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Help NAAFA change Nevada laws on weight discrimination

For those of you who have been looking for an opportunity to advance the fat rights cause, now is your chance! NAAFA members in Nevada have been working to get a bill drafted and voted on that would "help to eliminate discrimination based on physical appearance which is defined to include weight and height" Please read the letter below and take a moment to email the committee members listed, even if you're not a NAAFA member. Our voices can make a difference but only if we say something!

For forty years, NAAFA members have been writing letters to legislators working to improve the lives of people of size. Since those humble beginnings we have seen one state (Michigan) and a handful of cities change their anti-discrimination laws to include height and weight or physical appearance.

The most recent was just last year when Binghamton, NY changed their laws to protect people of size. They modeled their anti-discrimination laws after the laws in San Francisco. This is a proud day for those of you involved in that work in San Francisco. We never know the far-reaching effect our work will have!

It is to this end that members of NAAFA in Nevada have been working to see that their laws are changed as well. A bill has been drafted and is now awaiting review by the Commerce and Labor Committee before it can be passed along and voted into law. AB 166 modernizes Nevada's anti-discrimination laws and would help to eliminate discrimination based on physical appearance which is defined to include weight and height. The latest word from my assemblyman is that the committee chairman does not want to give this bill a hearing.

We're asking NAAFA members to step up to the plate and start writing letters again. Whether you are a Nevada resident or a visitor to Nevada, we need your help to insure that this bill will be passed into law. For residents, it would affect hiring processes, employment, housing and public accommodations. Why would you as a non-resident have any impact at all in this situation? The economy of the state of Nevada is heavily reliant on tourism. We need visitors in order to survive. As a visitor to Nevada, this change would affect "public accommodation."

What "public accommodation" includes for you as a visitor to Nevada is hotel stays, restaurants, theaters, clubs, etc. This law is about how you are treated while you are here. This change to our laws would mean that you could not be discriminated against because of your weight, height or a physical characteristic beyond your control. This is why this change is important to you and why we need your help!

Please write to the following committee members and tell them that it is VERY important that this bill become law:

mconklin@asm.state.nv.us, katkinson@asm.state.nv.us, banderson@asm.state.nv.us, marberry@asm.state.nv.us, bbuckley@asm.state.nv.us, whorne@asm.state.nv.us, mkirkpatrick@asm.state.nv.us, mmanendo@asm.state.nv.us, kmcclain@asm.state.nv.us, joceguera@asm.state.nv.us, cchristensen@asm.state.nv.us, hgansert@asm.state.nv.us,
egoedhart@asm.state.nv.us, jsettelmeyer@asm.state.nv.us

PLEASE take a few moments of your time and write today. It doesn't have to be anything elaborate, simply tell them in your own words that you support the passage of AB 166. We REALLY need you to act on this. Change only comes in society when we make it happen! Speak out today and take a stand for your rights. It's for your future and for the future of those you love. We need all of you to write in support of AB 166. People come in all sizes and it's time to support one another!

Thanks everybody!

They want our brains!!! | What is an activist?

Viola's picture
Viola
March 14th, 2009 | Link | Thanks!

I'm a Nevada resident, and I'll definitely be writing letters!

richie79's picture
richie79
March 14th, 2009 | Link | Not a Nevada resident, but I

Not a Nevada resident, but I can certainly fire off an email to that list of addresses. On a related note, and one more relevant on a personal level, did anything ever come of Marilyn Wann's attempt to get size-discrimination laws passed in Mass? I haven't heard any news on it for a while, and news of state-run obesity campaigns such as 'Mass in Motion' doesn't bode well Sad

"if you think fat people have no self-discipline, consider the fact that they haven’t killed you yet." - Miss Conduct, Boston Globe

MarilynW's picture
MarilynW
March 15th, 2009 | Link | Nevada & Massachusetts

Hey, all!

I will be asking everyone in my address book to send e-mails to the legislators on this committee. I hope you all write e-mails and also alert the people in YOUR address books. Here's a chance for Aunt Tillie and your old college buddies and random acquaintances and pretty much everyone show up for our fat asses. They'll get some education in the process, I imagine. And when we're all looking at our Fat Revolution scrapbooks, 50 years from now, your friends will have had the chance to be a cool, early-adopting rebel, too!

About Massachusetts...

I'm sorry that the legislation didn't pass out of committee. Byron Rushing, the bill's sponsor, is committed to pushing for a height/weight anti-discrimination law in Massachusetts. He also doesn't want to do anything counterproductive. So when it became clear the bill wasn't getting widespread support in committee, he retracted it. I thought his office was going to issue a letter to supporters, but it seems the staffer in charge didn't get to that before moving on to her next job. I haven't sent out a huge announcement, partly out of respect for his office, partly out of not knowing how to reassure people. But I do think it's a sort of victory for our communities that we had 30 or more people packed in the hearing room, that legislators listened ALL afternoon to our stories of serious woe, to our experts who offered unshakable documentation of the enormous burden of ht/wt prejudice, and to our supporters. I think Rushing was surprised at our turnout and our high-quality testimony. I think that weight prejudice itself is the reason why this legislation wasn't solidly supported...politicians fearing the same mistreatment that we face every day.

So we can pressure Massachusetts (which has a long history of being first-adopter on every form of civil rights) by lobbying strong in Nevada. And we can reassure either state that it will join the humane tradition in Michigan. (As well as a handful of cities.)

I am wholly convinced that if fat people (and our friends of all sizes) stopped laughing along with fat jokes and started refusing to condone fat-hate in social settings...that weight-based prejudice and discrimination would become very unpopular very fast. I don't think we recognize our own power. Each one of us can set a standard of what is okay and cool in our lives, with people we interact with. Each one of those people can be a carrier for celebrating weight diversity and refraining from participating in fat hate. And they told two friends, and they told two friends. I'm also wholly convinced there's no reason fat oppression will end if we don't ask for it to stop.

So let's ask for an end to fat hate in Nevada this week.

Tomorrow, the world!

richie79's picture
richie79
March 25th, 2009 | Link | Marilyn, many thanks for the

Marilyn, many thanks for the MA update. It's a pity it didn't enjoy wider support, but I appreciate how there might be risks in pushing for too much, too soon.

"if you think fat people have no self-discipline, consider the fact that they haven’t killed you yet." - Miss Conduct, Boston Globe

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