Anti Discrimination bill surfaces again at Capitol - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE;

Anti Discrimination bill surfaces again at Capitol

Anti Discrimination bill surfaces again at Capitol

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Another push to bring forth anti discrimination laws in the work place is being presented to Nebraska lawmakers.

"Poll after poll has shown that overwhelming majorities of rural or urban Nebraskans should not be fired for who they love or who they are, but rather judged on the quality of the work," Lincoln senator Adam Morfeld, who sponsored the bill, said.

The bill would change the Nebraska Fair Employment Act, making it illegal to deny people jobs or fire them based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Something Eli Rigatuso, a transgender man, has experienced first hand.

"I go out of the way to find a restroom that may not be occupied in order to keep myself safe from ridicule,” Rigatuso said during a rally at the Capitol Tuesday. I don’t want different standards to apply to me, because I don't fit someone else’s standards on what I should look like or sound like. And, frankly, I don't feel its okay for anyone to judge me based on their own gender bias."

Only the church would be exempt from following this proposed bill.

That does not include religious organizations or schools.

But opponents say being forced to follow something that goes against their faith is unconstitutional.

"It has a real impact on Americans who simply want to peacefully live and work consistent with their belief without living in fear that the government is going to punish them or silence them," Kellie Fiedorek, legal council with Alliance Defending Freedom, said.

She represents Jack Phillips, a Colorado cake shop owner.

Phillips denied making a same sex couple a wedding cake because it went against his religious beliefs. In turn, was sued by the state for violating their anti discrimination laws.

"Jack would be happy to serve them any other cakes in the store for other events, be it birthdays or showers,” Fiedorek said. “But what he can't is use his artistic talents to participate in an event that violates his core convictions."

Fiedorek said Colorado law is similar to the bill Senator Morfeld is sponsoring, which could put business owners in jeopardy.

There will be a hearing about the bill in front of the judiciary committee on Wednesday.

With 17 new senators on the floor, supporters say that gives them 17 more opportunities for legislation to pass.

Of course, the legislative committee has to approve the bill before it advances that far for debate.

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