The largely Protestant-led Nebraska Family Alliance was early in perceiving and acting against the threat to religious and personal freedom posed by Lincoln’s so-called “Fairness Ordinance.” Many rank-and-file Catholics were frustrated by their own church’s initial unwillingness to engage in the fight against Lincoln’s ordinance.
Unless the Catholic bishops of Nebraska authorize their pastors and the Nebraska Catholic Conference (the Church’s public policy arm) to extinguish these political fires at an early stage, they will rage out of control and become more difficult to contain.
The Nebraska Family Alliance is a worthy recipient of the “Facing The Giants” award as described below.
NFA Receives National Recognition For Efforts Blocking Gender Identity Ordinance
In an exciting announcement, Family Policy Alliance named Nebraska the 2022 recipient of their “Facing the Giants Award.” The award was given in recognition of the hardworking men and women who defeated an unconstitutional gender identity ordinance in Nebraska’s Capitol City earlier this year.
Last spring, the Lincoln City Council unanimously passed a sweeping 67-page “Fairness Ordinance.” The broad language in the ordinance would force businesses, churches, and private schools to allow biological men in women’s restrooms, locker rooms, and showers. Under this draconian law, citizens could be charged with devastating fines by an unelected commission for merely expressing their beliefs or using the wrong pronouns.
The stakes were high. Proponents had already organized before the so-called “Fairness Ordinance” was publicly introduced, and it received endorsements from the mayor’s office, local newspaper, chamber of commerce, and state activist groups.
A provision in the Lincoln City Charter provides an arduous process to rescind new city ordinances. Concerned citizens had to collect 4,137 signatures in just 15 days to block the ordinance from taking effect. A successful referendum petition in that timeframe would take hundreds of volunteers, thousands of hours, and significant financial investment.
Nebraska Family Alliance (NFA) responded quickly, filed a petition, and organized a diverse grassroots coalition of more than 340 volunteers who rallied together to collect 18,501 signatures from parents, business owners, and more than 70 churches in just two weeks.
On March 1st, Nebraska Family Alliance turned in more than four times the needed signatures to block the ordinance.
After hearing resounding opposition from thousands of their constituents, the Lincoln City Council voted to not only rescind the ordinance but also rescind a similar ordinance the council had passed in 2012! A short-lived effort to put the same ordinance on the November ballot also failed.
Craig DeRoche, President and CEO of Family Policy Alliance, said in a statement, “At a time when much of the news we hear is about the challenges our nation is facing, the reality is there is much good work happening to protect children and families around the nation. Nebraska has been an outstanding example of that this year, going above and beyond to make their state a better place for families.”
“Each one of you will put to flight a thousand, for the Lord your God fights for you, just as he has promised.” Joshua 23:10
Executive Director Karen Bowling accepted the award on NFA’s behalf and expressed gratitude to the thousands who courageously took a stand and spoke out about this harmful ordinance in their communities and neighborhoods. “The people of Lincoln are to be commended, coming together to ensure our city remains a fair and welcoming place for all people to live, work, and raise a family.”
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