A bill which would lift the ban on teachers wearing religious garb in the public classroom is a step away from passage.
The Unicameral has given overwhelming approval to LB 62 after second round debate, advancing it to final reading on a 41-to-1 vote.
That one senator voting against the measure, Sen. Ernie Chambers of Omaha, waged a one-man filibuster of the measure, arguing lifting the ban would bring religion into the classroom.
“Religion is one of the worst things that ever cursed humankind,” Chambers told colleagues during legislative floor debate. “Religion has started innumerable wars. Religion has ended not one single war. Religion teaches hatred.”
Chambers said religion has no place in the classroom.
“If you got rid of all religion, the world would immediately be better off,” Chambers said. “There are numerous problems we are contending with today that would go away.”
Supporters of the measure, though, believe it protects the religious liberty of teachers, arguing the law that prohibits teachers from wearing religious clothing or jewelry in the classroom violates their First Amendment rights to express their religion freely.
LB 62, which is sponsored by Speaker Jim Scheer of Norfolk, needs to pass one more round of voting to move to Gov. Pete Ricketts’ desk.