Chuck Muth: Gay marriage, pot and vouchers…oh, my!

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The 2013 Nevada legislative session is now half over ­­­— yeah!

As we plod toward sine die, there are three issues that deserve more than lip service but that, unfortunately, are unlikely to go anywhere: repealing the state’s gay-marriage ban, ending the war on potheads and greatly expanding school choice through vouchers.

Gay marriage: This should serve as a cautionary tale to all Americans. The problem here isn’t that we might let gays into the institution of marriage; it’s that we let government into it in the first place. At that point, the end of marriage as it’s been known for two thousand years became inevitable.

Religious considerations aside, you simply cannot have the government bequeath special benefits to married couples while denying those benefits to gays. This isn’t about the Bible; it’s about the Constitution. And whether Nevada’s ban on gay marriage is repealed via a new vote of the people or struck down by the courts, it’s a goner.

Marijuana: Nevada legislators should follow a handful of other states and just get this over with.

The war on drugs has been a very expensive, and sometimes deadly, war on liberty. Only hardcore drug warriors continue to embrace the notion of “reefer madness.” The rest of us recognize that someone occasionally smoking a doobie is far less harmful than belting down whiskey and cigarettes every day.

Legislators should (but won’t) pass a tax-and-regulate law legalizing possession of marijuana for personal use and invite a long-overdue state’s-rights fight with the federal government over the issue. Uncle Sam has grown way too big for his britches, and it’s time for Nevada to reassert a little independence.

School vouchers: Gov. Brian Sandoval has talked about school vouchers but done virtually nothing about them. A couple of bills have been introduced … and gone nowhere, thanks to opposition from the stinking teachers union, which openly threatens the re-election hopes of jelly-spined politicians.

But isn’t this supposed to be about, you know, the children? Yeah, right.

And this isn’t about which is better, public schools or private schools. It’s about who gets to decide, the government or parents. And giving low- and middle-income parents the financial wherewithal necessary to allow them to exercise the same choices wealthy parents in nice suburban neighborhoods already have.

The good news is that yet another court decision, this one in Indiana, recently affirmed the use of public money to let kids attend private schools without violating church-state separation clauses. The bad news is that Nevada legislators will (but shouldn’t) continue to sit on their hands and doom the futures of thousands of children all out of fear of the “mo’ money” anti-education special interests.


What say we avoid the Christmas rush and just sine die tomorrow?

Chuck Muth is president of and founder of You can contact him at


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