Monday, April 7, 2014

Former Cornhusker kicker's open letter in support of LB485, LGBT antibias employment law

Eric Leushen during his playing days at Nebraska.
Photo: University of Nebraska, Lincoln
Via Outsports, here is the letter sent by Eric Lueshen, a kicker for the University of Nebraska-Lincoln football temp from 2003-2005, to newspapers throughout Nebraska in support of LB485, to be voted on today.
     Lueshen came out when he was on the team and took his boyfriend to the Student Athlete Formal a decade before Michael Sam came out to his teammates at the University of Missouri.

     From 2003-2006, I was an openly gay Husker football player hailing from Pierce, Nebraska. Teammates, coaches, fellow athletes, my family, and people from all over supported and accepted me for who I was. What mattered to them was the person I was on the inside; someone with strong moral values and great character.

     If my fellow teammates could accept and love me for being gay over a decade ago, why is it so hard to accept other LGBT people in the workplace here in Nebraska now?
     LB 485, pending before the Nebraska Legislature, would update our nondiscrimination laws to include equal employment opportunities for LGBT Nebraskans. Current law already protects people from discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, disability, marital status or national origin. No one should be fired for who they are and who they love. It is a simple matter of fairness and justice. It sends the positive message that Nebraska is a welcoming place to live and work.
     Gay and Lesbians in Nebraska pay taxes, vote, serve in the military, and run successful businesses. We go to school, play football, and cheer for the Huskers. We should be treated equally under the law.
     I believe that most Nebraskans want to treat each other fairly and do the right thing. But when good judgment breaks down, we need to have laws that protect people. No one should have to live in fear that they can be fired from their job for a reason that has nothing to do with their job performance.
     I fully support LB485, and I'm sure my former Husker teammates and coaches do as well. Please join me in the fight for equal employment opportunities for LGBT Nebraskans. I urge you to ask your legislator to act for equality and vote for LB485.

Eric Lueshen

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