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10,000 sign petition to vote on 'fairness ordinance'

Published:Wednesday | May 30, 2012 | 12:00 AM

LINCOLN, Nebraska (AP):

A petition drive to force a vote on Lincoln's "fairness ordinance" for gay and transgendered people has garnered nearly 10,000 signatures, four times the number needed to place the issue on the ballot, organisers said yesterday.

Family First and the Nebraska Family Council said they have collected 9,998 signatures, and the conservative religious groups expected more.They needed roughly 2,500 signatures from registered voters in Lincoln.

The city's charter requires it to repeal the measure if petition circulators collect enough signatures, or place the issue to a referendum that would let Lincoln voters decide whether it should go into effect.

Approved earlier this month, the city ordinance adds sexual orientation and gender preference to a list of factors that are legally protected against discrimination for matters that involve housing, employment and public accommodations.

Supporters have dubbed it the 'fairness ordinance', and argued that the measure protects the civil rights of gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transsexuals.