Conor Oberst | Nebraska | News | Omaha

Bright Eyes' Conor Oberst, Nebraska Musicians Protest Attempt to Block Local Anti-Discrimination Ordinances

Bright Eyes frontman Conor Oberst and 16 other musicians are speaking out about a bill I posted about last week proposed by State Sen. Beau McCoy that would prohibit local municipalities across Nebraska from enacting their own anti-discrimination ordinances. The proposed legislation would block plans by Omaha City Councilman Ben Gray to protect LGBT people from discrimination in that city.

OberstThe World Herald reports:

In a letter Tuesday, Oberst and 16 other musicians called it “deplorable and unacceptable” to attempt to block Omaha City Councilman Ben Gray from winning passage of an ordinance to ban discrimination against homosexual and transgender people. Gray has said he would propose such an ordinance this month or next...

...The letter was sent to senators on the Legislature's Judiciary Committee. Others signers include members of The Faint, Big Harp, So So Sailors and Honeybee & Hers.

The musicians fear if lawmakers pass the bill, it will deter creative people from exploring opportunities in Omaha and could persuade some gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people to leave the community.

“Progressive cities attract eager newcomers, both young professionals and artists, which in turn creates growth and economic prosperity,” the letter stated. “LB 912 will send the message to the world that Nebraska is not forward thinking or welcoming.”

A hearing on the bill has not scheduled.

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  1. Where's Madonna? When she's not pandering to "the gays" to get them to buy her records, she's awfully absent, isn't she? Why isn't she in Nebraska too?

    Posted by: jason | Jan 26, 2012 7:42:25 PM

  2. Jason, kindly shut up.

    Posted by: Paulie | Jan 26, 2012 8:51:23 PM

  3. Your opening sentence says exactly the opposite of what you apparently want it to say. This is a strange profession for somewhat who has not mastered basic English syntax and grammar.

    Posted by: Ambrose | Jan 26, 2012 9:06:38 PM

  4. Nebraska is my home state. I love it, and in summertime it is quite beautiful. But often one is reminded that conformity is king, and anybody out of sync with that can be in for a painful time. I applaud these musicians and am flabbergasted by Beau McCoy's bald bigotry. I eventually took my brains and earning power to another state - no doubt that will continue if McCoy's bill meets with success.

    Posted by: James in Hollywood | Jan 26, 2012 10:25:39 PM

  5. Dear God, how do these people legislate if they make no attempt to know the law's governing them? Romer v. Evans held "LGBT ordinance bans" like these unconstitutional. Every Court is bound to follow this holding.

    I don't find this so much upsetting is frustrating. The law is set on this manner -- stop wasting everyone's time.

    Posted by: mike8787 | Jan 27, 2012 4:51:24 PM

  6. Since the defeat of Colorado's amendment 2 back in 1996, I didn't think that a state could do this again. (See Romer V. Evans -

    Posted by: Chris | Jan 27, 2012 6:05:41 PM

  7. I find it fascinating that some think that it is a state's rights to not accept health care reform but then say it is not a municipalities right to pass nondiscrimination legislation and then that it is individual rights when it comes to religion that trumps law. Am I wrong or do they have their summer casual footwear all selected?

    Posted by: gleeindc | Jan 28, 2012 9:04:53 AM

  8. These conservatives in Nebraska have absolute power here, they can do whatever they want, there is a lot of conservative cronyism here, too. They trip over their own 2 feet to pass stupid laws here. Omaha is becoming more blue every day, but the rest of Nebraska is redder than the old Soviet Union. Its been quite common lately for the State of Nebraska to legislatively trump any of Omaha attempts at Progressiveness.

    Posted by: Progressive Oasis | Feb 20, 2012 6:22:35 PM

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