“Lincoln has to compete with other communities for talented workers and many of those cities have protections in place based on sexual orientation.”
– Beatty Brasch, Executive Director of Center for People In Need
I am a proud Nebraskan, born and raised. In my early 20s, I moved to the west coast in an effort to live in an environment where I could be who I was without fear of losing my job or affecting my safety. I was hired immediately and enjoyed a successful career in which I rose from an entry level position to middle management. Each promotion was based on merit; my work ethic is Nebraskan to the core.
However, I missed my family. I missed my home. And I missed the kind of life Nebraska could offer. In an effort to provide my child with the kind of life I knew at her age, I decided to move back home. And there, the trouble started. My resume was impeccable. My references were glowing. But I could not get hired. At one point, I was told I'd have an easier time finding a job if I looked "less gay."
Please note: I never told any of my interviewers I was gay, nor did I dress "like a lesbian." I was shuffled aside in spite of my qualifications because I was PERCEIVED as gay. This behavior under Nebraska law at this time is perfectly legal.
I got lucky. I found a job, and I excelled. Today, I work for a strong conservative who understands that the gender of the person I love has nothing to do with my productivity in the office. I am blessed.
The Fairness Ordnance is needed not just to protect the LGBT community, but to protect those who may be targeted by their employers based on assumptions and incorrect perceptions.
When I moved here, my friends on the west coast laughed at me; their perception of Lincoln is that it is a community of bigots who are no better than the KKK. We all know this is not true. Now, let's prove it by solidifying employment protections for ALL of our citizens.