (S.B.) 475.
SENATE BILL 475: Eliminates Nevada racing commission and transfers responsibilities to Nevada gaming commission. (BDR 41-1994)
Senator Dean A. Rhoads, the sponsor of the bill, provided testimony on S.B. 475. He presented a background on the Nevada Racing Commission and his involvement with the commission. He stated he was past president of the Elko County Fair Board which has put on the Elko County Races for some 15 years. He therefore spent much time with the Nevada Racing Commission and some of the problems and mandates. He advised many dedicated people have served on the Nevada Racing Commission. During the past 18 to 20 years, only Elko, Ely and Winnemucca have attempted to put on horse races, and Las Vegas continually tries to put on a dog racing track. He advised for these reasons, finances have been struggling and many people have put in volunteer time and many have back pay due them at this time. He stated he reluctantly favors putting the Nevada Racing Commission under the Nevada Gaming Control Board. He believes that, until a major track is established, the three county meets will be suffering financially. He believes it is important to keep these racing meets going, as it helps tourism in Nevada and the diversity of industry. He stated that perhaps with proper funding from the Nevada Racing Commission, the races could continue and perhaps prosper and become larger.
Judy Matteucci, Director, State of Nevada, Department of Administration, explained S.B. 475 was essentially pulled out of the Governor's proposal for reorganization into this separate bill. The purpose is to expedite handling the transfer of responsibilities from the Nevada Racing Commission to the Nevada Gaming Control Board. She advised this was built into the Governor's budget and special contract monies were built into the Nevada Gaming Control Board's budget to handle the special testing for the horses, which would accomplish the transfer of the duties of the Nevada Racing Commission into the Nevada Gaming Control Board.
Senator McGinness asked how the testing will be handled and if it will be contracted out.
Ms. Matteucci replied proposals have been prepared for contractual services for the testing.
William A. Bible, Chairman, Nevada Gaming Control Board, provided oral testimony. He responded to Senator McGinness' question by saying the Budget Office, in reviewing and recommending the board's budget to the legislature, incorporated funds into a contract services area in order to acquire the testing services.
Senator McGinness asked if the board envisioned contracting with someone only for the days of the race.
Mr. Bible replied the testing would an intermittent service.
Senator McGinness advised there are approximately 10 days per year in which races are held, and agreed the intermittent service would be the best approach.
Senator Jacobsen asked if there is currently anyone on the board who would meet the qualifications to perform the testing.
Mr. Bible replied there is currently no one who has a horseman's interest or who had participated in this type of activity in the past.
Senator Jacobsen asked if this would present a problem regarding overtime.
Mr. Bible replied this should not create a problem in this area.
Sharon Brandsness, Commissioner and Director, Nevada Racing Commission, provided oral testimony in opposition to S.B. 475. Ms. Brandsness stated it disturbed her to hear the feeling of naivete just expressed regarding the regulation of horse and greyhound racing within the state of Nevada. She stated she had been prepared to review all portions of the bill which are detrimental to racing. She noted the bill eliminates the 1 percent tax which any racing association must currently pay, but also states the associations will pick up all expenses for officials, which amounts to approximately $35,000 per year. She does not believe the associations could afford this change. Additionally, she stated the bill allows the associations to establish a "non-profit" status to conduct racing where no tax would have to be paid. Rather than to extensively review the bill, Ms. Brandsness read from a letter sent to Chairman James by John Redlien, Nevada's Chief Deputy Attorney General, who has been the attorney for the Nevada Racing Commission for 7 years. Ms. Brandsness felt Mr. Redlien personally understands and knows her agency better than anyone outside of the commission. She read as follows:
While I do not doubt that the [Nevada] Gaming Control Board is fully capable of managing the parimutuel activity of either a county fair event or commercial race track, administration of the wagering activity is a relatively minor part of the regulation of these activities. The vast majority of the regulations found in Chapter 466 of the Nevada Administrative Code are devoted to what transpires in the barns, paddocks and the tracks. [Ms. Brandsness stated she would add jocks room here.] Those regulations enable the staff of the [Nevada] Racing Commission to exercise authority over essential race meet functions which include everything from an animals tattoo and its performance in other jurisdictions to whether or not an animal has been drugged or sterilized since its last contest.
The regulation of these events requires a vast amount of expert knowledge regarding the physical fitness and performance of not only the animals involved, but the conduct of jockeys and trainers [Ms. Brandsness stated she would add owners here] in managing those animals and conducting themselves at the track.
The [Nevada] Gaming Control Board is frankly no better equipped to manage such activities than they would be to regulate the practice of nursing or medicine in the state.
Ms. Brandsness advised that, as mandated by law, the commission is charged with not only to protect the interests of the public, the regulating aspect of the commission, but to promote racing in Nevada. She further advised the commission's purpose is to encourage and promote the breeding of horses and greyhounds in Nevada. She stated that the commission has been working closely for 4 years with the Las Vegas greyhound track to attempt to reopen the racetrack. She advised this would be an answer to the racing problems in the rural jurisdictions, and be a good addition to the state's General Fund.
Ms. Brandsness advised she recently spoke with Mr. Laney regarding S.B. 475 and he was terribly upset. He told her he is the closest he has been in 4 years of finalizing a $12 million finance package with an east coast investor to finalize his project. He stated the transfer of authority and regulation from the Nevada Racing Commission, which knows and understands racing, to the Nevada Gaming Control Board, would frighten the investors away. Ms. Brandsness advised the commission would hate to see this project put into jeopardy. She stated, regarding damage to the horsemen, the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) would no longer recognize the AQHA races held on Nevada tracks until they had been given a 1 or 2 year period to reassess the regulation which would be conducted by the Nevada Gaming Control Board. If they found this regulation to be suitable and of the quality of the Nevada Racing Commission within the state of Nevada, they would then re-grant the status of recognized races for Nevada. Ms. Brandsness stated this would certainly hurt the number of horses brought into Nevada, and the horsemen would choose to go elsewhere rather than to bring and race them at risk of having no recognition for more than 50 percent of the races in Nevada.
