While Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons has promised to veto an upcoming civil unions bill once it hits his desk &mdahs; “I just don’t believe in it,” he says — gays are finding an ally in one of the state’s biggest players: gaming. So why is one of The Strip’s biggest casinos taking our side? Maybe because it’s the moral thing to do, or maybe it’s because it makes dollars and sense.
Harrah’s Entertainment — which owns Caesars Palace, Bally’s, Flamingo, Harrah’s, Paris and the Rio and managed to see past RNC Chairman Michael Steele’s business economics and provide health care benefits to the partners of gay employees — is warning legislators in a way they understand: Not supporting domestic partnerships with enough votes to override a veto will only help decimate Nevada’s already suffering tourism industry. Says Harrah’s Senior Vice President Jan Jones in a Tuesday letter: “Our state cannot afford to lose any more revenue to other destinations because of a reputation as a place which is not socially or politically the right place to do business or to vacation. … Our company does aggressive marketing to this community. How can we say to them ‘we want your business, but we don’t care about your rights.'”
While we’re at it, though, how about a gay club in Vegas that’s a little less skeevy than Krave? Can we work on that?