Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Omaha LGBT employment protection to be reintroduced by Ben Gray in today's council meeting

Equality in the Workplace in Omaha from Lindsay Trapnell on Vimeo.

Ben Gray's proposed revision to Omaha's municipal code to protect LGBT workers is the 93rd item on the City Council's agenda today. The council will meet at 2 pm. Following today's introduction, there will be a public hearing (March 6th) and a final vote by the seven-member council on March 13th.
From the Omaha City Clerk's office:
93. Ord. to amend 13-82, 13-84, 13-85, 13-89, 13-90, 13-91, 13-92, 13-93, 13-94, 13-95, 13-97 and 10-192 of the Omaha Municipal Code to add prohibitions for discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, and gender identity within the City of Omaha and in City of Omaha contracts; and to provide the effective date hereof – see attached.
Following the release of University of Nebraska Medical Center research findings that 1/3 of gay Omahans surveyed were subject to employment discrimination because of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity, the Voice of Omaha has published a long post full of first hand narratives of antigay Omaha workplace bias which give the lie to those heterosexual supremacists who say the issue is too insignificant to be addressed by the long arm of the law.

Added protection including LGBT Omahans has been endorsed by the Omaha World Herald, more than 100 Omaha businesses, and 257 clergy members.

The Omaha City Council LGBT rights refuseniks:
(clockwise starting at upper left)
Garry Gernandt, Jean Strothert and Tom Mulligan)
Only three city council members stand in the way of equal protection for LGBT Omahans and of Omaha joining the 160 prominent US cities which treat their LGBT citizens equally. These three already voted down LGBT equality once, in 2010.

Those three are (left to right); Jean Strothert (District 5), Tom Mulligan (District 7) and Garry Gernandt (District 4).

Please email your City Council Member (if you don't know your district, look here) and send a copy to the Committee for Equal Protection addressed to CFEPJEFF@me.com. Be sure to tell them which district you are in as well.

Here are email addresses for all Omaha City Council members:  Congratulate Festersen, Gray and Jerram for their green ones for their positive votes and ask them to vote that way again.

Ask Stothert, Thompson, Mulligan and Gernandt why they're holding back Omaha's image as a progressive city, why they've ignored the need for recourse as demonstrated by a recent UNMC study on LGBT discrimination in Omaha, and why they think that the gay-friendly corporations Nebraska is trying to attract won't instead choose Iowa if Nebraska government officials continue to stiff-arm their LGBT citizens.

Red = a vote against equal protection for LGBT Omahans in 2010.
Green = for.
Yellow means the council member wouldn't take a position and didn't vote.

Pete Festersen — pete.festersen@ci.omaha.ne.us — District 1
Ben Gray — ben.gray@ci.omaha.ne.us — District 2
Chris Jerram — chris.jerram@ci.omaha.ne.us — District 3
Garry Gernandt — ggernandt@ci.omaha.ne.us — District 4
Jean Stothert — jean.stothert@ci.omaha.ne.us — District 5
Franklin Thompson — fthompson@ci.omaha.ne.us — District 6
Tom Mulligan — tom.mulligan@ci.omaha.ne.us — District 7 

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