Saturday, February 25, 2012

Where in Nebraska are gay people protected from arbitrary discrimination?

The apparently-failed attack on LGBT Nebraskans by Sen. Beau McCoy via LB912 has focused attention on existing legal recourse by gay Nebraskans against arbitrary discrimination. Those remedies are sparse.

Dan Holtmeyer, in a recent Daily Nebraskan article, did a great job of surveying the landscape of LGBT protection.
Few areas of Nebraska have added LGBT protection on their own, and opponents to the extension often cite freedom of religion in their firings of those they consider abnormal or sinful. The city of Lincoln includes sexual orientation as a protected class in its contract with city employees, but Omaha and Grand Island don't. All four University of Nebraska campuses, Nebraska Wesleyan University and Southeast Community College include the provision, but Peru, Wayne and Chadron State Colleges do not.
     McCoy's bill wouldn't affect those that include sexual orientation in dealings with employees, such as UNL or Lincoln, because the university and city act as businesses in that context, not local governments. Otherwise, a town or county ordinance would be nullified if it stretched beyond the state's list of protected classes.

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