The Lincoln Journal Star reports:
A bill that would prohibit workplace discrimination for those people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender got its three hours in the sun Thursday. But no vote was taken before senators adjourned at noon for their long weekend.
If the bill’s supporters can show they have 33 votes, the number needed to break a filibuster and force a vote on the issue, it will get more time, said Speaker Jim Scheer after the debate ended. That’s no different than any other controversial bill with extended debate, he said.
Lincoln Sen. Adam Morfeld, who introduced the bill that would add sexual orientation and gender identity to the list of protected classes in the workplace, said he now will work with opponents to clarify points in the legislation and make it better. Then he’ll get a vote count based on an amended version of the bill and hope to get it on the schedule again, he said.
Here’s how the Liberty Counsel spins the story:
Today Nebraska state senators ended debate on LB173, a bill that would have added “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” to the state’s employment nondiscrimination statues. This bill would also have allowed municipalities to add “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” to their public accommodation and housing nondiscrimination statutes. Nebraska will join at least 14 other states and 70 cities that have rejected sexual orientation and gender identity proposals in the last year.
Liberty Counsel’s Director of Public Policy, Jonathan Alexandre, spent this week traveling throughout Nebraska meeting with concerned citizens, business owners, religious leaders and legislators and presenting arguments in opposition to the proposed law. Today, immediately before the legislature convened to debate this bill, Alexandre spoke at a breakfast attended by several Nebraska senators and their staff. Right after the breakfast and floor debates, the speaker of the house killed the bill.