Ms. Brandsness advised it took the commission 7 years to get the Elko Futurity recognized as a graded stakes race. Every year she attends a meeting in various parts of the United States to see that this re-grading is established. She stated Elko is the first and only graded stakes race with which Nevada has been honored. This race would immediately be eliminated if S.B. 475 is passed. She further advised the commission has succeeded in obtaining $4,000 additional money from the Quarterhorse Breeders Classic for the Elko Derby. That money would be immediately eliminated upon passage of the bill. She stated the bill eliminates the breeders award, which encourages the breeding of horses within the state.
Ms. Brandsness concluded by saying she is still confused as to the reasons for isolating out the commission. She advised when the commission originally received the report they spent much time documenting, with similar information, the package given to the committee. (A copy of this package is attached as Exhibit Q.) She stated this package was provided to give the committee an idea of what the commission does. She referred to the package which includes a copy of the minutes of the commission, indicating the expertise required. Also included is an organizational structure, showing the persons hired on a contract basis for horse racing, which shows that the parimutuel bettor has an honest wager, and an equal chance. She stated the commission sees to it that the jockey, whose livelihood depends on whether he can win on his horse, has an equal chance of winning. She further stated the commission sees to it that the owner, who has a major investment in the horse, has an equal chance of his horse winning. She concluded the management of these activities is not simply a matter of doing testing. The testing is importantbutis only one phase of what is done by the commission. She believes the bill will tremendously damage racing in Nevada. She is aware of the financial problems, but stated this is a totally separate issue which she believes could and should be handled separately. She did not believe S.B. 475 is the answer to the problems which exist.
Ms. Brandsness stated when she received the initial list from the Governor's committee on reorganization, the commission was not on the list. She stated she received another list 4 to 6 weeks later, after other state agencies had played with it, and the commission was on the list. She stated the commission was ready to deal with this and asked why the commission had been separated. She also asked why the commission was not afforded the provision that if an agency is absorbed into another agency, the first agency would receive 2 years credit for the employees who would be displaced. She advised there is much missing from S.B. 475 which the overall package was to accommodate.
Leo Puccinelli, Chairman, Nevada Racing Commission, provided oral testimony. He stated he has been a member of a board or a commission for the state of Nevada for over 30 years, often as the chairman. He advised he has been the chairman of the Nevada Racing Commission for the past 5 or 6 years. He stated when he received Chairman James' letter telling him about the hearing of S.B. 475, this was the first time that he had ever had the courtesy of anyone sending him a letter and inviting him to come to a meeting. He extended his appreciation for this notification. Mr. Puccinelli responded to Senator McGinness' statement regarding contract work involving only 3 or 4 days of racing. Mr. Puccinelli advised contract work is not limited to the days of racing, but rather starts when the horses arrive at the facility, generally a week to 10 days in advance of the race. The veterinarians, identifiers and others must be there the entire time. Infrequently, the drug work is done during the race, unless one or more animals is found to need this before the race. The horses must also be checked for soundness. The person placing a bet wants to know the horse is going to ridden honestly and is not being drugged, that the jockey does not have a buzzer on, and that the horse is not lame. The commission does not permit a horse to run if it is incapable of putting forth its best effort. He read from the Mr. Redlien's letter, which Ms. Brandsness referred to earlier:
While I have no specific information regarding the origin of this bill, it is believed by the membership of the [Nevada] Racing Commission that at least some impetus has been added through the drafting of this legislation by dissatisfaction on the part of the Department of Administration regarding [Nevada] Racing Commission finances.
Mr. Puccinelli stated the commission has been short of finances because the legislature has never given it any money. He advised the legislature stated the commission was entitled to 1 percent of the gross handle on the races. The commission occasionally finds an infraction regarding a horse or jockey, and might have fines amounting to $1,000 or $1,500 per year. The rest of the commission's income is derived from the sale of licenses to jockeys, trainers, and owners. He stated the passage of S.B. 475 would transfer the same responsibility to the gaming board. He asked what they will use for money if they carry out the job they are mandated to do. He advised he would like to see the legislature function if the entire session was funded with only $250,000. He advised that from the day that would be put into effect, the legislature would be in default, because of everything mandated, with that limited amount of money.
Mr. Puccinelli advised that the transfer of authority to the gaming board changes nothing. The veterinarians, labs, state steward, and all other obligations must still be paid. The fact that the gaming board has a greater budget realized from gaming does not mean they are not spending the money. He stated his opinion that the gaming board does not have the expertise necessary to function as is needed in the mandate of the racing authority. He believes the S.B. 475 is ill conceived, and that it would be foolhardy to enact it into law. He stated if the gaming board wishes to take over the parimutuel functions, that would be fine. He advised the commission has been doing this for the gaming board for years. He advised further the commission has had dedicated people working on racing projects for years. To suddenly tell them they have not been doing things right and give the responsibility to someone else who will spend more money than the commission, is an affront. He advised he did not refer to himself, but to the other people he has hired. He stated these people's functions and goals are to produce the racing sport in the state of Nevada and they do it because of their love of animals, and particularly horses. He believed this is something which cannot be overlooked. A person cannot be legislated to love an animal, and certainly the gaming board is not looking after the welfare of animals. He stated, furthermore, they do not know how to do this, but would have to hire it done. To hire it done will spend the same money the commission would have spent, only more, as the commission did not need as much because of their expertise.
