Filmmaker Alexander Payne, Nebraska Football Coach Ron Brown Testify at Omaha Hearing on LGBT Anti-Bias Bill: VIDEO


The Omaha City Council heard testimony yesterday from dozens of people, on an LGBT anti-discrimination ordinance being considered there. Among those testifying were Oscar-winning screenwriter Alexander Payne, a native Omahan, and University of Nebraska Assistant Football Coach Ron Brown.

Watch Brown's testimony and a news report, AFTER THE JUMP...

I've written about the ordinance in recent weeks, and the battle between Omaha City Councilmember Ben Gray, who sponsored the Equal Employment Ordinance, and Beau McCoy (below), a state senator who introduced a bill intended to stop Gray's ordinance at the state level. Watch Gray talk about the bill here.

PayneThe World Herald reports:

About 100 people testified on Councilman Ben Gray's proposed amendments to city discrimination laws. The amendments would allow lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender residents to file complaints with Omaha's Human Rights and Relations Department if they were fired over their orientation, suffered other workplace discrimination or were refused service at restaurants, hotels or other places that serve the public.

Councilman Franklin Thompson, who killed a similar proposal in 2010 by refusing to vote, said before the meeting that "whoever wins the debate on Tuesday will get my vote."

Thompson is apparently the deciding vote. The mayor is ready to sign the bill.

Brown told the Council what they were doing is "not Biblical". Said Brown: "The question I have for you, like Pontius Pilate, is: 'What are you going to do with Jesus?' For those of you on this council who have a relationship with Christ, and only you know if you do, you will be held to great accountability for the decision you make."

Blogger Aksarbent, who shot video of Brown's "sermonette" to council members, adds: "Brown has made a career of foisting his reactionary brand of Christianity on football players and of ignoring separation of church and state in his attempts to proselytize in public schools under the guise of campaigning against alcohol abuse, drunk driving and other problems which are quite solvable without religion."

Watch Brown's testimony and a news report, AFTER THE JUMP...

More from KETV here.

And her's a KPTM report (may take a few seconds to load:

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  1. So wrong of Mr. Brown to assume that all those that have faith will side with him. More wrong to think that the faith of some should be imposed on all. Some feel the core of the Christian faith is compassion and doing onto others as you would like done onto yourself. So Jesus would want people to be discriminated against, fired from jobs, thrown out of their houses, not served in restaurants ? Mr Brown perhaps needs to re read the gospels. His thinking greatly demonstrates the need for separation of church and state. One person wanting to impose his understanding of faith on others, without considering the human suffering the law is intended to stop.

    Posted by: Tom in long beach | Mar 7, 2012 11:02:49 AM

  2. Mr. Brown, what's not Biblical? All the life-long stuff not "poured" into your brain? What if the "pouring" into your brain is not finished yet? What if there are other beliefs out there besides yours? Maybe they will be poured into your brain someday and you will look at life with a more open mind.

    Posted by: trees | Mar 7, 2012 11:18:50 AM

  3. I believe in Christ, and that's my own business. I don't need these idiots trying to shove Him down my throat. They don't really understand what He preached anyway, or they wouldn't be making such ignorant fools of themselves.

    Posted by: Jack M | Mar 7, 2012 11:19:13 AM

  4. i have question for all of you Americans - if there is indeed a separation of church and state (which my Canadian ass sure isn't seeing down here....) then why on EARTH is this kind of "testimony" even allowed? Why isn't it followed with a judge or someone else saying "well, thank you for that but your religious beliefs have no bearing whatsoever on the laws of this country. we might as well allow jews and muslims to ban you gentiles from eating bacon. "

    it makes me want to puke every time i hear people say "this is a Christian Nation!"
    why is it only a Christian Nation when it comes to hating gays and Muslims? it's never a "Christian Nation" as a rallying-cry to have universal healthcare, more inclusive human rights issues, higher taxation for the wealthy, and work toward ending gun violence.


