Last night the Lincoln City Council (sort of) unanimously passed its anti-discrimination ordinance. The two Republicans on the council abstained from voting. The ordinance protects gay and transgendered people from discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodation. Hate groups are vowing to overturn the measure by a public vote.
Opponents now have 15 days to decide whether to refer the ordinance to the people if they can gather about 2,500 signatures. Family First Nebraska and the Nebraska Family Council have vowed to attempt such a referendum. The two Republicans – Adam Hornung and Jon Camp – cited Attorney General Jon Bruning’s recent legal opinion that extending civil rights protection to a class not named in state statute must done via a charter amendment, which must go to a vote of the people. That opinion mirrored a Lincoln city attorney’s opinion in the early 1980s, and the subsequent charter amendment failed at the polls. But the Democrats on the council said the current city attorney, Rod Confer, has issued a new legal opinion that the city has the right to enact such legislation by ordinance.
JMG tipster and fellow blogger Aksarbent was there with his video camera. Below is 45 minutes of anti-gay testimony, if you can bear it. Also there was famed local schizophrenic, Jane Svoboda, who left very unhappy.