Lincoln group wants to force ballot vote on city’s gender identity ordinance

By: - February 21, 2022 3:00 am

(George Frey/Getty Images)

A Lincoln organization has started a campaign to try to force a ballot vote on a newly adopted Lincoln City Council ordinance that prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

The council’s “fairness ordinance,” which passed last week on a 5-0 vote, also broadens the city’s municipal code to add military personnel and veterans as a protected class, and it updates several other definitions.

In objecting to the sexual orientation and gender identity part, Lincoln’s Nebraska Family Alliance is seeking signatures for its “Let Us Vote” petition, which aims to collect 4,137 names in a 15-day time frame following the council action. 

The group said if it succeeds in getting signatures equal to 4% of the last gubernatorial election, the fairness ordinance would be unenforceable and must be rescinded or placed on the ballot for a vote.

In 2012, the Lincoln City Council — as well as the Omaha City Council — approved ordinances prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. But, in Lincoln, more than 10,000 citizens signed a petition in opposition, and the Lincoln ordinance stalled.

The Alliance said in a news release that its “volunteers believe every person should be treated with dignity and respect, and are energized and motivated to halt this dangerous ordinance that would allow biological men in women’s showers, locker rooms and restrooms.”

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Cindy Gonzalez
Cindy Gonzalez

Senior Reporter Cindy Gonzalez, an Omaha native, has more than 35 years of experience, largely at the Omaha World-Herald. Her coverage areas have included business and real estate development; regional reporting; immigration, demographics and diverse communities; and City Hall and local politics.