No discrimination cases were filed against people engaging in Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual or Transgendered sexual behavior leading up to the Council’s action and none have been filed since. The State, through an Opinion issued by the Attorney General’s Office, has asserted its Supremacy on the issue and opposed the actions taken by the Omaha City Council. The Council failed to meet the 3-way Civil Rights test for creating a new Special Protected Classification for LGBT persons. The Council also saw fit to include Heterosexuals in the Protected Class.
The Ordinance, passed only along Party Lines, was then amended AFTER the Public Hearing and no additional Public Hearing was held on the Amended Ordinance. Further, the Council gave a woefully inadequate special “Exemption” to Churches but the interpretation of the exemption has left the community scratching its collective head.
This ordinance is clearly a violation of our 1st Amendment Right to Free Speech. It infringes upon our Religious Liberties Freedoms and is forcing many people to violate their religious convictions and conscience at work, in business and even in some areas of church life.
If left in place, this Ordinance will have lasting negative effects on our families, our churches and our businesses. Therefore, we in the faith community have mobilized to begin a Petition Process to allow the People of Omaha a Vote on the issue.
The object of the Omaha Liberty Project Petition is to adopt an ordinance to delete sexual orientation and gender identity as protected classes within the City of Omaha and in City of Omaha contracts. This petition ordinance will be presented to the Omaha City Council for enactment by said Council; and if not enacted in full by the City Council within 30 days of presentation thereto, that the ordinance be submitted to a vote of the electorate of the City of Omaha at the next election to be held within the City.
This past Spring, the Omaha City Council, acting unilaterally and without cause, moved to pass an ordinance which added sexual orientation and gender identity as special protected classes within the City of Omaha and in City of Omaha contracts.