Follow breaking news @lgbtqnation
Nebraska

Anti-gay groups collect signatures to force vote on discrimination ordinance

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

LINCOLN, Neb. — Opponents of a new city ordinance that would expand the civil rights protections to include its LGBT citizens, said Tuesday they had collected enough signatures of registered voters to force the city council to either repeal the measure or place it on the November ballot for a city-wide referendum.

On May 14, the city council approved the “fairness ordinance,” which would prohibit discrimination against LGBT people in the areas of employment, housing and public accommodations.

Lincoln, Neb.

But under the Lincoln city charter, citizens can seek a referendum on any newly passed ordinance by collecting enough signatures in a 15-day period.

Standing in front of a large “Let Us Vote” banner, Al Riskowski, executive director of the Nebraska Family Council, and Dave Bydalek, executive director of Family First, told reporters that 310 volunteers gathered petitions with 10,092 signatures by the 4:30 p.m. Tuesday deadline.

“The referendum is about the process. It calls for a vote of the people,” said Riskowski.

“It’s only fair that the City Council schedule a vote on the sexual orientation, gender identity ordinance,” he said. “We followed the legal process. Now we expect them to do the same.”

Lincoln city attorney Rod Confer had previously stated that he found the language of the repeal or referendum petition flawed, prompting Bydalek to say that he felt that the Nebraska Supreme Court would uphold the petition process even if the language is slightly flawed.

“We would be in a very good position if this went to court,” Bydalek said.

Riskowski emphasized that both organizations would be asking the city’s voters to overturn the ordinance, which they claim would have “wide-ranging ramifications” if passed.

The next step of the process is for the county election commissioner’s office to validate the petition the signatures. If at least 2,489 registered voters are verified, implementation of the ordinance is suspended and the issue goes to the City Council for a decision.

Lincoln City Election Commissioner Dave Shively said it would take his office a week or two to verify signatures.

In March, the Omaha city council approved a similar non-discrimination ordinance that would prohibit workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Earlier this month, Nebraska’s Republican Governor Dave Heineman said that voters should have a voice on both ordinances.

Share this article with your friends and followers:

Archives: , , , , , ,

Filed under: Nebraska

40 more reader comments:

  1. !

    Posted on Tuesday, May 29, 2012 at 10:13pm
  2. ugh!

    Posted on Tuesday, May 29, 2012 at 10:14pm
  3. What a sad, sad thing….that people believe they have the right to vote on other human beings civil rights.

    Posted on Tuesday, May 29, 2012 at 10:15pm
  4. Surprised? That is the downside of democracy…..the majority use mob rule to force the issue in their favor. But if the vote doesn’t go their way, they’ll just blame ACORN or something. :P

    Posted on Tuesday, May 29, 2012 at 10:19pm
  5. I vote they are not allowed to go to the bathroom.

    Posted on Tuesday, May 29, 2012 at 10:20pm
  6. Oh goddd they just dont give up do they?

    Posted on Tuesday, May 29, 2012 at 10:21pm
  7. Aren’t they the ones who bitch about how we’re supposedly “pushing” our beliefs on them, hypocrites!

    Posted on Tuesday, May 29, 2012 at 10:21pm
  8. If this is the case, then I vote that gay people stealthily infiltrate every popular business in town, and forbid straight people from using their bathrooms or buying anything, until the economy of the town is in ruins. Then all the gay people just move elsewhere.

    Posted on Tuesday, May 29, 2012 at 10:25pm
  9. If its signatures that win the game, lets get our drag queens on this. We’ll have a gay president in twenty minutes

    Posted on Tuesday, May 29, 2012 at 10:26pm
  10. But we don’t deserve civil rights. It’s not a civil rights issue because we chose to be gay and acted on it. Did we all miss the memo? This makes me sick

    Posted on Tuesday, May 29, 2012 at 10:27pm
  11. LOL Jackie, would love to see one give the “State of the T” address instead of union

    Posted on Tuesday, May 29, 2012 at 10:27pm
  12. To bad all gays can’t stay home for a week from
    Work and get paid for it. That would wake anti gay people up!! Leave gays alone

    Posted on Tuesday, May 29, 2012 at 10:28pm
  13. we shall overcome…

    Posted on Tuesday, May 29, 2012 at 10:29pm
  14. Remember some of Us arent Pushovers

    Posted on Tuesday, May 29, 2012 at 10:29pm
  15. @ Alexandra , It’s bizarre the mental gymnastics involved in persecution. At least in these modern times we can come together. I only wish that others who have suffered persecution for their biology would stand with us as we would have stood with them.

    Posted on Tuesday, May 29, 2012 at 10:30pm
  16. What is wrong with people trying to be themselves?

    Posted on Tuesday, May 29, 2012 at 10:30pm
  17. Something, something about my cool homophobic guy.

    Posted on Tuesday, May 29, 2012 at 10:34pm
  18. I remember how it was in the 70′s and we have come so far

    Posted on Tuesday, May 29, 2012 at 10:36pm
  19. The homophobe trying to stop this said it would have”Wide ranging ramifacations”,( for who certainly not the bigots that are trying to overturn this bill!! ) What exactly does this mean??

    Posted on Tuesday, May 29, 2012 at 10:49pm
  20. It’s Time That The LGBT Community Hunt’s Down The Hater’s…And We Exact Some Measure Of Revenge On The Right Wing Conservative Hater’s For The Blatant Murder’s Of Our LGBT Sister’s & Brother’s…!!!.

