National Briefs: Getting Better, Going West

MTV show says ''It Gets Better,'' as Arizona and Nebraska face challenges


Nebraska bill prohibits protections

The Nebraska State Senate is scheduled to debate a bill Feb. 22, after Metro Weekly deadline, that would prohibit local municipalities from establishing laws aimed at protecting LGBT people, the Associated Press reported.

The measure, introduced by Sen. Beau McCoy (R-39), was announced after an employment equality bill protecting workers’ on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity was presented to the Omaha City Council by Omaha City Councilman Ben Gray.

”The timing is suspicious, first of all,” Gray told On Top magazine. ”Secondly, there are some issue that are more unique to Omaha than the rest of the state. We need the flexibility and latitude [to pass local ordinances], and it’s getting kind of frustrating that the Legislature keep trying to micromanage the city.”

-Joe Corcoran

Sheriff Comes Out Following Allegations

The Phoenix New Times published an article dated Feb. 16 detailing a relationship gone sour between conservative Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu (R), who is running for Congress in Arizona’s 4th District and has made a name for himself as what the article calls an immigration hawk, and an immigrant from Mexico, who the article claims Babeu threatened with deportation because the man threatened to reveal the soured relationship.

In a news conference held Feb. 18 to address the story, Babeu denied the allegation about the threat – and came out.

He said, “All these allegations … are absolutely completely false … except for the issues that refer to me as being gay, because I am gay.”

Later in the news conference, he said, “At no time did I or anyone who represents me threaten deportation.”

Babeu says that he, on the other hand, has faced threats of being outed for 20 years, including while in the military. “It’s almost as if there is a relief today … to not be threatened,” he said.

-Chris Geidner

MTV show tells LGBT youth, ”It Gets Better”

MTV and Logo have partnered to create a new show targeting LGBT teens. It Gets Better, a spinoff of Dan Savage’s YouTube driven effort to combat gay teen suicides, showcases two teens and the difficulties they face in coming out to their families and friends.

It Gets Better is the precursor to Savage U, Savage’s late-night talk show, which features Savage fielding questions at colleges and universities across the country. It Gets Better aired Feb. 21 on MTV.

–Joe Corcoran

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