Pros and cons of bill to ban workplace bias based on sexual orientation are aired for third year in a row
LINCOLN — His grandfather told stories about the “no Irish need apply” signs his ancestors encountered when they immigrated to America more than a century ago.
State Sen. Mike McDonnell of Omaha shared the bit of family history Thursday during a debate in the Nebraska Legislature over a bill to prohibit workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. The senator traced a line connecting the experiences of his Irish Catholic grandfather to those of his nephew, who is gay.
“Whether it’s 150 years ago or today, you should hire somebody based on their ability to do the work,” McDonnell said.
On the other side of the issue was Sen. John Lowe of Kearney, a bar owner who said he has never once asked a job candidate about sexual orientation. So he views the bill as another unnecessary regulation on employers.