Imagine you are a young LGBTQ Nebraska who has been experienced discrimination at home and in school and you need a place to stay. You contact your local shelter and are turned away again because of who you are.
The ACLU of Nebraska has recently received reports of group homes turning away LGBTQ youth, sometimes explicitly stating that it is due to the young person’s sexual orientation or gender identity. The stories we’ve heard are nothing short of heartbreaking. LGBTQ youth make up a disproportionate part of the youth homeless population, have increased contact with the criminal justice system and are more likely to be excluded from home or school. We know that it doesn’t have to be this way. Studies show an LGBTQ young person connecting with just one supportive adult can make a huge difference in their life.
Unfortunately, some group homes decided not to provide that potentially life-changing support.
We’re provided over thirty group home agencies with legal guidance and recommended that they seek out training on how to serve LGBTQ youth.
You may have also seen news coverage of child welfare agencies that work with adoptive and foster youth. An investigation has been launched about some of the potentially discriminatory practices that agencies said they took part in during legislative hearings of LB975, the license to discriminate bill. The ACLU and partners are working with Sen. Adam Morfeld whose office is leading the investigation.
Anyone who has experienced discrimination because of their sexual orientation or gender identity should contact our office.