Mr. Puccinelli concluded by stating the commission is composed of hard working people. They have dealt with situations when there was no money, and have put money out of their own pockets. He stated Ms. Brandsness alone has spent thousands. She has obtained, with the help of the racing commission, the graded stakes race for Nevada for the first time in the history of the state, even when Reno and Las Vegas had racing years ago. The Nevada graded race is a grade three, which is the lowest race, but it is a graded race. He also advised in approximately May of 1994, the International Convention of Racing Commissioners will be held in Las Vegas. This convention was obtained for Nevada by Ms. Brandsness. She attended the meetings nationally and internationally and promoted Las Vegas for several years. Mr. Puccinelli advised this convention will bring thousands of dollars into the state. He asked the committee to consider this convention coming to Las Vegas by the sponsorship of the commission, and to have the conventioneers discover Nevada no longer has a racing commission. He stated S.B. 475 flies in the face of what is being done in every other state. He gave examples of other states who have gone into racing and instituted racing commissions, and stated Nevada is going in a reverse direction. He advised this is a job for the racing commission to do, they can do it, and only need a small amount of funding to do so.
Senator Smith asked what the proposed budget of the commission had been.
Ms. Brandsness replied the commission needs approximately $35,000 per year for supplies, laboratory testing and so forth, to regulate the June Mule Races in Winnemucca, and the Ely and Elko races. Currently the commission generates from $8,000 to $12,000 total per year. She advised she has tried to impress to the money committees that the commission has from 1,400 from 1,800 people who come into the state for these races and stay from 6 to 8 weeks. This brings much revenue into the state in addition to the parimutuel taxes paid. This is the reason racing has been in Nevada for nearly 100 years and why the commission has been in existence for over 40 years. She advised the total experience of five of the seven commission staff members is 150 years in hands-on racing. She stated S.B. 475 says the state does not need this expertise, but only a testing laboratory.
Senator McGinness asked where the commission's staff is located.
Ms. Brandsness advised one veterinarian, a graduate of the University of Nevada, Reno is a contract employee living in Oregon, but comes to Nevada to run the testing. The commission's state veterinarian is from Las Vegas, as are the other members of the commission.
Senator McGinness asked if much of the commission's budget concerns travel because of the three races in northern Nevada.
Ms. Brandsness stated this is correct, depending on which member of the commission is involved. She advised racing occurs approximately 7 weeks per year, and part of the crew arrives a week before the race. She stated 450 licenses must be issued, and Racing Commissioners International must be contacted for each licensee to determine if any have felonies against them.
Senator McGinness stated his concern regarding members being in Las Vegas when all the races are in northern Nevada.
Ms. Brandsness advised the commission's staff has not been paid for 2 years. These individuals have a contract with the state of Nevada which says the employees will paid for their expertise. In addition, these people are on the road for 6 weeks, and must pay travel, gas, motel and food expenses out of their own pockets.
Mr. Pucinelli asked if one could imagine the Nevada Gaming Control Board doing this out of their own pocket. He stated, however, these jobs must be done if racing is to be supervised as it must be.
Senator Jacobsen asked when Ms. Brandsness and Mr. Puccinelli were first made aware of this proposal.
Mr. Puccinelli stated he was told of the bill by Ms. Brandsness about 2 to 3 days before Senator James wrote to him advising him of the hearing.
Ms. Brandsness stated she was notified approximately 1 week before the hearing, the day after the bill was introduced.
Senator James advised the bill states this proposal is in the Governor's budget, and this issue is being heard by the Senate Committee on Finance. Senator James asked if the bill would not have to go back to that committee. He asked if the bill should not being heard as part of the budget.
Ms. Matteucci replied that S.B. 475 was part of the reorganization proposed when the Governor's budget came forth. The bill was originally intended to be included in the reorganization package as a whole. However, at the request of Senator Rhoads, and Assemblymen Marvel and Carpenter the bill was made a separate measure to accommodate the transfer of authority before the 1993 racing season began. Ms. Matteucci advised this request was a result of information supplied from the racing commission that they had overspent their budget by some $63,000 this year. This information was received from the racing commission via a carbon copy. This gave rise to concerns relative to the commission's financial situation. Ms. Matteucci advised that the racing commission has required a supplemental appropriation for 3 of the past 3 bienniums. This is part of the concern that perhaps it is time to move the duties and responsibilities of the racing commission into a larger agency having more statewide scope. Ms. Matteucci affirmed that if S.B. 475 is questioned by the judiciary committee, or if further discussion is necessary, the bill would be in the purview of the finance committee as well, and the budgets have been heard. She did not believe there had been a lot of questioning by the finance committee as to S.B. 475. She assumed, therefore, that there were not great concerns by that committee in this regard. She advised, for clarification, that the excess funding placed in the Nevada Gaming Control Board budget was not only for testing for horses, but also to continue the stewards, veterinarians and other matters necessary to accommodate racing. These are matters not normally handled by the Nevada Gaming Control Board.
Senator James asked if the funds allocated would cover the expenses. He asked Mr. Bible if the Nevada Gaming Control Board will be able to do all that is necessary to regulate the activities, formerly done by the racing commission. He stated the book of regulations speaks to the health and medication of horses, prohibited acts, licensing and many other regulations.
Mr. Bible believed the Senate Committee on Judiciary probably received S.B. 475 because it affects Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS), Chapter 463. He advised the concept of the bill has been discussed for a number of years. These discussions did not necessarily speak to the transfer of responsibility to the Nevada Gaming Control Board, but rather some sort of reorganization activity involving the racing commission. These discussions have taken place in the money committees, due to fiscal problems. He responded to Senator James' question by advising the Budget Office provided the Nevada Gaming Control Board with a line-item budget, or increased the board's contract services budget by $20,000. He advised the total budget of the board is $16 or $17 million. He stated the board consulted the Budget Office and both money committees, after this proposal was developed. Due to conferences with the racing commission, the board's analysis was that, in order to maintain the current level of activities, the board would require monies in excess of the allocation. He suggested $35,000 would seem a reasonable amount. He stated the next question becomes the appropriateness of the level in which the operations are currently conducted. He advised he is not in a position to determine whether the current level of regulatory oversight is appropriate for this particular function. He advised if S.B. 475 is successful, one of the first things he intends to do is talk to the racing agencies in Nevada's sister states, to determine the appropriate level of racing activities currently being conducted in Nevada. He advised Nevada has good relationships with these states due to a number of approval processes for tracks. Mr. Bible stated, in response to Senator McGinness' question that the Nevada Gaming Control Board does maintain offices in Elko. It would be his intent for that office to take the lead role in supervising the racing activities.
