On January 11, supporters of the Equal Employment Ordinance encountered a major obstacle when State Sen. Beau McCoy introduced LB 912, which would have left any employment discrimination policy decision up to the state and not individual cities and counties. If passed, LB 912 would have made any attempt by Omaha to pass an equal employment initiative a moot point. At the time of McCoy's introduction, Gordon said the strategies set forth to support Gray's ordinance had to shift gears and move to counter McCoy's legislation.Read the entire article at the Reader or pick up a copy at locations throughout the city.
"Right now the barn's on fire," Gordon said of the mindset when McCoy's legislation was announced. "Right now, we've got other things to do... mainly kill that bill."
Omaha musicians mobilized against McCoy’s measure. Conor Oberst, members of The Faint, as well as members of Conduits, The Good Life, McCarthy Trenching, and Laura Burhenn of The Mynabirds, also an active member of Equal Omaha, signed a letter urging Nebraska senators to vote against LB 912.
The public hearing on LB 912 was held in February. The bill later languished in the Judiciary committee where it was "indefinitely postponed,” according to the Unicameral's website. Gordon pointed out that had McCoy's bill passed, two classes currently protected by Omaha's bylaws are not included in the state's non-discrimination policy -- age and martial status. As a result, it would still be legal to discriminate by either age or marital status under McCoy’s measure, Gordon said.
"Do you really want to set the clock of discrimination back 20 years to tell old people they can be kicked out of their home?" Gordon asked. "That's when we knew it was dead in the water."
Below: the far-right Alliance Defense Fund supporting Sen. Beau McCoy's effort to kill equal employment for gay people throughout Nebraska. Former Peter Kiewit executive Bill Grewcock and his wife, Berniece, have contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to the ADF.