Omaha & Nebraska

The Status of Omaha and Nebraska from Rainbow Outreach (see bottom)

Unlike neighboring cities including Denver, Colorado; Kansas City, Missouri; and Des Moines, Iowa, which do provide such human rights protection to residents and visitors, Omaha doesn't protect the human rights of either LBGT residents or visitors, providing no protection from discrimination based on real or perceived sexual orientation in housing, private employment, and public accommodations. In 2012, Omaha passed an ordinance passed an ordinance banning discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in employment and public accommodations. Housing is NOT covered.
      The State of Nebraska has no civil rights law offering protection from discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity in housing, credit, private employment, public employment, education, or public accommodations. The State of Nebraska has an anti-democratic, anti-family, and anti-human rights constitutional amendment which mocks Equal Protection Under Law, the foundation of democracy and human rights. (Hypocritically, the State motto is Equality Before the Law.) The amendment, installed by majoritarianism, says the State will not recognize any relationship at all between same-sex couples (marriage, civil union, domestic partnership, etc). This prevents the legislature from enacting the most basic human rights protection for gay family members such as hospital visitation, burial rights, and so forth, and calls into question the validity of all out-of-state adoptions, contracts, etc. In this regard, Nebraska falls behind many third world nations by not meeting the basics of democracy and human rights. Nebraska bans gay individuals and couples from adopting or being foster parents.

The Status of Council Bluffs, Carter Lake and Iowa

Iowa stands in sharp contrast to Nebraska. Iowa has an inclusive statewide Civil Rights Law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity, outlawing discrimination in public employment, private employment, housing, credit, education and public accommodations. Iowa has an inclusive Safe Schools Law to combat harassment and bullying which specifically includes sexual orientation and gender identity. Iowa provides marriage equality to gay couples, permits gay individuals and couples to be foster and adoptive parents, and has a law authorizing second parent adoptions which covers same-sex couples. It is interesting to note that Iowa is actually more rural than Nebraska (more Iowans live in small towns - the biggest city in Iowa is Des Moines, the capital, which has under 200,000 residents compared to Omaha which has 400,000 not including its metropolis).

Above excerpted information, which is slightly reorganized and edited comes mostly from the Rainbow Outreach Metro Omaha LGBT Center, a fine organization. 


You may read the original unedited source material at Rainbow's website here.

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