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GOP Nevada Senate candidate Laxalt embraces 'Don't Say Gay' laws

Nevada Senate candidate Adam Laxalt has a long history of opposing the civil rights of LGBTQ people.

By Josh Israel - April 06, 2022
Adam Laxalt

Nevada Republican Senate candidate Adam Laxalt is embracing Florida’s so-called “Parental Rights in Education” legislation, widely known as the “Don’t Say Gay” law. He said during an appearance on a right-wing podcast last week that the ban on acknowledging the existence of LGBTQ people and families in elementary schools was needed to stop “indoctrination” of kids.

On March 31, Laxalt appeared on the “Breitbart News Daily Podcast” and was asked by host Alex Marlow about the Walt Disney Company’s statements opposing Florida’s law. In response Laxalt slammed the entertainment company and lauded Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis for signing it.

I think what you’ve seen out of the last few days, out of Disney and the rest of the woke-left army, is proof positive of why DeSantis put forward this bill and why they needed this bill. I mean, why in the world are they fighting so hard for the ability to indoctrinate kids from age kindergarten to third grade? Why are they fighting — I should say — against this bill if it were not because they want to be able to indoctrinate kids at these ages? And so I can’t imagine there’s more than — but well, there can’t be virtually any parents that would actually support the indoctrination, by strangers, of their children in schools. And so even if there’s 20% of Americans, you can almost guarantee none of those are parents, or still parents. They’re just, you know, your classic coastal radical leftists. And so, you know, kudos to DeSantis for signing this bill and then for going on offense.

Laxalt tweeted a link to the interview on Friday, writing, “Real democracy and real leadership is standing up against giant corporations on behalf of parents and children being bullied by the rich and the powerful. Few do it better than @RonDeSantisFL.”

The legislation Laxalt claims is about stopping the “indoctrination” of children bars teachers and others in Florida’s schools from any instruction about “sexual orientation or gender identity” earlier than the fourth grade that is “not age appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students in accordance with state standards.” Educators say this could prevent them from talking about their personal lives or those of students from LGBTQ families.

Laxalt, who served as Nevada’s attorney general from 2015 to 2019 and unsuccessfully ran for governor in 2018, is the front-runner in the Republican Senate primary. The winner will challenge incumbent Democratic Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto in November. Laxalt has been endorsed by former President Donald Trump and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

A campaign spokesperson did not respond immediately to an inquiry for this story.

Laxalt has consistently opposed LGBTQ rights throughout his political career.

In 2010, he was the author of op-eds in conservative media against allowing gay and lesbian Americans to serve openly in the U.S. military. In a piece published by the American Spectator on Oct. 22, he said, “It is one thing for the military to ask its members to accept homosexuals, but another for the military to ask its members to accept and live with homosexuality, the homosexual lifestyle.”

In an op-ed published by the National Review, he said:

Thousands of years of cultural development have gone into keeping men from having sex with everything in sight — and all of the bulwarks notwithstanding, men still love to have sex. We all know this. Which brings me to the relevance of this fact to the issue at hand: The military cannot tolerate sex in combat. The military also cannot tolerate the tensions that surround sexual relationships or potential ones.

In 2014, Laxalt endorsed and vowed to defend Nevada’s ban on same-sex marriage, which was declared unconstitutional in federal court on Oct. 7 of that year.

As attorney general, he supported the right of anti-LGBTQ business owners to discriminate against same-sex couples and “conscience protections” to permit health care workers to discriminate against LGBTQ patients.

Polling shows Laxalt is far out of step with Nevada voters. A March Public Religion Research Institute national poll found the state has the fifth-highest level of public support in the country for legal protections for LGBTQ people, with 85% of its adults in favor.

Cortez-Masto has consistently supported LGBTQ rights and has been endorsed by the Human Rights Campaign. She is a co-sponsor of the Equality Act, a bill that would add explicit sexual orientation and gender identity protections to existing federal nondiscrimination laws.

“Since entering the Senate in 2017, Senator Catherine Cortez Masto has stood tall fighting for LGBTQ+ equality and continues to be a fierce advocate for the marginalized. Nevadans are fortunate to have Senator Cortez Masto fighting on their behalf,” HRC interim president Joni Madison said in March.

In an email on Tuesday, Andy Orellana, a spokesperson for Nevada Democratic Victory, a campaign organization working to elect Democrats in the state, blasted Laxalt for defending Florida’s anti-LGBTQ law, writing, “Throughout his career, Adam Laxalt has staked out the most extreme, anti-LGBTQ+ record imaginable, arguing that ‘homosexual men’ should not be allowed in the military and now promoting Florida’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ law. It’s clear Laxalt is a danger to Nevada’s LGBTQ+ community.”

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

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