Saturday, February 25, 2012

Nebraska bill, LB912, to ban municipal LGBT laws:
Sen. Beau McCoy and radical right wing ally, Alliance Defense Fund vs. Shelley Kiel of CFEP, Jane Kleeb of Bold Nebraska and others

In part one of AKSARBENT's video coverage of the LB912 hearing, Sen. McCoy tried to pull a fast one on the committee and observers by cherry-picking a quote from last Sunday's Omaha World-Herald editorial which made it seem like the Herald supported his approach, when it actually called LB912 wrong. Also in the video is Sen. Amanda McGill telling an LB912 proponent that comparing gay people to drug addicts was offensive and Omaha City Councilman Ben Gray defending his LGBT protection revision to Omaha's city ordinance. See that video here. 

In Tennessee, the Alliance Defense Fund "helped" former Tennessee state Senator David Fowler draft HB600, a state law which passed and killed Nashville's LGBT protection ordinance. Apparently the organization is waist-deep in a similar effort in Nebraska, where the designated puppet appears to be Beau McCoy, District 39, Elkhorn/West Omaha, who is being challenged in the forthcoming election by moderate Judy Domina. In 2008, McCoy's biggest contributor was TD AmeriTrade scion Peter Ricketts.
     Wanna bet on what organization wrote the the verbiage of LB 912 for McCoy, who is a roofing/home improvement contractor, not a lawyer?
     McCoy's buddies at the ADF have a history of lying about policy issues: watch the video (starting at 1:30) to see their sickeningly dishonest attack on the ACLU's "Don't filter me" initiative.
     A senior counsel for the ADF, Byron Babione, was the first person to testify on of LB 912 at the Unicameral Judiciary Committee hearing Wednesday after sponsor Beau McCoy explained the legislation, took questions, and then quickly left the room for the presumably more hospitable confines of the Natural Resources Committee. Heaven only knows what mischief McCoy is up on that committee.
     Below is Babione representing the ADF and failing to convince the properly suspicious Brad Ashford, Brenda Council and Amanda McGill to vote for LB912. (Brad Ashford told the Omaha World-Herald that it is unlikely that the Judiciary Committee will vote to advance LB912.)

     The ADF's stated raison d'ĂȘtre is the defense of religious liberty, but in his testimony, Babione didn't give a single reason why "religious liberty" cries out for the passage of LB 912. His spiel, all business, was about as spiritual as a cost/benefit analysis of corporate homophobia, which is really the specialty of David Brown, the president of the Omaha Chamber of Commerce, who rides roughshod over the more progressive views of younger Chamber members.
     Particularly affecting was the testimony of veteran Shane Strong who felt compelled to speak out at the hearing on behalf of his two gay siblings and who revealed that when he was in the military he was warned that the OSI had Omaha's gay bars under surveillance (Your tax dollars at work!):
I don't see why the state is interested in trying to take away rights that the city wishes to give its people.
     Jane Kleeb, the head of Bold Nebraska and wife of Scott Kleeb:
"I'm here really in solidarity with the LGBT community as well. On a very personal level, my little girls' godfathers are both gay and as a single mom when I lived in D.C., I'm not sure what I would have done without them, so I know that there's lots of other families like that in Nebraska that are deeply affected by discriminatory practices."

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