Where city and business leaders continue to work together to get statewide protections
Bona fides: The only city in Nebraska with an ordinance barring discrimination in employment and public accommodations based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
In April 2012, the Omaha City Council voted 4-3 to approve an ordinance extending city anti-discrimination laws to cover gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender residents. No small victory in a state where no other city has anti-discrimination laws on the books, and where attempts to pass state-level legislation failed once again in March 2019. Last year’s model, Legislative Bill 173, counted Union Pacific, Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert, and the Omaha Chamber of Commerce among its supporters, however, voting on the bill was indefinitely postponed in 2018. But protections can be found at the commercial level and Omaha’s LGBTQIA+ scene continues to thrive.
“Many people underestimate what Omaha has to offer,” says Ryan Sallans, an LGBTQIA+ rights speaker, diversity trainer, out-trans man, and native Nebraskan who calls Omaha home. “Major companies (here) are also committed to diversity and inclusion, and have non-discrimination policies that also include sexual orientation and gender identity.”
If your only exposure to Nebraska was Omaha, the surplus of LGBTQIA+-friendly nightlife would easily give you a more generous impression of the state’s attitude towards inclusion. The Omaha Mining Company, DCs Saloon, Flixx Video Bar, and M's Pub cater to the gay, lesbian, and bi crowd and scratch any itch you have for a drag show. Or just hang out at the Max and hit up any of the four, count them four, bars hosted in this single gay mega-pub.