Sex orientation amendment tied to work camp bill - Scottsbluff Area News, Sports, and Weather

Sex orientation amendment tied to work camp bill

Nebraska lawmakers have approved a measure that would ban nonprofit groups from participating in a state-run work-camp program if they discriminate based on sexual orientation.

The amendment was attached to a bill Tuesday with a 29-5 vote. The amendment was introduced by Sen. Ernie Chambers of Omaha as he waged a one-man filibuster against a broader bill that would allow work-camp inmates to work for nonprofits.

Supporters say the bill would help inmates transition back to regular lives, but Chambers argues that it exploits free prison labor.

The bill's sponsor, Sen. Mark Christensen of Imperial, says he was ``shocked'' that lawmakers approved the amendment. Christensen, who opposed the amendment, says he hasn't decided whether to kill his own bill or proceed with the debate.

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