Abbi Swatsworth, executive director of OutNebraska, issued this statement responding to comments made by Governor Jim Pillen at LB 574’s signing ceremony earlier this week:
Governor Jim Pillen’s inflammatory comments are appalling, especially coming from the highest office in our state. We expect our elected officials to conduct themselves in a way that shows respect for all constituentsâ€”these comments do quite the opposite.
As an organization that serves LGBTQIA2S+ Nebraskans, we fear that the governor’s comments will only embolden those who seek to harm us. Young transgender Nebraskans are seeing hateful rhetoric from their own elected officials normalized before their very eyes.Â
Personal or religious beliefs should have no place in dictating how other Nebraskans choose to support their children and the steady chipping away at the parental rights of people who love their transgender children is an attack on the existence of all transgender people.Â
To demonize supportive and loving families of transgender youth is to do a disservice to all of us. Every child deserves the right to be loved fully and authentically by their caregivers. According to the Family Acceptance Project, acceptance from family members promotes better self-esteem and helps protect against negative mental health outcomes and substance abuse issues in LGBTQ+ youth.Â
OutNebraska remains committed to supporting and advocating for our transgender youth, and we call upon everyday Nebraskans to condemn these disparaging comments from Governor Jim Pillen. His office can be reached at 402-471-2244.
OutNebraska is a non-partisan organization working to empower, celebrate and grow LGBTQ+ communities in Nebraska. For more information visit outnebraska.org