Lincoln, Nebraska Passes LGBT Non-Discrimination Ordinance 5-0; ‘Pro-Family’ Groups Plan to Block It

Two Republicans abstained as five City Council Democrats voted yesterday to approve an LGBT non-discrimination ordinance in Lincoln, Nebraska, Nebraska Watchdog reports:

LincolnThe ordinance protects gay and transgendered people from discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodation.

Opponents now have 15 days to decide whether to refer the ordinance to the people if they can gather about 2,500 signatures.  Family First Nebraska and the Nebraska Family Council have vowed to attempt such a referendum.

The two Republicans – Adam Hornung and Jon Camp – cited Attorney General Jon Bruning’s recent legal opinion that extending civil rights protection to a class not named in state statute must done via a charter amendment, which must go to a vote of the people. That opinion mirrored a Lincoln city attorney’s opinion in the early 1980s, and the subsequent charter amendment failed at the polls.

But the Democrats on the council said the current city attorney, Rod Confer, has issued a new legal opinion that the city has the right to enact such legislation by ordinance.

Blogger Aksarbent has a whole set of videos from the proceedings.

The Nebraska Family Council is working feverishly to block the measure before it can take effect:

The measure takes effect in 15 days, unless foes gather enough signatures on a referendum petition to force a public vote.

That's just what they intend to do, said the Rev. Al Riskowski, executive director of the Nebraska Family Council…Riskowski said referendum workers will circulate petitions at a number of the city's major churches this weekend. He said he expects to easily gather sufficient signatures to block the ordinance.


  1. carl says

    This ordinance will never see the light of day. Especially with the insistence on inclusion of the transgender issues, it will be easily defeated as always.

  2. MAX says

    Plenty of non-discrimination ordinances in much smaller towns have passed with the inclusion of gender identity (and gender expression). Also, there should not be a comma after “Nebraska.” They got it right.

  3. Javier says

    We better galvanize nationwide to fight the ballot initiative. Why do we get all roused up after the voters reject gay rights, yet do so little before the vote to assist?

  4. jamal49 says

    @CARL: Will that make you happy? I mean, that “it (the ordinance) will easily be defeated as always”?

    Wouldn’t it be illegal (separation of church and state and all that) to collect petition signatures for a ballot measure in churches? Couldn’t those signatures be declared invalid?

  5. Xzavier says

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it gain the GLBT community has been sitting quietly by and watching as our rights have been sriped from us and have done nothing…our straight friends who have fought with us our doing more than we are…sad…why’ll there fighting for us were worried about the bars and hows my hair

  6. Graphicjack says

    Although I wouldn’t agree with them, it could be argued somewhat plausibly that to block equal marriage is not nrcessarily bigoted, however, to try to abolish a law to protect people against discrimination is flat out bigotry, and no one can hide behind their faith to justify oppose this new law. F$&@ the haters.

  7. Francis says

    Whenever the bigots say this isn’t about discriminating and hating LGBT folk, we need to highlight that they actually go out of their way to fight ANY sort of gains made by our community. We need to highlight the hatred of the anti-equality side.

    The bigots will find 2,500 signatures and it’s up to Nebraska’s LGBT community/supporters and the LGBT community country-wide to stand strong and not allow this ordinance to fail and see millions of individuals left vulnerable.

  8. Molc says

    Call the ACLU-lol. What do they ever do? Nothing. Aren’t they supposed to oversee everything unconstitutional? Our supposed allies are no different to our enemies

  9. mary says

    Isn’t there a possibility that even if this went to the people, they could render a PRO-gay verdict? This isn’t a marriage or family issue. It involves jobs and housing, where most people, even social conervatives, find it much harder to justify inequality.

    Or am I being naive? A New York City girl, I know little about Nebraskans.

  10. GraphicJack says

    Mary, you are, unfortunately, being naive. The reality is, the bigots will say this law will mean that as a parent, you’ll be forced to hire a drag queen nanny, or as a store owner, you’ll be unable to fire someone if they decide to transition from female to male. They’ll pile on the “ick” factor to make sure that this law gets repealed.

    If lawmakers in Virginia can block a judge from being appointed just because he’s gay (see an earlier post made today on this blog) then you can be sure there will be bigots out there who scream it’s their right to discriminate against someone regarding housing or employment for their orientation or identity. Give the majority a chance to vote on the rights of a minority, and the majority will win most every time.

Leave A Reply