An effort to add sexual orientation and gender identity to the state non-discrimination law has failed in the Unicameral.
Sen. Adam Morfeld of Lincoln brought LB 586 to the legislative floor for debate.
“Colleagues, we have a problem, in Nebraska someone can be fired or not hired for simply being gay,” Morfeld told the body in his opening.
Morfeld and others stated Nebraska needed to officially protect the rights of gay and lesbian workers as well as transgender employees in the workforce. They also claimed businesses would be hesitant to come to Nebraska without such protections included in state law.
But, Sen. Bob Krist of Omaha echoed the thoughts of many opponents; that current state law and business policies address the issue.
“These things are already being done,” Krist said of the protections included in the bill. “There is no compelling reason to put another thing on the books that potentially will develop another protected class.”
Krist made the successful “bracket” motion, a motion to put the issue off until the last day of the legislative session. The motion, in effect, killed the bill this year.
Morfeld vowed that the issue would return.
“These are not special rights. This is equal protection under the law,” Morfeld told colleagues. “This conversation will not go away. In fact, it’s just begun.”
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:45]