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Cubs Owner and NE Gubernatorial Candidate Pete Ricketts Unhappy the Team is So Pro-Gay

Chcago Cubs owner Pete Ricketts, a Nebraska Republican gubernatorial candidate who is running against Annette Dubas (an outspoken supporter of marriage equality), is under fire from a conservative opponent who is using the Cubs' sponsorship of LGBT pride as a tool to take him down.

RickettsRicketts agrees with conservatives and is trying to disavow himself of the team's position, blaming it on his sister Laura, an out lesbian who is also a Cubs co-owner.

The World-Herald reports:

For Ricketts, the fact that his sister — Laura Ricketts — is a key supporter of gay marriage hasn't changed his belief that marriage is meant for a man and a woman. He not only opposes same-sex marriage, but he said he also opposes a longstanding decision by the Chicago Cubs to sponsor a gay pride parade in Chicago. The Ricketts family owns the baseball team.

The Cubs' connection to the parade raised objections from a fellow Republican candidate, who said Thursday it called into question Ricketts' gay-marriage opposition. Republican Beau McCoy said that Ricketts should be held responsible for the fact that the Cubs are supportive of the gay community.

Ricketts said he had no involvement in that decision. He also said that despite some “difficult conversations” in his family, he and his sister remain family. “My sister is gay. I love her, but I disagree with her on this issue,” said Ricketts, an Omaha businessman.


Nebraska Gubernatorial Candidate Comes Out In Support Of Marriage Equality

Annette

Nebraska State Senator and candidate for Governor Annette Dubas has come out as a proponent of gay marriage, The Lincoln Journal Star reports. The Democratic hopeful from Fullerton, Nebraska shared that it was her brother’s coming out 26 years ago that set her on the path towards embracing marriage equality:

“I came to realize I support marriage equality awhile ago,” Annette Dubas says. “It’s not an abstract idea to me.” [...]

She says she is talking about same-sex marriage because it’s an issue she doesn’t want to skirt.

She says she is talking about same-sex marriage because she wants to elevate the subject, because there is still fear about coming out in small Nebraska towns, because having a gay brother changed her.

She says she is talking about same-sex marriage because she’s proud of that brother.

“If people make questionable remarks about the GLBT community, I let them know they are talking about my brother.”

Dubas’ brother, Martin Steele, who now lives in San Francisco with his partner Kurt Smith, shared his painful coming out story with The Journal Star. For many years, he used alcohol and drugs to cope with the pain of growing up gay in small town Nebraska, eventually coming out to his sister at 23. “She doesn’t know this, but she saved my life,” said Steele. Dubas for her own part was honest about her reaction to her brother’s confession, one that evolved from shock and confusion to acceptance and embrace.

Morean[Dubas] doesn’t believe being gay is a sin, or a choice.

“I didn’t decide growing up I was going to be a heterosexual.”

She believes, for her grandchildren’s generation, same-sex marriage won’t be an issue.

She believes society isn’t there yet. She knows people are still afraid.

And she’s seen how destructive it can be when someone denies a part of themselves. Destructive to them, and to their families.

“I know I represent lots of families across the state who feel like they can't talk about it publicly."

She can be their voice, she says.

Dubas has received 14 endorsements from Democratic lawmakers in the run-up the Democratic primary in May. She will face off against former University of Nebraska Regent Chuck Hassebrook. You can check out her Facebook page HERE.


Omaha Man Beaten by Three Men After Defending Gay Friends: VIDEO

Omaha

Ryan Langenegger, an Omaha man, was beaten over the weekend after sticking up for his gay friends, KMTV reports:

Out with two of his gay friends in the Old Market Saturday night, they decided to grab a bite at PepperJax Bar and Grill. Inside a group of three guys started to verbally harass his friends. Ryan said, to avoid confrontation they left PepperJax.
 
The three men followed them outside.
 
"My friend then said, yes, I know I'm a boy in a dress. After that he said, "yes I know", some "colorful words" and disgusting. I said hey guys, we're not looking for any trouble, just trying to get home. Just trying to get home", said Langenegger.
 
Ryan stepped forward and tried to stop the incident. Instead he took a hard blow to the face.

Watch KMTV's report (autoplay), AFTER THE JUMP...

