The effort to toss Omaha’s ordinance that offers legal rights for gay and transgender workers back to voters has come up short, at least for now.
The Omaha Liberty Project, a group led by religious leaders, had been ciculating petitions in an attempt to get the approximately 11,400 signatures it would need to put the issue on the ballot in this spring’s general election. But by Friday’s deadline, organizers didn’ t have enough signatures.
Patrick Bonnett, the group’s executive director and a member of the Papio-Missouri River Natural Resources District board, said there was a large amount of support, and that organizers planned to keep up the effort. He said part of the issue was that many people needed to be brought up to speed on the ordinance.
“We were very, very shocked at how few people were in tune with the issue,” he said.
Whether or not the ordinance makes it to the ballot in the future, its absence from the current election will likely have an impact on who votes and overall voter turnout.
Said Randall Adkins, head of the political science department at the University of Nebraska at Omaha: “It’s an issue that people have heard about in the news; a lot of people who don’t normally pay attention to politics have been paying attention to this issue.”