Rainbow Over the Capitol.

By Joe Shaw/LGBTQIA Caucus Chair

The LGBTQIA community of Nebraska and allies showed up at the Capitol on Thursday to give passionate testimony in support of LGBTQIA people:

— Sen. Wendy DeBoer’s bill (LB426) would allow two persons jointly, regardless of marital status, to adopt a child without requiring the child’s first parent to relinquish his or her parental rights.

–Sen. Patty Pansing Brooks’ bill (LB627) would provide LGBTQIA employment discrimination protection.

–Sen. Megan Hunt’s offered bills: (LB166) to eliminate the use of the Gay and Trans Panic Defense in Nebraska courts, and (LB167) to ban conversion therapy, and one (LB504) to provide for enhanced penalties and a civil action for crimes committed because of a victim’s gender identity.

It’s daunting for anyone to testify in a Legislative hearing, especially when you know that anti-gay groups such as the Nebraska Family Alliance and others will be there to spread mistruths. It’s not easy to listen to testimony that demeans you, questions your personhood, and attempts to invalidate your experience. It hurts every time, no matter how ready you think you are to hear it.

That’s why we are so grateful for the people who testified yesterday.

We’re grateful for those who bravely testified about being fired for being LGBTQIA and for those who testified about the horrors of conversion therapy.

We’re grateful to our allies who gave us eloquent words of support.

We lift you up. We celebrate you. You inspire us and give us the courage to match your bravery.

We’re proud of our LGBTQIA people, our allies and our Champion Senators.

Always know: Nebraska Democrats stand with the LGBTQIA community and we won’t rest until these bills are passed and Nebraska’s motto ‘Equality Before the Law’ becomes a reality.

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