- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 4, 2015

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - About 100 Omaha businesses and organizations have signed a pledge with the Human Rights Campaign to advance workplace equality for Nebraska’s LGBT community.

According to local field organizer Drew Heckman, 113 local businesses have signed the pledge which is a part of its “Equality is Our Business” campaign. The campaign is targeting states like Nebraska, Arkansas, Mississippi and Alabama that do not have statewide regulations to protect workers from discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation.

According to a Human Rights Campaign survey, more than 40 percent of LGBT Nebraskans say they have experienced harassment at work.

“We know we have a lot of support in the business community and we wanted to make it visible,” said Heckman.

Locally-based companies, such as ConAgra Foods, Union Pacific and Saddle Creek Records, weighed in on the importance of promoting equality in the workplace.

Aaron Hunt, Union Pacific’s director of corporate communications, stressed the importance of maintaining a workplace free from discrimination, “Our work environment must always be one that respects and values differences.”

The Omaha World-Herald (https://bit.ly/1GjADQi ) reports that Nick Huff, who co-owns a furniture store with his partner Brandon Beed, believes that Nebraska will benefit from the pledges. He says that people often leave the state to move to places that are more accepting.

“We love our state. We want to see it thrive,” Huff said.


Information from: Omaha World-Herald, https://www.omaha.com

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