    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Mar 7, 2012 11:22:33 AM

  5. Religion poisons everything

    Posted by: Steve | Mar 7, 2012 11:23:25 AM

  6. genuinely, i'd like to know how Coach Brown feels about the USA being legally respectful of Jews.

    fun theological fact: you show me an anti-gay "Christian" and I'll show you an anti-Semite.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Mar 7, 2012 11:31:08 AM

  7. @Little Kiwi,

    Evangelicals would LOVE to be Jews. Listen to their crazy talk shows and they're all Israel this...Israel that...their theology is that "all those who curseth Israel, he shall I curse." You would no more find an evangelical talking smack about Jews than you would another Jew. Janet Parcells has a super huge girl-boner for Netanyahu. They believe that Jews are the olive branch that will be "reattached".

    It's Muslims they don't like...and Catholics...and gays...and poor blacks...and women...and animals...and trees...

    Posted by: Rin | Mar 7, 2012 11:41:57 AM

  8. oh and they don't like socialists and ivy league schools and public education and state schools and women who work and women who are single moms and women who don't work but are moms and women who are divorcees and ...did I mention gays?

    Here is who evangelicals like: Evangelicals, Israeli Jews, and Ronald Reagan.

    Posted by: Rin | Mar 7, 2012 11:45:10 AM

  9. I second the perplexity of my fellow Canadian above. It is bizarre that this type of rhetoric is given a public forum in 2012. Do we have misinformed bigots up here in Canada? Sure we do. In fact, the current mayor of Toronto is a complete buffoon. But even he had to make up a lame excuse about going to the cottage in order to skip the Pride festivities. If he started talking about magic invisible friends, his political career would be over. Every time I hear this kind of nonsense, especially coming from political candidates, it's as if we're in the Twilight Zone or something. These guys don't believe in evolution, and therefore don't seem to evolve.

    Posted by: wtf | Mar 7, 2012 11:45:39 AM

  10. i thought evangelicals liked Israeli-Jews because it gave them a position of 'power' in the middle-east in order to have a "non-Muslim presence" next to Big Oil......

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Mar 7, 2012 12:04:07 PM

  11. @Little Kiwi and WTF, it's perplexing here, too. I mean, we have a major candidate running for the Republican presidential nomination who said he "threw up" when he heard John F. Kennedy's speech on the separation of church and state. And while this man may not get the nomination, he is still winning primaries and coming close in other state contests! So there are many people out there in the US who believe there should be no separation of church and state. Only, of course, if you believe in their church...

    Posted by: Larry | Mar 7, 2012 12:04:54 PM

  12. Its even more exasperating when his argument is so clearly backwards. Jesus protected a hooker, Pontius Pilate feared losing his authority and so agreed to torture and kill an 'innocent' man. What would Jesus do? Even if homosexuality was a sin, he'd protect the faggot. And here this committee is getting pressure about losing their authority if they do not make victims of people. The real Pontius Pilate behavior would be to not pass it. They can't even be consistent in their own framework, so sad.

    Posted by: nosh | Mar 7, 2012 12:07:31 PM

  13. the Christian-Right has indeed become the American Taliban.

    the enforcement of one interpretation of ONE religion onto the people of this great country? remind me again how this is different from enforced-cultural-Islam?


    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Mar 7, 2012 12:10:05 PM

  14. This coach is a dirt bag, eff him and his religion
    When we win marriage and all equality issues this guy like most religious people will just have to deal with it. I love winning without their say, it pisses them off

    Posted by: GeorgeM | Mar 7, 2012 12:16:05 PM

  15. @Little Kiwi,

    Tim Lahaye, Hal Linden...they are part of this Rapture movement who believes that right before Armageddon all nations (except the US) will turn against Israel and bring down God's curse upon them. Israel will have all the nations waging war against her and get down to a small number and then God himself will save his bride miraculously and set the olive branch back on as she (the people Israel) are God's bride. They will return to the feast and be God's people once again.

    Catholics are the Great Whore of Babylon and all going to Hell and are worse to Evangelicals than Muslims.

    Muslims are the children of Ishmael and are bad, but in no way, shape or form as bad as the Great Whore who is worse than the Beast/Anti-Christ.

    It's fascinating and scary. That's why just today good old Pat Robertson had a "former Catholic" on who repented of her heathen, pagan ways. I had evangelical neighbors who were always trying to "save" me from Catholicism because they didn't want me going to Hell after Armageddon. Turns out one of their sons is gay and I think I'm blamed for that, too, because I was nice to him and helped him get some counseling that didn't include reparative therapy.

    Yeah, evangelicals are fun, bless 'em.

