Nebraska starts debate on LGBT employee discrimination bill

The bill would protect LGBTQ Nebraska workers from targeted discrimination. File photo.

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Lawmakers have begun debate on a measure that would protect Nebraska workers from discrimination based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Senators adjourned for the week Thursday without voting on the bill. They're expected to pick it up at a later date, though Speaker Jim Scheer of Norfolk has not yet decided when.

The debate comes two days after a federal appeals court in Chicago ruled that LGBT workers are protected from employment discrimination under the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

Senators who support the bill argue it's a civil rights issue and an economic one. They say Nebraska needs to attract and retain young workers, who generally support diversity.

Opponents say the measure threatens the religious freedom of business owners who will be forced to hire LGBT people.

Copyright Associated Press. The Gayly - 4/6/2017 @ 1:34 p.m. CST