Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Omaha World-Herald to NE Unicameral:
Pass LB586, LGBT workplace protection

Photo: Katrina J. Houdek via Flickr
The editorial was mostly a good-for-business appeal (which is how the World-Herald typically frames human rights issues) to keep up with the Joneses (specifically Iowa and Colorado):
     No state with a 2.6 percent unemployment rate can afford to turn its backs on potential pools of talented workers.
     It’s bad for business.
     The lack of protection keeps many Nebraskans and would-be Nebraskans from realizing their potential. Too often, they move elsewhere.
The Herald patiently dismantled objections, explaining to its conservative readers that fear-mongering about lawsuits tying up the courts isn't going to happen because in three years Omaha's LGBT employment bias protection has engendered just 10 complaints and that the state's fiscal analysts forecast only 60-80 cases a year statewide if LB586 passes. Religious objections were ticked off by reminding readers that LB586 doesn't apply to faith-based businesses and small firms. Then, back to dark pro-gay Chamber of Commerce warnings:
     Already 21 other states, including neighboring Iowa and Colorado, treat people as equals in the workplace. Nebraska’s lack of workplace protections are used by economic competitors when seeking to attract employers and employees.
     ...“We hear direct feedback from talented people who do not want to work in Nebraska because of this lack of protection,” Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce chairman Clark Lauritzen said.
     That’s why the Lincoln and Omaha Chambers of Commerce united in support of LB 586 — and why lawmakers should as well. It’s good for business.

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