New Omaha Anti-discrimination in Employment Ordinance takes effect March 28
On March 15, 2012, Omaha Mayor Jim Suttle signed the “Equal Omaha” ordinance. This is a much contested measure that prohibits employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
Some religious groups see this as granting rights to a few while taking rights from others, and say they will continue to try to get it repealed or rescinded.
After hours of public testimony from citizens on both sides of the issue, the Omaha City Council approved the ordinance in a vote of 4 to 3.
Following the vote, Mayor Jim Suttle issued a statement saying "I applaud the City Council for their actions today and I look forward to signing this ordinance into law. Omaha is a city that welcomes diversity, embraces fresh ideas and is open for business to everyone."
Craig Moody, with Voice Omaha, says this ordinance affects a very small number of businesses. It's the "symbolic nature" of the ordinance that matters – and shows the world that Omaha welcomes all people and families.
The new ordinance goes into effect on March 28.