The Omaha City Council failed to pass an amendment on Tuesday offering non-discrimination protection to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals. The measure failed on a 3-3 vote with Councilman Franklin Thompson — who has proposed putting the decision to a public vote — abstaining. Councilmen Ben Gray, Pete Festersen and Chris Jerram voted in favor of the ordinance. Thomas Mulligan, Garry Gernandt and Jean Stothert voted against. Gray proposed the initial amendment to add sexual identity and gender expression to the city’s list of protected characteristics that already prevents discrimination on the basis of race, sex, age, or marital status. The vote came after the Council held a lengthy public hearing on Thompson’s proposal to put the decision in the hands of the public at the next city election in May of 2012. The Council will vote on whether or not the measure will appear on the 2012 ballot at their Nov. 2 meeting. No cities in Nebraska currently offer non-discrimination protection based on sexual orientation.


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