Lincoln City Council votes to rescind ‘Fairness Ordinance’

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN-TV) — The Lincoln City Council on Monday voted to rescind an ordinance that would have added protection from discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and veteran status to city code.

The council approved the “Fairness Ordinance” in February, prompting opponents to gather signatures to put the ordinance on the ballot.

The Nebraska Family Alliance easily met the petition requirements, collecting over 18,000 signatures, so Lincoln voters would have decided the issue in November.

But the council’s 4-3 vote to rescind the ordinance will take it off the ballot.

“I am deeply saddened that we have come to this point in time, after tremendous outreach, coalition building, support from our community and polling proof that the majority of Lincolnites favor equity and non-discrimination,” City Councilwoman Jane Raybould said.

City Councilman Tom Beckius voted to rescind the updates to Title 11, but not because he doesn’t believe in them. He said the timing is wrong.

“I do not believe there is a path forward to victory at the ballot box at this time,” Beckius said.

The Fairness Ordinance was introduced by City Councilwoman Sandra Washington.

She’s disappointed with the final vote but said her work is not yet done.

“To the upcoming generation, to the youth of our city, I want you to know, I see you,” Washington said. “I have been where you stand now, and I promise you, it will get better.”

The Nebraska Family Alliance said on social media that “this is a tremendous, hard-fought victory.”

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