Fairness Ordinance Heads to City Council

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They say it's about protecting the rights of every resident in the capital city.

There are currently no laws in Lincoln to stop a business or landlord from discriminating against someone due to their sexual orientation.

Those who spoke Monday say that has to change.

They say Lincoln residents would not stand for discrimination based on race or religion. They shouldn't stand for continued discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Council member Carl Eskridge introduced the ordinance at Monday's meeting. He says statistics show there are as many as 15,000 LGBT residents living in the city who will be affected by it.

Dozens of people have testified for or against a proposed ordinance that would extend anti-bias protections to gay and transgender people in Lincoln.

The speakers shared their views on the so-called "fairness amendment" Monday at a public hearing before the City Council.

The Rev. Nancy Erickson of First-Plymouth Congregational Church says lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people are forced to live double lives because their livelihoods depend "upon them keeping a secret."

But Dave Gehrls, speaking for an Omaha-based ministry, said the measure discriminates against people of faith "who cannot live their faith in their businesses."

The city council is expected to then vote on the issue at their next meeting.