Monday, May 21, 2007

Dishonest and Disgusting: The Debate Over LB 475

by Ryan Anderson
Look, I don't always envy our state legislators. Theirs is a tough job filled with tough decisions about complex issues and half-baked compromises. But that's not LB 475. In the legislative world, this is a gimme, a no-brainer: "Should employers be allowed to discriminate against applicants and employees based on sexual orientation alone?"

No, they shouldn't.

And a majority of Nebraskans agree. In fact, an overwhelming majority of Nebraskans in every single legislative district in the state reached that conclusion a long time ago. Why then is our legislature so far behind?
Lincoln Sen. DiAnna Schimek said she couldn’t remember how many times the bill or a similar one had come before the Legislature.

“Every year I hope and think that this might be the year that we can pass it,” she said. “I think this is an important bill.”
I agree, Senator. And the people of Nebraska agree. It's your damn loony peers in the Unicameral who haven't figured it out just yet. People like this:
Sen. Pat Engel of South Sioux City, who said he had a gay nephew who died of AIDS, could not support the bill, he said. By giving homosexuals protected status, he said, the state could be taking away employers’ rights.

If a gay employee was not performing his duties, and the employer fired him, Engel said, the person could claim discrimination. “That’s what concerns me,” he said.

“I do not have anything against them. I do not appreciate their lifestyle, but it’s their business, not mine,” he said.
Presumably, Senator Engel would prefer to repeal the Fair Employment Practice Act all together. That way we wouldn't have to deal with all those frivolous lawsuits from disgruntled racial and religious minorities... not to mention the disabled. Seriously, is anyone taking this down? South Sioux City, is this really the representation you deserve?

Or how about this gem from Southeast Lincoln:
Lincoln Senator Tony Fulton cited a 1991 report from the Wall Street Journal that listed the national average annual income of homosexual households as significantly higher than those averages of other minorities. Based on that, Fulton said LB 475 is not necessary because homosexuals are able to earn comparable incomes.
You see? What's good for the gander is good for the goose. Homosexuals, as a group, were doing better than other minorities, as a group, sixteen years ago... and that was before Nebraska had a law protecting them from employment discrimination. Imagine what they'd do if 475 actually passed! They might even compete with the majority!

Oh, the humanity...

Well, Senators, I got some bad news for you: somebody is taking all this down. Somebody is listening. And those of us who are have a duty to let our friends and neighbors know just what their legislative leaders are doing.

Maybe this won't be the year to make it happen. But it won't happen, ever, until and unless the rest of us get fed up enough to write our Senators, call our Senators, visit the capitol... anything and everything we can to make this the last year we have to hope, and hope, and get nothing in return.

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Anonymous Bill said...

As long as this legislation is missing in Nebraska, we will remain a rural backwater, largely out of touch with the rest of the nation and the world. Sadly, that seems to be the way most Nebraskans like it....out of touch and out of everyone else's mind.

Anonymous Ghostwolf said...

I just went to the Unicam and couldn't find out if they'd voted or not (it's 5-23-07 as I type this). I sent, to every senator, a typed out plea for them to please support this bill and only three have replied. One positive, one undecided and one didn't say (I had to write him back and ask.. as of today he said he'd voted against it to which I've sent a rather scalding reply).
I'm assuming that it didn't pass (only because of Nebraska's history with similar bills).
Why do they feel it's ok to discriminate against anyone??
I moved here from CA 5 years ago so my mind is boggled by some of these issues. I think it's called "culture shock."


Blogger Ryan Anderson said...

There was a vote Tuesday to "indefinitely postpone" the bill. It passed 24-17. Paging Power has more at

Anonymous Dale Gribble said...

Full civil rights for sodomistas, including forcing churches, youth sports teams and scout troops to hire them, after all burning in hell will be punishment enough

Anonymous Luke Peterson said...

Dale -

I wouldn't call myself a "sodomite." That term is only used to characterize sexual predators and if you knew me and my friends, you would realize that gay men are far from being sexual predators. And last time I checked in the Bible; heretics and bigots are in the same boat as far as sin goes, along with homosexuals. That "Holier Than Thou" crap is really making me nauseous.


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