Bills to further LGBT rights

Posted By: Megan Conway

“Which is why I am proudly introducing LB 586 today that will make it unlawful to fire or deny employment simply because someone is lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender,” says Sen. Adam Morfeld of Lincoln.

Six Nebraska Senators are backing LD 586. It would help prevent homosexual and transgender couples from being denied employment due to their sexuality and also the right to adopt or foster children.

“I’m determined to also ensure that people are measured by their talents and by their contributions to our society and not by the ridiculous standard of whom they love,” says Sen. Patty Pansing Brooks of Lincoln.

In attendance to the announcing of the bills were over 100 LGBT Nebraskans and supports. Chris Kricher of ConAgra Food Foundation hopes his company’s model of treating all employees equally will be an example for other businesses to learn from. He says not only because it’s the right thing to do, but because it’s also a good business procedure. 

“There’s research that shows when employees aren’t comfortable where they are and have to hide who they are; they’re not going to be as productive; they’re not going to be as happy,” says Kricher.

The second bill introduced by Sen. Sara Howard of Omaha would give the LGBT community the right to adopt or foster children. 

“With the amount of children in state custody, the ones who bear the consequences of denying good people the right to adopt are out children,” says Howard.

One same sex couple say all of these restrictions impact their son the most. If the custodial parent passes away, the custody of the child would be in question instead of being with their other parent.

“He’s often said well why can’t you marry in Nebraska? I don’t get it; we’re a family, why don’t they treat us like a family,” says Barbara Baier of Lincoln.

Baier said through the years, her son, with partner Lin has been teased about his parents. 

“Laws do carry over to how people treat each other in daily life,” says Baier.

LGBT community members say all these restrictions create insecurities for their children and that these bills would positively impact their lives in a huge way. The bills will now go to committee for debate and then voted on a later time.