Senator James asked for confirmation that if S.B. 475 is passed, Mr. Bible would have to make the decision as to whether funding in addition to the $20,000 is needed.
Mr. Bible replied the money committees currently have this under consideration, but does not know the possible outcome, as this is not a good year to request additional money for a budget. He further advised the board has many resources within their budget in terms of manpower and financial items.
Senator Jacobsen asked for and received confirmation that regardless of the action of the Senate Committee on Judiciary, S.B. 475 would still have to be heard by the finance committee.
Ms. Brandsness stated she found interesting Ms. Matteucci's statement that excess funds are available to regulate racing. This is the first knowledge the Nevada Racing Commission has had of these funds. She also advised the Nevada Racing Commission has never had their requested budget approved. The commission has always requested exactly what was necessary to regulate racing, and the request has always been rejected. The Governor's proposal has always been submitted, which was basically what the commission had generated in income from the prior year. Ms. Brandsness advised she has always had to go before the senate and assembly money committees and beg for the money necessary to regulate. She advised in the 1991 legislative session, the Senate Committee on Finance recognized they had mandated that the commission regulate a gaming entity in Nevada, and had given the commission no money to do so. This committee gave the commission the full budget. Ms. Brandsness then testified in the assembly, receiving very sympathetic reaction. The next advice she received from the legislature was that the commission had received nothing. She advised she would be appearing before the Senate Committee on Finance on May 25, 1993, at the request of Senator Raggio. She advised the $63,000 referred to by Ms. Matteucci is for the past 2 years, not for the past year, and Senator Raggio has requested Ms. Brandsness to make a presentation for allocations for those funds. She asked why, if the money is available, as Ms. Matteucci testified, the racing commission needs fixing when it is not broke.
Senator James confirmed there was no further testimony regarding S.B. 475, and closed the hearing.
The hearing was reopened on S.B. 466.
Pro-Life Andy Anderson, Lobbyist, C.H.I.L.D. of God, provided testimony in opposition to S.B. 466. Mr. Anderson asked that it be understood that he was not appearing to judge, condemn, or insult anyone individually who has personal problems, whether those problems be dealing with sexuality, alcohol, drugs, or other defect in human nature. He stated that God created all people for a natural and supernatural destiny and has given us His directions, guidance and the life of his only son, Jesus Christ to help us fulfill that destiny. He stated human laws which deny or defy the laws of God, and are anti-life and anti-human, are null and void and cannot demand honest and just obedience from decent citizens. He stated laws are not eliminated against drunk driving, rape, burglary, and others, simply because people still do these things. The laws do, however, do help to deter most offenders out of fear of the consequences. He stated there is no such thing as drunk driver rights, rape rights or burglar rights. All people have rights as human beings, not because of faulty qualities possessed, but in spite of those qualities. He stated, therefore, to make an evil act legal is to give it permission and approval and to continue without any restraint whatsoever. He stated his wife died in 1984, and at times he is very lonely. However, this does not give him the right to make time with his best friend's wife when he is out of town, because legally his friend could sue his wife for adultery, which would be a crime, and grounds for divorce. He stated, therefore, even though adultery is not a crime in the law books, it is still grounds for divorce. He referred to a tape which he provided to the committee, which he stated tells why these problems exist. He showed the committee a book on AIDS, and stated the book shows the result of the private lovemaking referred to in the law at issue. He stated, therefore, there is no such thing as a private affair, and what is done by homosexuals does affect the rest of the public. He stated doing away with this law would be like telling drunk drivers to drink all they want to in their homes, but not to get into an automobile, because at that point the private act becomes a deadly minister of the people.
Joe Dahl, Member of the Public, testified in opposition to S.B. 466. Mr. Dahl advised he is a paid lobbyist, but has not been asked to lobby regarding this issue. He stated that where he comes from, across the state in the cow counties, the feeling is that people should preserve what are becoming old fashioned values. He advised that when he goes back amongst his people and if S.B. 466 becomes law, those people will ask him why he did not say anything. He stated the perception at the other side of the state is that there is a bill in the legislature which will repeal the ban on homosexuality. He stated he understands that there may be support for the bill because of the disease issue. However, the perception is that homosexuality is wrong. He recalled that this has been called a civil rights issue and a health issue, but the really important issue is that it is an issue of right and wrong. He stated many people who feel this way do not say so, because it is unfashionable. Homosexuality is accepted on television, and among the friends of those practicing this behavior. He stated, however, homosexuality is a very small community. People do not say anything about it because they will be considered discriminatory, homophobic, or bigoted. He stated that if he were a political consultant managing a re-election campaign for a legislator, he would advise that legislator to make a sane, stable, strong stand against homosexuality. He would encourage that legislator to make strong stands on moral issues. He stated he is certain the legislator would be surprised at the support this would generate. He suggested that when legislators go back to their constituents, these kinds of issues are going to require explanations. He asked the committee to remember the saying "men need to be reminded more than they need to be taught." He wanted to remind the committee that this issue is one of right and wrong, and to remember that in history, it has always been wrong, and it always will be. He stated that if the law against this behavior is repealed, the behavior will still be wrong.
Harry Johnson, Member of the Public, provided testimony in opposition to S.B. 466. He stated there is more to the issue at hand than simply government invading the bedroom. He stated the sodomy laws are needed to stop the seducing and recruiting of young boys for homosexual purposes. He stated the laws are needed to prevent teaching young children graphic, homosexual and lesbian practices in the public schools, as has occurred in New York state. He stated the laws are needed to stop homosexuals from taking over public restrooms for their disgusting activities, as has happened in many areas, and as happened in Carson City a short time ago. He stated the law should be strengthened to identify and trace AIDS carriers to protect the public from the spread of the disease and contamination of blood supplies.