Langenegger

Continue reading "Omaha Man Beaten by Three Men After Defending Gay Friends: VIDEO" »


ACLU Sues To End Nebraska's Ban On Gay Foster Parents

Flag27neWith the march toward marriage equality advancing throughout the country and the world, the American Civil Liberties Union is looking to force the state of Nebraska to follow suit with a new lawsuit challenging the state's ban on gay foster parents. Since the year 1995, the state has banned unmarried, unrelated adults who live together from being considered as foster parents. The policy also bars "persons who identify themselves as homosexuals," regardless of whether they live with a partner. Hopefully, that discriminatory policy will come to an end after more than a decade in existence. 

ACLU Nebraska is filing the suit on behalf of three same-sex couples, all three of whom wish to become foster parents. The group also plans to hold a press conference tomorrow morning, during which three of the plaintiffs, Joel Busch, Lisa Blakey and Greg Stewart, will be present. 

Jeremy nordquistThe ACLU's suit goes in hand with a bill recently proposed to the state legislature by State Sen. Jeremy Nordquist of Omaha. The bill seeks to ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, as well as some others, by state and private adoption services. The state Judiciary Committee has advanced a modified version of the bill, which will be considered by the state legislature at the end of this session. According to Omaha.com:

"The amended bill would allow gay and lesbian couples to be foster parents only if they were relatives or had a previous 'significant' relationship with the child needing a foster home. Nordquist argued the original bill would help address the shortage of foster homes in Nebraska. He said the amended bill has a better chance of passing in the Legislature, yet still recognizes that children are better off living with relatives or people they know."

Currently, the ACLU also has LGBT rights lawsuits pending in North Carolina, Virginia, Montana, Illinois, and Pennsylvania


Nebraska School Superintendent Allegedly Fired For Performing In "The Producers"

Ever since the Calvary Community Church opened the Parkview Christian School in 2011, Harold Scott has served as the Nebraska school's superintendent. But Scott says he was recently fired from his position for performing in a community theater production of The Producers

ScottThe Producers is Mel Brooks' musical comedy in which two Broadway con-men stage a deliberately offensive and awful musical called Springtime for Hitler: A Gay Romp with Adolf and Eva at Berchtesgaden. The comedy is rife with jokes about Nazis, gay characters and a sexpot secretary whose unwitting hotness drives the titular producers wild.

According to Scott, Calvary Community Church pastor Dr. Carl Godwin fired him because he "felt [Scott's] participation (in the musical) would have a negative reflection" on both the church and the school.

Scott told The Journal Star:

“I never imagined that my passion for acting and participating in community theater would lead to me losing my job. I truly believe that I did nothing wrong and my involvement in theater should in no way interfere with the career I love.”

Previous to his firing, Scott had been an educator for over 22 years with several years as a middle and high school principal.


College Student Expelled For Being Gay, Told to Pay Back Scholarship

GraceA college student in Nebraska is fighting to keep thousands of dollars in scholarship funds after revelations about her past relationship with another woman resulted in her expulsion from Grace University, a small Bible college in Omaha.

Danielle Powell says that Grace University is demanding she cover over $6,000 in scholarships she received during her undergraduate career. After eight months of being denied a transcript transfer because of the outstanding balance, making it impossible to transfer to another university, Powell has started a Change.org petition to demand that Grace University forgive the debt and allow her to transfer.

"I don't think a lot of people are aware of the fact that you legally can be kicked out of a school in 2013 for being gay," Powell said. "Yes, this is a legal, financial petition, technically speaking, but there's a lot of morals and social justice tied into it that is getting I think some necessary exposure."

After word of Powell's previous relationship with another woman worked its way up to top administrators, the two women were brought to campus to attend a judiciary hearing in which they were questioned separately about their relationship and their remorse. Powell was initially suspended and told she could re-enroll for her final semester if she agreed to a restoration program involving mandatory church attendance, meetings with counselors and mentors, and keeping in touch with a dean. Powell began the program, but was notified later that the administration had decided on expulsion instead. 

Most Bible colleges, including Grace University, require students to sign a statement of faith and conduct when they enroll that usually includes rules against "sexually immoral behavior, including premarital sex, adultery, and homosexual acts."


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