Nebraska lawmakers form political action committee to fight anti-LGBTQ legislation nationwide

LINCOLN, Neb. (Nebraska Examiner) — Three Nebraska lawmakers announced Monday they are forming a political action committee to fight anti-LGBTQ legislation in Nebraska but also nationwide.

State Sen. Machaela Cavanaugh, Megan Hunt and John Fredrickson, all of Omaha, announced the Don’t Legislate Hate PAC, which will support lawmakers fighting more than 400 anti-LGBTQ laws being considered nationwide.

Cavanaugh told the Nebraska Examiner that while the PAC is based in Nebraska, they will “keep a close eye on” what’s happening nationwide as well. The hope is to grow beyond the borders of the Cornhusker State.

“It’s about giving people a place to direct resources if they have them with the intention of using those resources to change the conversation … that there’s no place in our government to legislate hate,” Cavanaugh said .

For weeks, a handful of senators have brought the legislature to near standstill over opposition to Bill 574, which would limit some gender-affirming treatments for minors, including puberty blockers, hormone therapies and surgeries. genital or non-genital surgeries.

State Senator Kathleen Kauth of Omaha, who introduced the bill, has a pending amendment to ban surgeries only. Lawmakers voted 30-17 to advance the bill on March 23.

No legislation has been passed in 2023 due in part to filibusters.

Cavanaugh said on “GMA3,” announcing the PAC, that there is a crisis in the country, at least in Nebraska, and lawmakers need to stand up.

“These policies are an attempt to belittle, dehumanize [and] demoralize transgender people in Nebraska and across the country,” Cavanaugh told “GMA3” on Monday. “And we collectively, no matter what political party we belong to, must stand up to that.”

Hunt said in a statement that the PAC will support lawmakers who continue to defend LGBTQ people and “hold others accountable for hateful legislation that amounts to blatant discrimination against an entire group of people.”

The ACLU is tracking 449 anti-LGBTQ bills in 2023, which Fredrickson said the PAC will help address. “I hope that not only can we get back to people’s work here in Nebraska, but we encourage other state legislators across the country to stand up to hate and represent all people,” Fredrickson said in a statement.

Hunt and Fredrickson, the first openly bisexual and gay state legislators, will co-chair the PAC with Cavanaugh.

There are people around the world who are feeling hopeful, Cavanaugh said, because some elected officials are stepping up and saying some laws are “wrong,” which he said is okay to say.

“It’s not only okay, but it’s justified and it’s what people need from their elected officials,” Cavanaugh said. “I am thrilled to have the opportunity to have something positive to focus energy on for the future of Nebraska and the country.”

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