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Nebraska Senate Panel Reluctant to Act on Anti-Gay Bill

Nebraska Senate Panel Reluctant to Act on Anti-Gay Bill

 

Reports suggest that a Nebraska senate panel is reluctant to advance a bill that would effectively ban local city ordinances from offering LGBT workplace protections.

More on the controversy via Omaha.com:

State Sen. Brad Ashford of Omaha, the Judiciary Committee chairman, said at a committee hearing Wednesday he does not expect the panel will act on a bill aimed at blocking the ordinance.

Legislative Bill 912 would prohibit cities and other local governments from protecting new classes of people who are not protected under state law. The bill would be retroactive, meaning it would void any city ordinance passed before the bill took effect.

Sen. Beau McCoy of Omaha, the bill’s sponsor, argued that it was needed to prevent a patchwork quilt of discrimination ordinances across the state.

“Discrimination does not stop at a city or county border,” he said. “If adding or removing a protected class is the right thing to do, it is the right thing to do border to border across Nebraska, not just in one city or one municipality.”

The legislation arose after officials in Omaha planned to exceed current state-wide nondiscrimination ordinances and add protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender workers.

Opponents of the ordinance charge that, despite a wealth of national data to the contrary, there is no evidence to suggest LGBT workers face discrimination.

Ordinance supporters have offered that Senator McCoy is simply trying to attack the LGBT rights ordinance.

Via On top Magazine:

Omaha City Councilman Ben Gray has previously said he thinks that McCoy is attempting to undermine his anti-discrimination bill.

“The timing is suspicious, first of all,” Gray said. “Secondly, there are some issue that are more unique to Omaha than the rest of the state. We need the flexibility and latitude [to pass local ordinances], and it’s getting kind of frustrating that the Legislature keep trying to micromanage the city.”

The legislation’s demand for retroactive application has worried others given that Omaha’s current ordinances protect people from housing discrimination based on age and marital status while state law does not. McCoy has said that he will attend to those issues during debate on the legislation.

A similar bill was rushed through the Tennessee state Legislature last year in order to prevent Nashville from enacting LGBT protections. There is now a lawsuit in progress over that law.

 

Related Reading:

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Image used under the Creative Commons Attribution License with thanks to brainchildvn.

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29 comments

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5:19AM PST on Feb 27, 2012

Regardless of their religious views, our "representatives" in Washington are supposed to act and vote as determined by their constituents desires. I think they've forgotten this and now ignore us completely! They have the right to think, say and do as they wish in their private life, but, as concerns the "issues" they are supposed to go on as "we the people" determine. If they can't do this, they need to be voted out!

1:14AM PST on Feb 27, 2012

More and more American anti-gay stuff hitting the news these days, and I'll honestly say it makes me fear the culture shock I'll go through when I move back home to the USA in a few months. Going from a country that essentially allows gay marriage to a place that passes legislation against it. Well, I hope we can make a change.. I'll try my damnedest to help.

4:53PM PST on Feb 26, 2012

The word "reluctant" gives me pause. I wish they would have "adamantly refused" to act on such a bill.

12:58PM PST on Feb 26, 2012

Thanks

12:35PM PST on Feb 26, 2012

You would think that people would know discriminations when they see it and I'm sure they do but it's those people who just don't care unless it concerns them and then those who base everything on what their religious beliefs which shouldn't be involved in what our Constitutional laws to keep certain people from having the same rights as everyone else that is wrong.

If your religious beliefs say don't do something then don't but our Constitutions gives us all the right to believe what we want but should not stop some people from having the same rights in this country that you take for granted.

3:49AM PST on Feb 26, 2012

Discrimination is wrong and that is all there is to it.

1:01AM PST on Feb 26, 2012

Past Member...not quite getting what you're trying to say that has any sense of relevancy to this article. I've seen you say some good things in other blogs/articles, then you come out or back with stuff like this that doesn't make any sense...it's almost like you have another personality or something. Your comment was a waste of space...totally irrelevant.

12:55AM PST on Feb 26, 2012

Thanks for the article.

10:22PM PST on Feb 25, 2012

Why is it now that so many people are trying to legislate hate and discrimination? Is it all of the coverage of the Republicans? Is it the rise of a new Nazi movement in America? Has our culture become sick?

9:38PM PST on Feb 25, 2012

Politicians do not care about what is right. They care about getting votes. They won't do anything to jeopardize getting elected.

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