Lucille K. Lusk, Lobbyist, Nevada Coalition of Concerned Citizens, testified in opposition to S.B. 466. She stated this issue is divisive, and strong opinions exist on both sides. She stated that it may be that the issue of homosexuality and whether it will be legal and encouraged, is the defining issue of our time. She stated this may determine what our society will become in the long term, in matters such as the teaching of values, foster parenting and adopting children. She stated the issue may also determine what children will be taught in the compulsory education environment of the public school classroom. She stated her major concern is the impact of S.B. 466 on children and the efforts in the public schools to impose homosexual values. She referred to an earlier statement that perhaps these other issues should be addressed when they arise. She advised that those issues are arising now. She stated in 1990, in the Clark County schools, a program called Project 10 nearly slipped into the school curriculum. She explained Project 10 is a homosexual advocacy program. She stated review of the material makes clear that it contains aspects of recruitment. She advised this program was stopped only by the existence of the law in question. It was pointed out to public school officials that if they proceeded with the program they would be advocating acts which were a crime. Ms. Lusk added that it is also a crime for schools to advocate criminal acts. She advised this was the only way Project 10 was stopped. She submitted to the committee a copy of an article regarding Project 10. A copy of this article is attached as Exhibit P. She stated the article is not an advocacy nor opposition to Project 10. She advised the article quotes individuals who have had experience with the project. She stated the article points out that parental consent was not obtained for any of the students who participated in the project. She advised the article contains excerpts from the curriculum, which are very graphic, and more obscene than what is found in the majority of "R" rated movies. She stated, even with these considerations, the project is designed for children. She advised the project originated in the Los Angeles unified school district, and has spread to other places. She stated some sexually graphic accounts included in the program describe the homosexual acts between minors and adults. She stated she did not believe the committee would let her get by with putting this on the record, and yet this is for children and was in the process of being used in a school district in Nevada. She advised arguments in the article would apply not only to Project 10, but also to New York's rainbow curriculum and a variety of other things. She stated she also has with her material she obtained which was distributed in public schools in Washington state by the militant homosexual group Actup. She stated that material is far more offensive even than Project 10, and she would not impose it on the committee and certainly would not find it acceptable to be imposed on children in the public schools. She stated if there is any doubt in the minds of the committee members as to what type of material she refers to, she would provide a copy, but would not do so except at the committee's request. She advised the article regarding Project 10 points out that when these programs were implemented without parental knowledge and consent, many students were pulled into the programs which were included in required classes. She stated many students objected to the programs, yet the programs were imposed upon the students. She advised the article points out some of the concerns of her organization. She quoted from the article:
First, Project 10 is a recruitment program. No balanced program is offered. (Students) religious upbringing is set aside. They are given the gay youth newsletter and other gay affirming material. They are encouraged to go to the Gay and Lesbian Community Services Center.
Second, the parent/child relationship is being violated - flagrantly violated - when you have the state and school district becoming an adversary against parent/child privacy rights and tearing down those rights.
Ms. Lusk stated the committee has heard much about intrusion into privacy rights. She submitted that Project 10 is an intrusion into privacy rights of students and families. She asked the committee how protection might be afforded those whose sincerely held beliefs are violated by this type of program, if in fact the law prohibiting sodomy is overturned. She stated that, if the law is repealed, children will have no protection against the imposition of a theology which advocates homosexuality as being right.
Senator James stated he understood Ms. Lusk's point of view. He added that he would not advocate promoting any type of sexual lifestyle, whether it be homosexual or promoting, through the schools, someone to engage in any sexual activity. He asked why the law must be on the books making something a felony in order to advance that policy. He stated the local communities should decide what the school curriculum will be and who will be involved with the students.
Ms. Lusk asked Senator James if, concurrently with this activity, a law could be written which would assure the protection from the various possible effects spoken of by her and other opponents of S.B. 466, which some members of the committee seem to feel are not connected. She advised her organization, and others, believe these things are very strongly connected. She suggested that if the law is repealed without putting protections in place, the rights of opponents will be trampled, and there will be an imposition of a value system which is a theology. She referred to a previous testifier stating support of the bill because it is consistent with their beliefs. She stated she understands and appreciates this, however, the imposition of that theology in the public schools is inappropriate. She asked the committee to read carefully the article which she provided, stating it may be helpful. She further requested the committee to determine whether the material is appropriate or desirable for children, and make a stand. She asked that the committee be accountable for the decision they make and the society they choose. She stated if the current law is repealed without concurrent action which is a serious protection, a serious deterioration will result.
Senator James asked what Ms. Lusk would propose the legislature do to address the problem she raised. He stated his belief that this is a separate question from whether to charge gay people with a felony.
Ms. Lusk stated she wished she had the answer, and if she did she would propose one. She stated the only avenue of protection in the past has been the existence of the present law. She stated it is important to realize that the two issues go hand in hand. She recalled earlier testimony regarding the constitutionality of the law. She stated her belief that it is not a constitutional issue, because the supreme court upheld the sodomy law in 1986. She stated that if that law differs from the Nevada law, she would suggest reviewing Georgia's law, which was upheld by the supreme court. She suggested this might provide the answer, and would assure constitutionality.
Senator Titus stated she believed this is a question for the local school boards, and that the protection is there because local school boards are elected. She stated these are not people who make decisions regarding curriculum with no input from the public. If they are imposing certain values to which Ms. Lusk's group is opposed, testimony can be presented to the board. Further, the public can chose not to re-elect the board members in the next election.
