Posted by: Ken Riter | March 12, 2013

The Legislative Grind: Three Important Bills Have Judiciary Hearings March 14, 2013.

OMAHA, NE – Three very important progressive bills have hearings with the Unicameral’s Judiciary committee Thursday. March 14th, 2013. The bills are LB380, LB385 and LB485. Here the members of the Judiciary Committee and their contact info.

Brad Ashford, Chair –  phone: 402-471-2622
Steve Lathrop –   phone: 402-471-2623
Ernie Chambers – phone 402-471-2612 Chambers elected to NOT have email this session.
Mark Christensen – phone: 402-471-2805
Coby coash –  phone: 402-471-2632
Al Davis –  phone: 402-471-2628
Amanda McGill –   phone: 402-471-2610
Les Seiler –  phone: 402-471-2712

LB380 – by Sara Howard (Email: Phone: 402-471-2723) will allow qualified unmarried couples to adopt. The bill will also allow second parent adoptions.  Contrary to some discussions online, this bill does not mention sexual orientation and gender identity, so don’t even use it as a talking point.  It is strictly an adoption bill allowing unmarried couples and second parents to adopt.  Nebraska has no statute covering these issues and courts have rejected adoptions challenged in court because of the lack of statute. Forward Equality has a sample email and letter you can use to send to members of the Judiciary committee to urge them to pass this bill.  Mika Covington of Forward Equality has done a stand up job of research and petitioning for this bill.

LB385 – by Jeremy Nordquist (Email: Phone: 402-471-2721) will prohibit discrimination based on a list of classes when it comes to child placement.  The bill does include sexual orientation and gender identity as well as race, color, religion, sex, disability, marital status, or national origin. Here is a sample email you can send to your state senator and members of the Judiciary committee.  Please be sure to include any personal stories of your own, as these will also help our state senators make the right decisions.

The Unicameral needs to pass LB385 to help children in Nebraska find proper homes with qualified people of various classes.  In the pass few years, Nebraska has had several problems with its foster care and healthcare system for children and passing LB385 will help get these kids out of an insolvent system and into fulfilling and loving families.

LB485 – by Daniele Conrad (Email: Phone: 402-471-2720) will prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation.  it does NOT include gender identity.  Please urge your state senator and the Judiciary Committee to only pass this bill with gender identity included.  Transgendered people shouldn’t be considered a separate step in the civil rights movement when we are ONE COMMUNITY!  Some people, including LGB people seem to forget that the T means something when we say LGBT and our politicians and elected representatives should be fully aware of this, too! Conrad introduced this bill, and it is customary for the introducer to amend the bill.  If you want this bill amended to include gender identity, you must contact her office, by email,  phone, mail. However you do it, but please urge her to include gender identity. Here is a sample email you can send to her office. You can also send a similar version to members of the Judiciary committee.

Thank you for introducing LB485. As a member/supporter of the LGBT community I appreciate that you understand it is time to have a discussion concerning LGBT issues in the Nebraska Unicameral.  The LGBT community is diverse; we are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer. We have people of all races, color, ethnicities and religions. We are ONE community.    Gender identity is not an extra step when it comes to civil rights, our LGBT community is on the same step as we climb up the social ladder for equality, please don’t leave gender identity behind. That is why I urge you to include gender identity in your bill LB485.

Please do what you can, whether it is sending an email, making a phone call, or even showing up for the hearing on Thursday, March 14th, 2013. I will provide updates in this article, this week.


  1. […] with a Workplace Protections ordinance in Omaha, followed later by Lincoln and Grand Island.  Three bills in the Unicameral also touched on LGBT issues in varying degrees, two of them are still alive, with hopes of passage in 2014.  On Tuesday, […]


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