The loss of a job is a devastating event. Suddenly your entire livelihood is in jeopardy. Will you be able to make rent? Will you miss crucial debt payments? Will you be able to eat? But when that terrible event happens simply because of who you are, the hit is even harder to take.
I’m a proud Nebraskan...I’m also a gay man, and because of that I’ve lost [my job].
Luke first came out while he was working at a sandwich shop in college. The manager was able to fire Luke just for his sexual orientation because Nebraska doesn’t protect LGBT1 Americans from discrimination. “The owner of the store found out, pulled me into his office, and told me something I’ll never forget. He said, ‘I don’t condone your immoral behavior, and I find you to be of questionable character.’”
The next time Luke faced employment discrimination was at a local wine shop. He was a friendly, passionate employee and took on as many shifts as he could. He had recently started a relationship with his boyfriend, Zach. Zach wanted to show interest in Luke’s job and be supportive, so he suggested they go there to see where Luke worked.
I don’t want anyone to ever experience what I’ve experienced.
Luke and Zach went to the wine shop together. His boss was working that night and saw the couple together. The next day, Luke called about his shifts only to find out that he had been completely written off the schedule. He called again and again, to no response and no explanation. But Luke didn’t really need one. He knew that he was being refused shifts for being gay.
When Luke lost his job, he lost his stability and financial security, his peace of mind, his sense of self. “I don’t want anyone to ever experience what I’ve experienced,” Luke said. He hopes that states will protect all of their residents, because no one deserves to feel like a second-class citizen. “I’m a proud Nebraskan through and through,” Luke said. “I’m also a gay2 man, and because of that I’ve lost [my job].”
In 31 states, including Nebraska, it’s legal to discriminate against LGBT Americans. That means they can be fired from their jobs, evicted from their homes, or denied medical service for who they are.
Nebraska has passed 5 laws that actively harm LGBT people.Learn more
Can be fired or denied a promotion
Can be evicted from their homes or denied housing
Can be denied service at public establishments, denied medical treatment, or even kicked out of restaurants or businesses
Nebraska’s total population
Total LGBT population
Of LGBT population raising children