Tuesday, April 8, 2014
Beth Burkstrand-Reid (Nebraska) joins us as guest blogger this month. Her research focuses on reproductive rights and women's health, specifically abortion, birth control and pregnancy-related law. She is the recipient of the 2014 Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Status of Women, presented by the UNL Chancellor and the Chancellor's Commission on the Status of Women . Prior to her legal career, Professor Burkstrand-Reid was a journalist and her writing appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal. She's on Twitter @beth_burkstrand.
A Nebraska bill prohibiting employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity is all but dead. Supporters did not have the votes to end a filibuster of the bill Monday, and the legislative session is rapidly drawing to a close.
“The bill would make it unlawful for an employer, employment agency or labor organization to discriminate against a person on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. It would apply to businesses with 15 or more employees, all employers with state contracts and state and local governments. Current state law prohibits discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, disability, marital status and national origin. [The] bill would not apply to religious organizations.”
Nevertheless, opponents repeatedly invoked religious liberty as a reason why the bill should fail, also arguing that homosexuality is a “choice.”