NEBRASKA: Christianists Fail To Repeal Omaha's LGBT Anti-Discrimination Law
In March of last year, the Omaha City Council narrowly approved a bill granting employment protections to LGBT residents of the city. Anti-gay Christianist groups immediately launched a campaign to repeal the bill. Supporting the repeal attempt was Omaha Archbishop George Lucas, who issued a letter demanding that local Catholics sign the repeal petition.
Yesterday the backers of the petition conceded failure.
The Omaha Liberty Project, sponsor of the petition effort, needed to submit roughly 11,400 valid resident signatures to the city today to potentially force a vote in May's general election. The group's volunteer petition circulators led months of signature gathering and community-organizing efforts, its leader said, but didn't collect enough signatures to account for potentially ineligible entries. The group has already missed a deadline to place the issue on the primary ballot. “We've got to be pretty darn close to the number we need,” said Patrick Bonnett, the group's executive director and a member of the Papio-Missouri River Natural Resources District board. Bonnett said the Liberty Project's campaign got a late start and had to spend much of the holidays bringing voters up to speed on the ordinance. “We were very, very shocked at how few people were in tune with the issue,” he said.