Will Lincoln Add Gay and Transgenders to Protected Class?

© Sheilah Glasco helps a customer at her boutique

Nicole Ebat

LINCOLN(KPTM)-- Just a little over a month after Omaha's City Council added gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people to their anti-bias laws, Lincoln's City Council may do the same.

Omaha Councilman Ben Gray traveled to Lincoln Friday afternoon to show support for the ordinance proposed by Lincoln Councilman Carl Eskridge.

Eskridge represents much of downtown Lincoln.

"This amendment sends an important message to the community, the business community and to all of our city. It says that discrimination is not acceptable and so people need to treat one another with respect," he said.

Sheilah Glasco is one owner of Stella, a small vintage boutique in downtown Lincoln. She says, not only would the ordinance not affect her, she had no idea the LGBT community was not already protected from discrimination in the city's laws.

"This is a surprise to me, I guess I didn't realize that this was an issue or something that hadn't been addressed," she said.

Eskridge says he's heard a handful of concerns from businesses in the area.

"I just can't see where that would be an issue," said Glasco. "I can't imagine any business owner, ourselves included, that would have a problem with it. I don't see what they would have to change,"

Eskridge mentioned that Lincoln is the only city in The Big Ten that does not include LGBT in its anti-bias laws. He said it's time for Lincoln to "grow up".

Gray added that 163 cities across the U.S. have similar laws. He said anyone born in the U.S. should be entitled to these rights under the constitution.

"The only people that are going to be harmed by this legislation are people who intend to discriminate in the first place," said Gray.

The ordinance is scheduled to be introduced on April 30th. A public hearing will be held May 7th. Gray says he will be testifying in support of the ordinance during that hearing.

A full script of the ordinance is available here.