Politics & Elections
Tue March 13, 2012
Omaha City Council to vote on LGBT anti-discrimination ordinance
After hearing more than three hours of testimony last week on an anti-discrimination ordinance, the Omaha City Council is set to vote on it Tuesday afternoon.
City Councilman Ben Gray introduced the ordinance. It bans discrimination against gay, lesbian, transgender, and bisexual individuals in the workplace and all public places. Religious institutions, and organizations run all or in part by religious organizations, are exempt from the ordinance.
Gray says last week's public hearing showed that discrimination is ongoing in Omaha. But Gray says his anti-discrimination ordinance is also important to Omaha's economy. "If we send a message that Omaha is not open for business for everybody, that could affect future conventions, it could affect future sports programs and others, it could do a number of things economically that could hurt the city."
Two amendments have been introduced. One would limit the ordinance to apply only to city employees. Gray says that's redundant because of a 2003 executive order. He says it also doesn't address the issue of discrimination.
The City Council meets at 2pm.