Today, OutLinc, Lincoln’s LGBTQ community center, is proud to announce its expansion into OutNebraska, which will serve as a statewide organization to secure fairness and equality for LGBTQ+ Nebraskans and their families.
Abbi Swatsworth, who has been involved with Outlinc for more than five years as a volunteer leader will be the organization’s first full-time Executive Director, and will begin her work alongside the OutNebraska Board of Directors and volunteers building statewide power. The organization has already been connecting with local LGBTQ and allied leaders across the state who are enthusiastic about this new statewide mission. OutNebraska is launching a series of community listening sessions in communities across the state to create an open dialogue about how to prioritize the work to bring Nebraska’s laws up to date so that they reflect the values of fairness and equality that Nebraskans already hold dear.
“I’m so excited to partner with my fellow Nebraskans, from Nebraska City to ScottsBluff, to ensure our state is a shining example of fairness and equality for all our families, including those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender.” Swatsworth said. “There’s a lot of work to do. We need to update our laws so that no one is denied housing or healthcare, or fired from a job simply for who they are and who they love. We also need to restrict the dangerous and discredited practice of so-called conversion therapy, to name a few.”
Nebraska Senator Adam Morfeld stated, “As a policymaker I am excited we will now have an organization working statewide every day to organize and advocate on behalf of LGBT equality, and bring meaning to the words inscribed in our capitol, “Equality Before the Law.” This will change the game when it comes to LGBT advocacy in the state.”
“With a new year, and our own newly granted 501c3 status, Panhandle Equality has big plans for 2019. One of our first is partnering with OutNebraska,” shares Ladessa Heimbouch, President of Panhandle Equality. “By having a statewide focus that includes all of the LGBTQ+ organizations across Nebraska working together, OutNebraska can share resources and support. Panhandle Equality is extremely excited to see what this partnership will bring for the LGBTQ+ community here in the Panhandle and the rest of rural Nebraska.”
Dominque Morgan, Executive Director of Black and Pink said, “Having a statewide LGBTQ+ organization that can help develop intersectional advocacy skills and uplift the most marginalized among us with leadership opportunities truly excites me. The organization’s leaders, including Executive Director Abbi Swatsworth, have the skills to make this work meaningful in Omaha and across the state.”
OutNebraska will provide a consistent voice for LGBTQ Nebraskans in the Unicameral, educating legislators about the vital needs of the community and will work across the state to empower and celebrate their communities. The organization is a member of Equality Federation, the movement builder and strategic partner to state-based organizations advocating for LGBTQ people.