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City Hall: Gender identity policy mirrors NU's

City Hall: Gender identity policy mirrors NU's

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State of the city

Lincoln Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird delivers the State of the City address Sept. 17 at Embassy Suites. 

Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird's enhancement of a city policy outlawing discrimination against workers and job applicants strengthens workplace protection for transgender workers or workers who don't identify as a man or a woman. 

Her directive aligns the city's employment policy with another large public employer in Lincoln — the University of Nebraska. 

NU's employment policy also bars discrimination against workers or job applicants based on sexual orientation or gender identity. 

Gaylor Baird added the gender identity protection to a policy then-Mayor Don Wesely enacted in 2003 barring bias in city employment based on sexual orientation. 

This kind of policy garnered Lincoln a positive score in the Human Rights Campaign's 2019 Municipal Equality Index. 

The LGBTQ advocacy group's ratings of cities in Nebraska and across the country gave Omaha the best score, with Lincoln second. 

In announcing her action, Gaylor Baird challenged employers in Lincoln to follow the city's lead and enact similar policies. 

Human Rights Campaign's index noted the city doesn't have an ordinance requiring city contractors to pledge not to discriminate against LGBTQ people. 

Brinkman said the policy change doesn't apply to the city's purchasing practices.

"Yesterday's announcement is just one step in what we intend to be a series of actions to improve our community's commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion," Brinkman said.

Reach the writer at 402-473-2657 or rjohnson@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LJSRileyJohnson.

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