Ms. Lusk stated she understands what Senator Titus has suggested. She shared with the committee what happened on the Project 10 issue in the Clark County School District. She stated it was never passed through the school board. It came about as a memorandum and direction from a high-level administrator in connection with the "school break specials" which the teachers and principals were encouraged to utilize. The memorandum advised the teachers to use the material to go with the school break special.
Senator Titus asked for a definition of "school break special."
Ms. Lusk advised this is television programming designed for schools.
Senator Titus asked if all classes use this programming.
Ms. Lusk advised many classes use them. In the instance she speaks of, a memorandum of direction to use them went to all principals, and the principals were to pass them on to the teachers.
Senator Titus asked if these are public television programs, or tapes which are shown.
Ms. Lusk replied at that particular time, the programs were on the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS).
Senator Titus asked for confirmation that the offending material was on a network program.
Ms. Lusk replied the CBS program was not offensive. However, with the memorandum came the directive to utilize Project 10 as classroom discussion in connection with having shown the CBS school break special.
Senator Titus asked if teachers are able to decide if they want to use the school break special.
Ms. Lusk stated the particular memorandum distributed encouraged, but did not mandate the teachers to do this.
Senator Titus asked in what grade this occurred.
Ms. Lusk stated in that particular instances, junior high schools and high schools were involved. She stated, however, this is not always the case, and elementary schools are often involved. She stated her point was that there was a teacher who received this directive, and felt it was highly inappropriate, and passed it on to others, one of which was Ms. Lusk. This was the only reason Ms. Lusk's organization even knew what was happening. Ms. Lusk's organization made contact with the administration, bringing to their attention what was being promoted was criminal acts.
Senator Adler stated he found it unbelievable that this activity in public schools could not be stopped without a sodomy law. He stated his belief that if the situation had been brought to the attention of the proper authorities, it would not have happened. He stated he did not see the connection between the incident and the law.
Ms. Lusk replied that the connection was that, in her opinion, the program would have proceeded if the argument regarding the law had not been made. She stated the memorandum had already been sent, and the encouragement made.
Senator Adler asked if a similar program on, for example, heterosexual activities, could not have been stopped by simply going to the school board and stating the program was inappropriate.
Ms. Lusk stated if the material had been brought through the school board, as in her opinion it should be, there would be a legitimate public issue. She stated Project 10 material is being proposed and fought in other locations. She advised in some cases people opposing it are successful and in other cases they are not. She stated whether opposition would be successful in Nevada, and in particular the Clark County School District, she did not know. She stated she did know that as long as the behavior is a crime, the school districts will not promote the material, as the district charters prohibit promoting illegal acts.
Senator Adler stated his belief that the district would not promote it in any event.
Ms. Lusk reiterated that her organization had seen this occur.
Becky Maddox, Member of the Public, testified in opposition to S.B. 466. Ms. Maddox stated she is a full-time student at University of Nevada, Las Vegas, preparing to enter a masters program. She recalled testimony stating morality cannot be legislated. She stated legislation is done to say what is acceptable and what is not acceptable. She stated it is not acceptable in our society to murder, embezzle, burglarize, kidnap, and other things. Therefore, laws are established so that people know what is and is not allowed. She stated her belief that people who state morality cannot be legislated have not thought it through to the end. She recalled also that the thought has been brought up that those who may have AIDS do not want to be known, due to fear of prosecution. She asked if this same thing would not apply to murderers and drunk drivers who are involved in a hit and run accident. She stated the law still seeks these people out, attempts to determine the details, and prosecutes as the case demands. She stated her belief that this also applies to the issue at hand. She stated there are other sexually transmitted diseases which are treated as diseases, and not a political football, and that AIDS should be treated as a disease as well. She referred to an earlier mention of adultery, and stated at one time there was a law against this activity. She referred to questioning regarding the need for a law against sodomy when there is no law against adultery. Ms. Maddox stated first the law prohibiting adultery was eliminated, and now if the sodomy law is eliminated, another issue will be brought forth for which the law should be eliminated, stating these eliminated laws as precedence. She stated that soon, important laws which help to prevent problems which have been discussed in this hearing, are written off the books. She related this snowball effect to an erosion of the soil, beginning small, but with the potential of much damage. She stated the opponents of S.B. 466 are attempting to prevent the erosion of the laws which have safeguarded society for many years.
Ms. Maddox stated oftentimes local school boards do not pay attention to the citizens who come to them with legitimate concerns. She advised she has addressed school boards both in Oregon and Nevada, and has helped them understand things which she has learned. She advised these boards have many times stated that what she tells them is an exaggeration and things cannot be as bad as she tells them. She stated opinion does not count very much, only what actually happens. What has happened in other places is also likely to happen in Nevada. Therefore, the opponents of the bill are appealing to the legislature to leave the law in place because it is a protection for the citizens of Nevada and their children. Ms. Maddox quoted a poster in her home which says, "they only are free who dare to go to the end of their thought." She stated this is what the opponents of the bill are asking; to take the things said to their conclusion. She stated that, for any society to exist for very long it must have standards, rules and laws to define what is and is not acceptable. She advised these rules and laws define society's boundaries. She stated often small groups within a particular society become very vocal, seeking to impose their will upon the majority. She stated that, as thoughtful citizens of Nevada, intelligence and humility is needed to learn from the experience of others. She referred to the Roman and Greek civilizations and stated one of the major factors in the downfall of these civilizations was the fact that their laws were ignored or changed so that anything was accepted. She stated if homosexual activity becomes legal, it will directly pave the way for children to be taught the homosexual lifestyle in the public schools. She stated Project 10 is one of the most offensive and graphic homosexual programs. She advised in 1990, this almost became a part of the Clark County School District program, and the only weapon available to stop this is the law which the legislature seeks to change.