    Posted on Tuesday, May 29, 2012 at 10:49pm
  21. @Chris banning straight people from business is prejudice and straight up wrong. That won’t solve anything. The majority of straight people accept gays. It’s only a handful of people that have a problem. Time will work things out and things will be the way they are supposed to be.

    Posted on Tuesday, May 29, 2012 at 10:50pm
  22. *businesses

    Posted on Tuesday, May 29, 2012 at 10:51pm
  23. Organized GLBTQ groups in Lincoln should get a copy of the petition & file suit in Federal Court naming everyone of those citizens to face charges under Federal Hate Law anti-discrimination legislation & show the haters who really has the balls of steel.

    Posted on Tuesday, May 29, 2012 at 10:59pm
  24. What would work better is just find out if any businesses support these bigots and let equality supporters from all over the spectrum ban themselves from that business.

    Posted on Tuesday, May 29, 2012 at 10:59pm
  25. Kristi: how would that make us any different to them?

    Posted on Tuesday, May 29, 2012 at 11:00pm
  26. I wonder how many of the males involved are closeted “POWER BOTTOMS” ? ? ? I know that “rev” TJ Matthews of Mount Sinai Baptist Church in Cleveland, instrumental in efforts to repeal a purely symbolic domestic partner registry, was/is a self-loathing, closeted man. He frequented an adult bookstore where I sold porn at in the mid-eighties at least three times a week. I don’t OUT people as a rule but won’t hesitate for a minute if the same closet case is dangerous to OUR community. That he was, EXPLOITING strung out junkies for his own cheap thrills. Mysteriously, TJ Matthews withdrew his opposition when I called to inform him I planned to hold a press conference on the steps of his church.

    Posted on Tuesday, May 29, 2012 at 11:07pm
  27. Kristi that is the wrong attitude to take. you will never win a battle that way…Maybe read up on Ghandi, and see how strong a force of peace can be

    Posted on Tuesday, May 29, 2012 at 11:07pm
  28. Agree… you can only win this type of civil rights battle by positive passive civil disobedience

    Posted on Tuesday, May 29, 2012 at 11:16pm
  29. It’s A War…And We Must Fight It…As Such…I Come From A Long Line Of Native American Warriors…And I Will Fight The Hater’s On Their Own Ground…And I Won’t Back Down From Any Hater, They Get In My Face…They Will Lose Their Hair….!!!!.

    Posted on Tuesday, May 29, 2012 at 11:28pm
  30. Screw Ghandi…I’m Ex-U.S.Army…11B, 19K, 18B…Once A Grunt Alway’s A Grunt…!!!. And I Still Have My Skill’s….And My Ability To Fight…!!!.

    Posted on Tuesday, May 29, 2012 at 11:32pm
  31. This Old Lesbian TCowgirl…Will Fight Any Hater Toe To Toe, Face To Face,….I Carry A Lockblade On My Belt Everyday, And If Some Dumb Ass Hater Start’s Shit With Me…They Will Lose…, A 3″ Blade Can Do Alot To A Bigoted Haters Body, Especially With My Hardass Personality Behind It…I Grew Up Hard & Mean As Hell…!!!.

    Posted on Tuesday, May 29, 2012 at 11:47pm
  32. Carl…You Are A Weak Person…Civil Disobedience Is A Coward’s Way…Only Whimp’s Protest, Warriors Fight Till The Battle Is Completely Over, & The War Has Been Won…!!!.

    Posted on Tuesday, May 29, 2012 at 11:54pm
  33. C’mon Nebraska! get your buns together and fight for your rights!

    Posted on Wednesday, May 30, 2012 at 12:26am
  34. People sicken me… do they really want us to have no jobs and homes to live?

    Posted on Wednesday, May 30, 2012 at 2:14am
  35. Collect away. At some point, federal law will kick over and, just like with every other type of sorry-a$$ bigotry, the states will have to shove over and make room for something beside their own terrified, mis-informed egos. Really, the people ‘against’ are in an ever-increasing minority, but are screaming ever louder.

    Posted on Wednesday, May 30, 2012 at 4:28am
  36. I love when bigots place civil rights up for public referendum. I proves they have no idea what the Constitution is about…

    Posted on Wednesday, May 30, 2012 at 6:19am
  37. Don’t these bigots have anything better to do with their lives???

    Posted on Wednesday, May 30, 2012 at 6:26am
  38. as long as our rights are allowed to be voted on this is what we are going to get…back and forth with petition…our rights need to be mandated on a federal level…

    Posted on Wednesday, May 30, 2012 at 11:22am
  39. Civil RIGHTS are just that. RIGHTS, and RIGHTS are determined by the laws. Imagine if people were allowed to vote on mixed race marriage?? The people in this country need to realize that “ALL MEN ARE CREATED EQUAL”!!

    Posted on Wednesday, May 30, 2012 at 12:44pm
  40. @ Kristi: Don’t you think that is a little harsh? Calling someone who is on your side “weak”? Not such a good idea. And, btw, truly strong people are able to keep their temper in check. They don’t have resort to violence. In case you haven’t noticed, it doesn’t change anything.

    Posted on Wednesday, May 30, 2012 at 3:19pm