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Grand Island discusses law to prevent GLBT discrimination
Grand Island city officials are considering adding a law against discrimination based on sexual orientation. At last night's study session, council member Larry Carney proposed the new policy.
Both Lincoln and Omaha have seen similar proposals. The law passed in Omaha this past March. Though, in Lincoln, opponents of the law gathered enough signatures to knock it down.
Adding sexual orientation as a protected class right along with gender and race is something some Grand Islanders say is a no-brainer.
Brian Whitecalf is helping spear-head this movement with Carney.
"I think most GLBT people are qualified and then they end up taking a job that's lesser skilled, so that they do not risk outing themselves or being fired or being unemployed or stuck losing their home or car and living on the street," said Whitecalf.
This law would protect people from discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations.
There are no federal laws like this.
Some states have already adapted laws like this one and so do many cities across the country.
This proposed law in Grand Island will be based on the ordinances in Lincoln and Omaha.
As we all know, people are already protected from discrimination based on things like race, sex and religion.
"What this law would do would be to add sexual orientation as a protected class, to protect those people from discrimination based on their sexual orientation here in Grand Island," said Grand Island City Attorney Bob Sivick.
Sivick will write the law. It's due to be released to the public on Friday afternoon. City Council will vote on the law at next Tuesday's meeting.
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