Senator James recalled that this argument has been repeated throughout the hearing, stating the snowball effect of eliminating this law. He advised approximately 10 measures coming out of the Senate Committee on Judiciary deal with strengthening the law on sexual crimes. He advised a stalking law is about to be enacted, which criminalizes that behavior. He advised approximately three laws enhancing enforcement and penalties for crimes against children have been passed including his own bill. He advised a number of laws have been enacted dealing with sexual crimes. Senator James wondered how is it that the legislature can be on a slippery slope. He stated Nevada has one of the toughest statute books regarding crimes, particularly sexual crimes, in the country. He advised numerous people have testified to this fact. He advised he had proposed a bill which would further enhance penalties for crimes committed against children. He stated people opposed this, stating the laws are already too tough. He reiterated his question as to where the legislature is on the slippery slope. He asked how repealing the law making it a felony for someone to be a homosexual in Nevada is the safeguard of the future of everyone where morals are concerned.
Ms. Maddox asked if the legislature is trying to toughen up the laws, why toughen up 10 of them and weaken one. She asked why not leave the law in question as it is.
Senator James asked if Ms. Maddox was saying the law prohibiting sodomy should be enforced. He advised that every witness, even the ones who support the law, had acknowledged that the law is not enforced, and never has been.
Ms. Maddox stated she believed the law is there for protection.
Senator James asked again if Ms. Maddox thought the law should be enforced, and if people should be imprisoned for doing what the law says is prohibited.
Ms. Maddox stated one problem she sees is stiffer penalties keep being added. She sees a problem with this type of approach in that the law simply needs to convict people of crimes if they are guilty. She stated the state does not need more laws, but simply needs to enforce the laws we have. She stated she was not sure, under the law in question, whether people need to be arrested. She stated, however, when highly offensive programs are brought into the school district, the only way to keep them out is by the law currently on the books. She stated if the law remains on the books, if someone brings an accusation, the law is there to be used.
Senator James stated the law in question states this behavior is illegal. He reiterated all of the testimony stating the law is not enforced. He also reiterated testimony saying the law cannot be enforced because people's bedrooms should not be entered. He advised firsthand evidence is not needed to convict someone of a crime, and in fact very rarely does someone videotape or observe a crime being committed. Witnesses testify that a person committed a crime. He stated if this law was to be enforced, people could submit affidavits to provide probable cause, to allow law enforcement to pursue the crime. Senator James asked, if the law is totally unenforceable, is not enforced and never has been, how does he as a legislator justify voting to keep this statute.
Ms. Maddox stated that just because something has been allowed up to this point, does not mean it is necessarily right to allow it to continue. She stated the law may not be used specifically by law enforcement officials very often, but it is used. She advised it was used to save the Clark County School District from a lot of grief.
Senator James stated that he, as a parent in Clark County involved in the Parent Teachers Association (PTA), would not allow something which he thought was wrong to be taught to his child or anyone else's. He stated that if that occurred he would talk to the school board and tell them he did not think that should be a part of the school curriculum. He stated he did not believe he needed a law saying the behavior is a felony to determine it is wrong.
Ms. Maddox stated that in the 1990 incident there was absolutely no recourse other than the existing law, because the school board would not listen.
Ms. Maddox stated about 25 years ago, when sex education first came into the schools, there was debate regarding the program. She advised a fellow teacher and friend of hers saw nothing wrong with the program, and had an opportunity to testify to that effect. Ms. Maddox advised her friend testified that the children in her class, 3 days after having seen a sex education film, would not settle down, and could not learn. Ms. Maddox asked if this was the effect in the beginning, when sex education began, what would the effect be from programs on homosexuality do to the children.
Senator Titus stated she thought perhaps the law was the most convenient mechanism to stop the Project 10 program, but did not believe it was the only mechanism available. She stated the Project 10 program mentions homosexuality. She believes if the program advocated all of the activities Ms. Maddox described as gross, between people of the opposite sex, where there is no law on the books, the program could still have been stopped from going into the classroom.
Ms. Maddox stated she has tried, from time to time, to stop things from happening in the school district, and none of these things have worked. She stated she is expressing reality. It would be nice to say the school board listens, but often pressures are brought to bear. She stated some of those pressures are illegal, are not right, they are illegal, and are coercion. She stated, however, these things exist and are used by those who want things such as Project 10 in the schools. She reiterated opponents of S.B. 466 are asking for the legislature's help to leave the only weapon and tool available which has proven effective.
Linwood Tracy, Member of the Public, testified in opposition to S.B. 466. He stated he has raised 13 children and has 12 grandchildren. He advised he had watched the committee and did not wish to be offensive, but wished to make a statement. He stated his belief that the committee had made up its mind due to the expressions seen. He stated this is offensive to the State of Nevada and the people of the state who are in opposition. He stated the committee listened very intently to the testimony in favor of the bill, and then as people came forward without education who had simple means of expressing themselves, the committee seemed to be degrading those people. He stated his belief that this is a detriment to the state and to the process. He stated the testimony of attorneys, nurses and doctors is credible, because of their status. He advised there are a lot of folks in the state of Nevada who have a degree in life, which is hands-on. He stated these people have raised good families and raised them straight, and this is what the bill is all about. He stated it is about right and wrong. He advised that, since it appears necessary to the committee that a witness be educated in order to express opinions, he has four teaching certificates. He stated these certificates are in education and career education. He advised he has been involved in four states in career education, and in the state of Nevada in career education. He stated he was nominated to the state board of education as a career advisor, and has been involved with Truckee Meadows Community College as a career advisor. He stated he is involved in scouting, and in education and family matters for a number of years. He stated this gives him the right to express himself and also that every person in attendance at the meeting has the right to express himself or herself. He stated education does not prove that people are right. Mr. Tracy recalled many questions had been asked by the committee. He stated the committee has a responsibility to the people of Nevada, before any decision is made, to make absolutely sure that the decision is for the benefit of the majority of the citizens of Nevada. He stated his responsibility is to tell the committee what he thinks, how he feels, and why he feels this way. He recalled the committee saying that doctors have testified that the testing of AIDS is being hindered by the current law. He asked the committee to realize what created AIDS. He asked how many members of the committee had given blood in the past month or two. He stated he gives blood every 2 to 3 months, to donate to children. He does this because there are not enough adults in Nevada that have blood which does not contain the AIDS virus. He stated the reason he does not have the virus is because he has never slept with a homosexual, nor with anyone other than his wife. He advised he has never taught his family anything different. He stated he has been called many times to go and give blood immediately, as there are infants and small children who need blood. He explained the procedure for signing up to donate blood, and questions asked, including had he been in any country infected with AIDS. He stated he had signed many statements when giving blood, averring he had been involved in no homosexual activity. He stated knowledgeable physicians made this decree for him to give blood, and government agencies who have control. He stated this is because these people and entities do not want AIDS to be given to other people. He stated that in this hearing, no one from the medical community has stated that AIDS is homosexual and heterosexual. He stated the reason for this is immorality. He stated any time a bill is repealed which opens up sodomy of any sort, truth has been made wrong. He reiterated S.B. 466 is about right and wrong, and that the committee has a responsibility to search out what homosexuality does. Mr. Tracy related his experience in traveling and seeing the results of this behavior throughout the world. He challenged the committee to search out the pro and con, and stated his belief that if this is done, the members of the committee will understand how he has raised 13 straight children. He stated the only safe way to keep AIDS out of our homes and our nation is to remain straight.
