Another push is being made to include sexual orientation and gender identity in the state non-discrimination laws.
State Sen. Adam Morfeld of Lincoln sponsors LB 173, asserting it has the backing of Nebraskans.
“Poll after poll has shown that overwhelming majorities of rural and urban Nebraskans believe that no one should be fired for who they are or who they love, but rather judged on the quality of their work,” Morfeld said to applause by supporters gathered at a news conference in the Capitol Rotunda. “And that’s because fairness is the Nebraska way.”
Morfeld said public opinion polls indicate Nebraska residents support protecting gay and transgender people from employment discrimination.
Eli Rigatuso, who is transgender, stated workplace discrimination is real.
“Since coming out over two years ago and transitioning on the job, I have been subjected to numerous gender-bias comments and discrimination,” according to Rigatuso. “On one hand, I felt incredibly fortunate that my work had a non-discrimination policy in place, but I learned very quickly that what was in writing wasn’t exactly backed by how people I worked with were allowed to treat me.”
Rigatuso said he filed a complaint, but company officials stated though the comments were inappropriate, they didn’t rise to the level to rule in his favor.
ACLU Nebraska Executive Director Danielle Conrad, a former legislator, stated it is past time for the state to protect LGBT rights.
“The Nebraska we love, the country we love and hold dear, believes in opportunity, believes in fairness, believes in equality, and that’s what LB 173 is; fairness, equality, and opportunity for all Nebraskans,” Conrad stated.
The Judiciary Committee is scheduled to hear LB 173 tomorrow afternoon.
AUDIO: Capitol news conference on LB 173. [20 min.0