Here is some great news from where I live!
For the past two years there has been a debate in the City of Omaha about whether it should take a step up and included sexual orientation and gender identity on the city’s nondiscrimination policy. Councilman Ben Gray introduced the new ordinance last year, but it was voted down by other city council members who said that their “constituents” were against the ordinance due to religious reasons.
Last week, over 100 members of the LGBT community in Omaha attended what ended up being a five-hour testimony/public hearing on the proposed ordinance. People from the community and allies shared their experiences of discrimination and harassment either within employment or at public facilities because of their LGBT identity. Researchers shared current statistics related to discrimination and the affects on individual health.
Opponents to this ordinance all sounded like a broken record, either saying it was wrong because God wouldn’t want it this way (“really?”) or because they don’t believe discrimination and bullying exist (“REALLY?”) or because they want to be able to discriminate (obviously).
Having this ordinance pass today shows that speaking up and sharing stories DO change opinions and DO show that the majority of people in the U.S. are not against LGBT rights, in fact in a recent poll over 68% showed support for LGBT rights in the US.
This ordinance now sets the stage for Nebraska. This is the FIRST LGBT-friendly ordinance to pass in the state of Nebraska which shows hopefully that we are finally moving in a positive direction (Nebraska was the first state to issue the most harmful and restrictive marriage policies in the US through Initiative 416).
Salina, Kansas is in the process of moving forward a city ordinance that would add sexual orientation and gender identity/expression onto their non-discrimination clause. I suggest people interested in this, read the brief summary written in the Salina Journal.
I remember back in 2009 when I traveled down to Salina to speak to the Kansas State University-Salina campus. I almost wasn’t brought in due to some students not thinking a talk by a transgender speaker would draw in a crowd….well, it drew in close to 300 people and raised over 1,000.00 for the Matthew Shepard Foundation. The fundraising happened thanks to the protest by the Westboro Baptist Church of my talk. Even when things seem negative, they create a positive.
I’m keeping my fingers crossed for everyone in Salina that this goes through. Sadly, in my own state, even the biggest city, Omaha isn’t able to pass an ordinance at this time due to politics.
I can’t believe what I’ve just read in regard to Canada’s new Conservative Government passing an amendment that can deny “pre-op” trans people from air travel in Canada. Here is the amendment 5.2 (1) An air carrier shall not transport a passenger if … (c) the passenger does not appear to be of the gender indicated on the identification he or she presents;
By the way this is written, I believe this would affect anyone who is flying through Canada. I’m very disappointed in this. To read more about it go to this article.
Thank you, Knowhomo for making me aware of this.