    Posted by: Rin | Mar 7, 2012 12:19:14 PM

  16. When someone like Coach Brown makes statements like that I want to remind him that the Bible also says that slaves should obey their masters and ask, since he takes the Bible so literally, if he also believes that African American slaves who escaped through the Underground Railroad were "sinners"?

    Because if someone is going to use the Bible as a weapon they should expect to be questioned about the rules and laws THEY have conveniently ignored. Does he work on the sabbath? Is he or anyone in his family divorced and remarried?

    Posted by: Codswallop | Mar 7, 2012 12:35:48 PM

  17. I've always despised Nebraska Football, a tradition built by steroid scandals, recruitment of partial academic qualifiers and full of self-congratulating fans. Nubs are ignorant, so coach Brown is no shocker. The evangelizing by athletes,brainwashed by their "Promise Keepers" coaches, is rampant in college and pro sports. The Fellowship of Christian Athletes, based in Kansas City, is a hate group if there ever was one and more dangerous than you know.

    Posted by: William | Mar 7, 2012 12:37:23 PM

  18. Listening to his entire speech, there is only one instance of one word that occurs once "homosexuality" that, if changed to the word "integration" turns the entire speech into an anti-black speech using exactly the same type of rhetoric used by the segregationists of the '60's.

    How, they would ask, could you call yourself a Christian if you don't think we should be able to keep the Negro out of our restaurants and hotels? If he had brought up the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, it would have been interchangeable with the segregationist talk about the destruction of the Tower of Babel.
    What do these bigots think Jesus would do? Would he try to drive the gay people (or the blacks) out of the "superior" people's restaurants, shops, inns and schools (regardless of the fact Jesus said nothing on record against gays or blacks)?
    Do these people learn nothing from history, or, indeed, from Jesus' words?
    What about the direction He gave to give all your belongings away to the poor and live as one of them? That one surely would be inconvenient for a man of Mr. Brown's means to observe, wouldn't it?
    It's so much more convenient to harm the people you don't know and don't want to know.

    Posted by: Gregv | Mar 7, 2012 1:57:19 PM

  19. not to mention that the story of Sodom contains not ONE mention of "homosexual activity" and that the bible makes it explicitly clear that the Sin of Sodom was greed and the hoarding of wealth.

    therefore, the sodomites of america are the right-wing who insist that healthcare is only for those who can afford it, and those who demand that the rich not pay higher taxes.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Mar 7, 2012 2:11:00 PM

  20. @Little Kiwi,

    Amen, take us to church!

    Posted by: Rin | Mar 7, 2012 4:01:48 PM

  21. The lady doth protest too much.

    Posted by: Ryan | Mar 7, 2012 4:24:29 PM

  22. Evangelicals don't love or want to become Jews. Their wacky dispensational millenarian theology requires all of Biblical Israel to be in Jewish hands to trigger the "Rapture" and the end of time/second (AHEM) Coming. For the record, in the middle ages the Catholics rejected this dogma and still do. In the evangelical mind if the Jews don't convert by the second coming, it's the good old Lake of Fire, for them, baby.

    Kleine Vogel as I will call you, be overjoyed that you are Canadian. Socialized medicine and freedom. How does one emigrate there though without a million dollars to start a business, or a brown skin to claim persecution?

    Posted by: Contrarian | Mar 7, 2012 4:33:07 PM

  23. Canada won't let the westboro baptists across our borders, why should they allow you?


    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Mar 7, 2012 5:26:09 PM

  24. I was there, I can't even calm down enough to write my own blog post, but Towleroad and Aksarbent always do a great job! Several members of the anti-gay Nebraska Heritage Coalition thanked Mean Jean Stothert for meeting with them. Apparently, to get it all started took just one political booty call. Always remember that God loves you. NOTE: Some restrictions may apply. And what upsets me the most is that none of these people even understand what our issues are about, yet they feel free to speak on them. Its just nuts, whether this ordinance passes or fails, at least more people may have a better understanding of what is really going on.

    Posted by: Progressive Oasis | Mar 8, 2012 5:45:24 AM

  25. I'm so confused. I thought this was about not discriminating against a group of people who aren't hurting anyone. Shouldn't that be something people support?

    Posted by: what? | Mar 10, 2012 9:07:29 PM

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