Some won, some lost: Legislative back-and-forth over social issues

0
2026

Screen Shot 2016-04-05 at 6.29.12 PM

Rachael Vacanti
CONTRIBUTOR

To say we live in a backwards state is an interesting claim to make. While we may be an agricultural state, often with small towns in Western Nebraska, Eastern Nebraska is known for being a bustling metropolitan area.

This includes many businesses, a few fortune 500 companies and of course, Warren Buffett. It can’t be argued, however, that we are a conservative state. We’re usually the last to change things, for example, the death penalty.

Then there are things like the LGBT community. The state finally passed LB83, extending Equal Pay protection against wage discrimination based on gender to all Nebraska businesses. Whether you’re a guy, girl, gender fluid or simply just don’t conform, you still get paid equally. As a feminist, I’m grateful because I can finally get paid what I deserve, even if I am a girl. Just because I’m a girl doesn’t mean I can’t do something just as well as anyone else.

On the other hand, LB586, a bill that would have prevented hiring discrimination based upon an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity, was flat out rejected. Now, just like equal pay and hiring discrimination are different, so is sexual orientation and gender identity.

Sexual orientation basically means who you are attracted to sexually. And believe it or not there’s more than just gay, straight, lesbian or bi. There is also pansexual, meaning you simply just don’t care about biological sex, gender identity, or gender period.

Gender identity has nothing to do with who you are sexually attracted to. It is who you identify as. Do you identify as a man or woman? I happen to have several friends who are transgender, meaning they were born as one gender, but they feel like they are the opposite gender.

I’ll be the first to admit that these both are touchy subjects for me. I’m so happy that people are going to be getting equal pay for the same work. That’s a huge step forward for women. But I’m not pleased with the rejection of LB586. My whole argument is this: who cares? How exactly does this effect your work ethic and productivity? A person can’t help who they’re sexually attracted to or the gender they identify as. I know people who have tried to “pray the gay away” and it didn’t work.

Just because someone might be a different sexual orientation than you, doesn’t mean they can’t do the same work at the same quality with the same accuracy. Society is quick to judge and if we can’t fit people into our boxes, we get scared. We don’t like different.

Well, I hate to tell you future employers, but to quote Bob Dylan, “the times, they are a’changin’.”

Comments

comments