Council Votes To Rescind Fairness Ordinance And Recent Update
Lincoln, NE (June 13, 2022) The Lincoln City Council voted 4-3 Monday to rescind both the Fairness Ordinance, passed in 2012, and the recent update to the City Code’s Title 11 passed in February of this year. The two measures were aimed at outlawing discrimination against people because of their sexual orientation, gender, or military status.
Both measures were passed by the Council but stopped in their tracks by citizen petitions. The most recent measure, passed in February of this year, was the subject of a petition drive that would have forced it to be voted on by the general public in order to take effect.
Councilman Richard Meginnis introduced the resolution to rescind both ordinances.
“The reason I brought this forward was just because of the divisiveness in the Community on this issue. I don’t believe now is the time to bring this forward.”
Councilman Tom Beckius said he didn’t disagree with the ordinance, but voted to rescind it because of the public opposition.
“I do not believe there is a path forward to victory at the ballot box.”
Councilman Bennie Shobe said he was surprised by the opposition to the measures.
“I was surprised to see so much opposition to a Supreme Court ruling. The Supreme Court is there to arbitrate our laws and why so many people disagree with it puzzles me to this day.”
Council Woman Sandra Washington was one of three council members voting NO on rescinding the ordinance. She indicated the fight is not over.
“I will continue to advocate for the full inclusion of all, because I believe in the promise of the Constitution, it’s promise of equal rights and equal protection. Our work is not yet done, and I have not lost hope.”
Councilman James Michael Bowers agreed that the gay community will not give up efforts to see passage of the ordinance.
“We will continue to put forward equality while shielding our community from ongoing attacks on freedom. We will tell the transgender, non-binary community that their voices matter. The LGBTQ community, our City and this Council will not give up the fight for full equality. This is just the next step.”