Nebraska lawmakers yesterday voted 26-18 to shelve a bill (LB586) that would ban workplace discrimination against LGBT employees.
The devastating blow for gay rights in Nebraska happened on Wednesday, the same day the North Carolina Senate voted to ban all cities in the state from enacting LGBT nondiscrimination ordinances. The NC ban also voids all current LGBT rights ordinances on the books in North Carolina, such as the recently passed measure in Charlotte.
— Senator Adam Morfeld (@Adam_Morfeld) March 23, 2016
Nebraska Senator Adam Morfeld (above), who introduced the bill, has said that although his measure also lacked enough support to pass last year, he will continue to introduce it as long as he is in office. “We need to create an environment, colleagues, that protects people and who they are, but also sends a message that Nebraska has modern human rights protections and we’re open for business,” he said.
Senator Bill Kintner said rejecting the bill promotes people’s freedom.
“I think my colleagues see a hateful person behind every tree, behind every cross. They think every church-goer is hateful. I don’t think people should conform to a government-mandated moral code.”
According to KETV Omaha, supporters of the nondiscrimination bill say Nebraska cannot draw talent to the state’s workforce without such protections.
RELATED: Hunky Nebraska Senator Poignantly Smacks Down Anti-Gay Witness During Committee Hearing: VIDEO
In a statement, ACLU of Nebraska Executive Director Danielle Conrad wrote:
“Each day Nebraska goes without basic updates to our nondiscrimination law is a day when our state stands to lose talented employees who contribute to our state’s economy.
“The ACLU is thankful for the many brave LGBT people who have shared their stories of discrimination. We are thankful for the business and faith leaders that joined over 3,000 Nebraskans who signed our equality agenda petition. We are thankful for the steadfast leadership of Sen. Adam Morfeld, Sen. Patty Pansing Brooks and their colleagues who support workplace fairness.
“We urge any Nebraskan who has been discriminated against to contact us as we continue to explore legal and policy options to ensure no Nebraskan is fired because of who they are or who they love. We will never give up this fight.”
Last month, a federal judge in Nebraska issued a permanent injunction against the state’s ban on gay marriage.
Watch Morfeld reintroduce the bill earlier this week.