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13 Nebraska HHS diversity team members quit after lesbian speaker booted

“I can’t be a part of something that is that hypocritical and definitely discriminates and promotes intolerance.”
— Health and Human Services Department diversity team member Lupe Hickey, who resigned after a speaker was booted who was going to give a talk about life as a partnered lesbian with kids.

And the reason that Beth Gillespie was told that she couldn’t speak was because LGBT isn’t one of the federally protected classes, such as race or religion — the same stance the fundies take when discussing hate crimes or ENDA. They want to keep themselves protected, and leave LGBTs open to be victimized by discrimination. (KETV):

More than a dozen state workers have resigned from a workplace diversity committee, saying the state forced them to cancel a gay speaker who was going to talk about same-sex parenting. The workers told KETV NewsWatch 7 that they felt that they were told to discriminate against the woman.

Beth Gillespie said she was scheduled to speak at an informal luncheon — a Health and Human Services Department diversity event — and talk with state employees about raising children with her partner.

…”Our vision was to recognize and value all individuals,” said Cathy Kingery, who is one of the members who resigned from the diversity team. “It doesn’t say, ‘Except for this group of people.'”

“I can’t be a part of something that is that hypocritical and definitely discriminates and promotes intolerance,” said resigned team member Lupe Hickey.

Nebraska’s chief executive officer of health and human services said she wasn’t involved in the decision, but she added that the committee is only supposed to only explore “cultural” diversity — things such as race and religion and gender. “We followed the federal protected classes. Sexual orientation is not a federally protected class,” said HHS’s Chris Peterson.

Peterson later said that she would like to open a dialogue about the issue, but then frames it by saying that if discussion about gay families is allowed, then ” the doors are open to groups which might include neo-Nazis or the KKK.”

That’s a new one — we’re now as incendiary as the Klan. Please. I say “so what” to opening the door for discussion — I doubt anyone will welcome the fringe hate groups with open arms, but let that be exposed for what it is.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding

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