Full EQUALITY BEFORE THE LAW For LGBTQIA Nebraskans

Posts tagged ‘Unicameral’

Unicameral Needs Your Voice on LB586, WorkPlace Protections.


OMAHA, NE – The Nebraska Unicameral Session for 2015 is almost over, just 10 days or less actually. It is crunch time in the Nebraska Equality Movement! Thursday, May 14th, the Unicameral will debate and vote on workplace equality. We need you to call or email your state senator in our state’s Unicameral. Don’t know who that is? You can click here: http://nebraskalegislature.gov/senators/senator_find.php Don’t know what to say or write? We have that covered too!  Read the next paragraph below, You can start with what’s written below and add your experience and name to it!

Dear (Your State Senator’s Name), LB586 adds Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity to the state’s workplace protections statute which already cover race, sex and religion. Discrimination against Nebraskans based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity is real. We lose talented Nebraskans to other states that treat their residents equally. We also lose the business opportunities associated with those lost talents. As result, inequality in the workplace has a direct impact on our state’s economy, passing LB586 would help decrease Nebraska’s brain drain. Over 100 Nebraska businesses have pledged support for Workplace Equality. The Chambers of Commerce in both Lincoln and Omaha have also voiced their support. Young professionals groups representing more than 10,000 young professional Nebraskans also support LB586. They are the Lincoln Young Professionals Group and the Greater Omaha Young Professionals. LB586 also keeps Nebraska’s current religious exemptions intact, so it doesn’t force religious organizations to hire gays as some people have erroneously claimed. So many Nebraska conservatives claim to support a growing economy, supporting equality in the workplace should be a no-brainer!

Sincerely, (Your Name)

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Nebraska Equality Activism Continues Full Speed Ahead.


OMAHA,  NE – The Nation’s only Unicameral state legislature is once again debating LGBT issues. Legislative bills similar to previously introduced equality legislation are once again on the table for discussion in 2015. The Equality Agenda bills as they are being known as are three bills introduced by State Senators Jeremy Nordquist (LD7), Sara Howard (LD9), Adam Morfeld (LD46). Last week’s judiciary hearing gave the public the chance to speak about the bills.

LB647, the measure by Nordquist would ban discrimination based on various factors, including sexual orientation and gender identity.  Nebraska is one of two states which prohibit LGBT foster parents.  Nebraska’s ban is based on nothing more that a departmental memo from 1995. The next bill, LB648, introduced by Sara Howard, would allow joint adoption by two individuals, regardless of marital status. The final measure, LB586, introduced by newly elected Adam Morfeld would ban discrimination in the workplace based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

All three bills have an uphill battle in the ultra-conservative Unicameral. If the bills advance out of committee, supporters will need 33 votes to break any likely filibusters.  But a couple of turncoats, the Chambers of Commerce of Lincoln and Omaha spoke in favor of Morfeld’s workplace protections bill on Wednesday.

The Video  below begins with a nice clip of State Senator Adam Morfeld.

 

There is still time to send the Committee telling them to support these bills, or sign the ACLU’s petition below.

Dear State Senator,

I am writing as a Nebraska Voter to urge you to support the bills LB586, LB647, and LB648. Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Nebraskans are our family, friends, and co-workers. Every Nebraskan should be entitled to the same opportunities to take care of their families and to feel safe at work. Equality before the law isn’t just an idea, it’s the
state motto of Nebraska. Please support LB586, LB647, and LB648.

Sincerely,
{YOUR NAME}

Judiciary Committee Members Emails:

amorfeld@leg.ne.gov,
ppansingbrooks@leg.ne.gov,
lseiler@leg.ne.gov,
ccoash@leg.ne.gov,
mwilliams@leg.ne.gov,
lebke@leg.ne.gov,
bkrist@leg.ne.gov,

ACLU’s Equality Agenda Petition

 

 

Equal Rights Fight for LGBT Nebraskans Inches Forward.


OMAHA, NE – Nebraska, in just a few recent years jumped back into the Equality movement with a Workplace Protections ordinance in Omaha, followed later by Lincoln and Grand Island.  Three bills in the Unicameral also touched on LGBT issues in varying degrees, two of them are still alive, with hopes of passage in 2014.  On Tuesday, August 27th, 2013, a lesbian couple and two gay couples filed a lawsuit in a Lincoln district court arguing the state policy created in 1995 banning them from becoming foster or adoptive parents to children under care of Nebraska is unconstitutional.

While Nebraskans for Equality believe the ACLU lawsuit is a very powerful step, we cannot abandon the efforts to ensure LB380 and LB385 become law. Both bills are very important pieces in the puzzle for full LGBTQIA Equality in Nebraska. Also, both bills cover more ground than the ACLU lawsuit alone.

LB380: This bill was introduced by Sara Howard during the 2013 Unicameral session to resolve the current problem: The State of Nebraska prohibits all unmarried couples from adopting and prohibits second parent adoption. LB380 will allow qualified unmarried couples to jointly adopt. LB380 will clarify provisions in State Law to allow qualified couples to use Second Parent Adoption. LB380 will have many benefits. LB380 will allow more families to adopt the children waiting for a loving stable family. Currently there are over 500,000 children waiting for families. LB380 will allow couples who are unable to have to children to adopt and start a family. LB380 will allow couples who are unable or do not want to marry to jointly adopt.  LB380 will help families who are unable  or do not want to marry to provide additional protections to their family.  LB380 will allow couples who are already raising a child but only one parent has parental rights to use second parent adoption to secure the second parent’s rights. LB380 has support from the following groups: American Psychological Association, Association of Social Workers – Nebraska Chapter, National Association of Social Workers, Nebraska Psychological Association, ACLU-NE, Inclusive Communities,  Nebraskans for Equality, and Forward Equality who worked directly with State Senator Sara Howard since 2012 on this issue.  From Forward Equality

LB385:  This bill was introduced into the Nebraska Unicameral by Jeremy Nordquist and bans discrimination in Nebraska’s Foster Care system based on race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, marital status, or national origin. This bill passed a committee vote 5-1 on Friday, May 31, 2013.

Marriage Equality:  Senator Brad Ashford will be having the Legislative Judiciary committee hearing dealing with Marriage Equality on November 1st, 2013. This a change from the previous date scheduled in October.

Nebraskans For Equality To Host “Full Equality Before The Law” Rally.


OMAHA, NE – Nebraskans For Equality is proud to announce it will be hosting its first event, the “Full Equality Before The Law” Rally, on Friday, August 2nd, 2013, from 4pm to 6pm CST. Come join “Nebraskans for Equality” for its first equality rally. Momentum is building tremendously nationwide for full LGBTQIA rights, we should be looking to what we can do for ourselves right here in Nebraska. So what, if people think it doesn’t have much of a chance. Our rights have ZERO chances if we doing NOTHING about them. Join the rally, meet other activists, and learn about what is already going on (LB380 and LB385 in the Unicameral, LGBT inclusive bills) (Brad Ashford‘s Judiciary committee in October, on Marriage equality)

If you would like to go, don’t forget to RSVP at the FaceBook Event Page.  Nebraskans For Equality is committed to Full Equality for all LGBTQIA persons, not just at the Nebraska state level, but local and nationally, too!  The bills currently in the Unicameral have a decent chance of passing, but only if people get involved, especially when it includes contacting your state senators directly and providing them useful facts, information and situations they may not already know. While we depend on votes in the Unicameral to go our way, remember, we as voters, have the power to sway how our representatives vote, but that can only happen if we honestly try!

Rainbow Eagle

Let LGBTQIA Activism Soar in Nebraska!

~Ken Riter

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