Friday, November 16, 2012

Grand Island gay rights fight turns into pissing match between homophobic mayor and city council

On October 9th, Grand Island, Nebraska's fourth largest city, rejected an ordinance prohibiting discrimination in employment by a margin of 8-2, but the issue returned in the form of a scaled-down change to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation in hiring for city jobs. (Grand Island currently protects gay people already employed by the city.)
     This HR change passed Tuesday, 6-4, ("no" votes: Mitch Nickerson, Chuck Haase, Scott Dugan and Peg Gilbert) but was vetoed by Mayor Jay Vavricek after he called on council members to explain why they voted pro or no, provoking two council members who had previously voted "no" to switch their votes. Grand Island requires a supermajority of seven to override a mayoral veto.
     In the end, after Nikerson and Haase changed sides, only Peg Gilbert and Scott Dugan voted against the override.

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