Sex & Gender /

Nebraska LGBTQ Group Responds To Establishment Of Women's Bill Of Rights

The Statement Urges Those Struggling With Their Mental Health To Contact The Trans Lifeline Or The Trevor Project

Nebraska-based LGBTQ+ group OutNebraska has slammed Governor Jim Pillen’s executive order establishing a Women’s Bill of Rights in the state.

Nebraska is the second state to establish a Women’s Bill of Rights, following Oklahoma in early August.

“Yesterday, Governor Jim Pillen issued a discriminatory executive order designed to marginalize and erase transgender people from public life,” reads Out Nebraska’s statement.

Executive director of OutNebraska Abbi Swatsworth also commented on Governor Pillen’s executive order.

“We are deeply disturbed and angered at our governor’s continued attempts to pit two intertwined struggles against one another, all under the guise of ‘protecting’ women,”  Swatworth wrote. “Transgender rights and women’s rights are not at odds. They are a collective fight for self-determination and control of our own bodies.”

Swatworth’s statement continued: “Let us be clear: this executive order is a thinly veiled attack on transgender women and girls.”

There is no doubt that this order will erode civil rights for all Nebraskans by creating an environment where ANY woman or girl’s femininity can be called into question, resulting in invasive questioning or testing. We do not believe that everyday Nebraskans want their state government to be in the business of policing gender based on our internal and external organs. Two-spirit, transgender, non-binary, gender expansive, and intersex people have always existed in Nebraska and they persist as valuable members of our communities.

“Given the governor’s previous comments and actions, we are not surprised that he is trying to exert his power over our community in this way,” Swatworth concluded. “OutNebraska will continue to push back against these attacks and strive for a Nebraska where every person can access what they need to thrive.”

The statement concludes by urging those struggling with mental health to contact the Trans Lifeline or the Trevor Project.

The group describes itself as a non-partisan organization working to “empower, celebrate and grow LGBTQ+ communities” in Nebraska.

“We believe in a Nebraska that embraces and celebrates the full spectrum of LGBTQIA2S+ people,” reads the group’s about page. “Often, LGBTQIA2S+ Nebraskans experience discrimination, disparaties, and isolation – particularly transgender people and people of color. OutNebraska is dedicated to empowering, celebrating, and growing LGBTQIA2S+ communities in Nebraska.”

Nebraska’s Women’s Bill of Rights addresses biological differences between males and females and asserts a person’s “sex” is defined by his or her biological sex (either male or female) at birth.

“There are legitimate reasons to distinguish between the sexes with respect to athletes, prisons or other detention facilities, domestic violence shelters, rape crisis centers, locker rooms, restrooms, and other areas where biology, safety and/or privacy are implicated,” the order reads. “Any public school or school district and any state agency, department, or office that collects vital statistics for the purpose of complying with anti-discrimination laws or for the purpose of gathering accurate public health, crime, economic, or other data shall identity each individual who is part of the collected data set as either male or female at birth.”

“It is common sense that men do not belong in women’s only spaces,” said Governor Pillen of the executive order. “As Governor, it is my duty to protect our kids and women’s athletics, which means providing single-sex spaces for women’s sports, bathrooms, and changing rooms.”

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