ACTION ALERT | Ending Employment Discrimination

Below find the testimony of George Wolf, long time NFP member and gay activist, concerning LB 586. We are asking all NFP members to call their legislators and ask that they pass LB 586 in the name of fairness, in the name of justice, and in the name of John Taylor and all of the other gay members of Nebraska society who have contributed greatly to our social welfare and who, for being open and caring about justice, were driven from their jobs. Click HERE to find your legislator.

LB 586

My name is George Wolf, I live in Lincoln, NE, and I’m speaking on behalf of Nebraskans for Peace, a peace and justice organization long committed to opposing employment discrimination on any grounds extraneous to job performance.

A year ago last week, my partner of forty years, John Taylor, died. In the early 1970s when we met, John was the assistant manager at a grocery store here in Lincoln, on his way up. But when the store’s owner discovered that John was gay, he was fired on the spot. Nebraska law, as it existed then, allowed the owner to do so.

During the years since, John held many responsible positions, among them President of the Near South Neighborhood Association, Vice Chair of the Lincoln/Lancaster County Health Department’s AIDS Task Force, Executive Director of what was then called the Nebraska Civil Liberties Union, and for fifteen years Chair of the Lincoln Board of Zoning Appeals. Were John still alive, Nebraska law, as it continues to exist right now, forty years later, would still allow that grocery store owner to fire him for no better reason than his being gay.

Thousands of Nebraskans like John, but fearful for their own employment, hide their sexual orientation. Many who don’t, like the waiters of a Lincoln restaurant some years ago, find themselves fired from their jobs with no legal recourse. Nebraskans for Peace urges the members of the Judiciary Committee, and your legislative colleagues, to end employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity by reporting LB 586 out of Committee and supporting its adoption by the legislature.

Thank you.

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