Posted by: Ken Riter | September 15, 2011

Omaha Not Inclusive of LGBT Issues

The Omaha World Herald proudly writes about how inclusive Omaha is, even after it shunned the future reintroduction of Ben Gray’s non-discrimination ordinance.  Cultural Diversity? I call BS!!! Not one mention of the LGBT Community. Where is the outcry from the LGBT community against Diversity Week?  They call Omaha inclusive, but it doesn’t include us. These are types of things people in the Omaha LGBT community need to start responding to loud and clear!!!

Mike Yowell of the Council Bluffs Community Alliance posted this on the United For Equal Rights in Nebraska group page, “Omaha a “forward-looking city”? Really? Four of five Council Bluffs city council members marched in the gay pride parade this year, and the Omaha Chamber of Commerce thinks Omaha is forward-looking? The Council Bluffs Community Alliance (the gay group in CB) joins the Council Bluffs Chamber of Commerce and is welcomed with open arms. The mayor of Council Bluffs appoints openly gay people to city-wide commissions. And Omaha ignores its LGBT community but still claims it is diverse. Wow!”

Wow is right, the Omaha World Herald is opposed to equal rights protections for the LGBT Community, claiming it would hurt Omaha businesses, they have no right to claim Omaha is inclusive.  Honestly, without LGBT inclusiveness in Omaha, Omaha isn’t even open for business!

Even after its pointed out to me that its only ethnic and cultural diversity they are talking about, I must go on.  Queers are present in EVERY culture, we should be represented in some manner. Within days of Ben Gray’s announcement on his non-discrimination ordinance, the OWH released an editorial saying we shouldn’t be included in employment and public accomodation protections because we would hurt local businesses. This false claim that Omaha is inclusive is just a direct continuation of the Omaha World Herald’s ignorant opinion.  Despite the fact it is an editorial, they provide absolutely NO information as to how or why it would hurt business.  I’d have to caution the Omaha World Herald on their tactics  as organiations that provide false information or wrong information about any group of people, including the LGBT Community could be certified a hate group by organizations who monitor information about the LGBT Community.

And where is the Omaha LGBT Community’s defiant response to the notion that diversity excludes them?   Are we still camping out in Camp Closet?  Mike Yowell adds, “These days inclusive means inclusive of gays and lesbians, too. The article said, “Supporting cultural respect and understanding is the right approach for businesses.” But they purposely left out the gay culture. There should be protests in Omaha!”

We definitely need a reaction from our community.  I strongly suggest members of the LGBT Community and our straight allies call the Omaha World Herald and let them know they are wrong! Call the Omaha World Herald at 402-444-1000 and ask them why the LGBT Community should continue to be excluded from Omaha culture and identity.  Let them know if you are LGBT or an ally.  One key element of standing up for our own civil rights is providing a proper response against all incidents of bigotry and exclusion around us!  Lets speak up now!!!

Mean Jean Stothert represents bigotry in Omaha

Omaha's Familiar Face of Bigotry, Mean Jean Stothert




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