Senator James confirmed there was no one present at the hearing who had not had the opportunity to address the committee and advised he was going to close the hearing on S.B. 466.
Ms. Sheehan advised Senator James there were several people who wished to present rebuttal to the testimony of opponents. She advised there had been several issues which had been misrepresented and that misconceptions had been generated by the committee. She stated, in all fairness, these things should be addressed.
Senator James stated he appreciated this. However, if he allowed rebuttal, the hearing could go on indefinitely. He stated his belief that a fair amount of time had been allowed each side. He advised he would open the bill for motion, and that extensive testimony had been heard. He stated he would invite any member of the committee to make a statement, and then he would accept a motion.
Senator Titus stated she had made notes as she had heard the testimony. She stated she would summarize her impressions regarding the existing law. She stated the existing law is not being enforced, the law is impossible to enforce, there are at least six laws existing to protect against sex crimes, public display and so forth. She recalled testimony of the medical community that the current law could be a detriment to AIDS testing, identification and treatment programs, and therefore is a public health issue. She stated it is unlikely that the current law is unconstitutional, and at the very least is blatantly discriminatory. She stated the law has been on the books since 1977 and apparently has not served as a roadblock against growth of the gay community in Nevada, and a main argument by opponents for keeping the law on the books was to have the law serve as a roadblock or some sort of protection in the future. Senator Titus stated her feeling is that the committee had heard all the testimony needed on both sides. She was aware that amendments had been suggested, but rather than hold the bill any longer, she would move that the committee send the bill onto the floor without a recommendation and let the amendments be considered there.
SENATOR TITUS MOVED THAT S.B. 466 BE PASSED FROM THE COMMITTEE WITHOUT RECOMMENDATION.
SENATOR SHAFFER SECONDED THE MOTION.
Senator James stated he had listened to the testimony as well. He advised he believes powerful arguments had been given on both sides. He stated he did not believe the argument against the bill really goes to the law. He explained the law is unenforced, and essentially unenforceable. He stated the law enforcement community would have to be greatly increased if they sought to prosecute all the people coming within the purview of this law. He stated many people would be incarcerated who are otherwise law abiding citizens. He stated, therefore the law really is unenforced and unenforceable. He stated the law deals with something he believes is an issue of freedom, that is, how far government can extend into people's private lives where there really are no victims of any crime. He stated the crime is described in the statute as being between consenting adults. Therefore, by definition there would be two people who have consented to something, and this extends government far too far into people's private lives. He referred to the arguments on the other side of the issue with the question whether or not something is being done here which will open a floodgate or put Nevada on a slippery slope into real erosions of moral values in society. He stated his belief that, as valid as it might be to say that society should not have teaching of different lifestyles or explicit sex in schools, he did not think that this justifies retaining a law which makes it a felony to engage in this behavior. He stated there is much conduct that should not be part of a curriculum in the schools. However, laws cannot be made against every one of these things, and therefore, neither can a law against those things mentioned in this case be justified. He stated he believes the overriding concern is that of health care. He referred to statistics brought before the committee, and the letter from the district health department in support of S.B. 466, stating that these people feel, based upon their experience with AIDS, that the law is an impediment to people coming forward to be tested and receiving treatment. He stated that for that reason, he would vote in favor of repealing the law. He stated his belief that the other issues ought to be dealt with separately, and should not be dealt with in a criminal law. He stated the school issue should be addressed by the local school boards, and the issue of dealing with moral issues in our society should be dealt with in whatever form they properly arise. He stated his belief that government cannot tell people what they can do in the privacy of their bedrooms.
Senator Adler stated he had listened to all of the testimony presented, and believes the strongest arguments on the proponents side go towards the enforceability of the private actions. He stated his belief that there is probably no reason to not enforce the law as to public acts by both homosexuals and heterosexuals. He stated his belief that if a law such as this exists, it must be equally enforced for public acts.
Senator Shaffer stated that his vote in the committee will not affect his position on the floor, and that he would be proposing an amendment to the bill.
Senator McGinness agreed with Senator Shaffer. He stated he was not prepared to support a motion at this time, but the motion without recommendation can be done to get the bill to the floor, and the amendments can be dealt with there.
Senator James reviewed the motion on the floor.
THE MOTION CARRIED. (SENATOR JACOBSEN VOTED NO.)
Senator James asked that it be noted in the body of the minutes that all committee members were present for the vote.
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Senator James confirmed there was no further business to come before the committee, and adjourned the meeting at 7:00 p.m.
Senator Mark A. James, Chairman
Senate Committee on Judiciary
May 24, 1993