LINCOLN, Neb. – Governor Pillen signed a discriminatory executive order that narrowly defines gender and attempts to erase the identities of thousands of Nebraskans. This executive order comes after a year of legislative attacks on the rights and lives of transgender, gender expansive, nonbinary and intersex Nebraskans.
Advocates across Nebraska have expressed outrage over the legal implications this executive order will have on the lives of transgender Nebraskans and the impact on decades of progress for gender equity. Additionally, this organizations acknowledge the harm and confusion that happens as a result of this irresponsible and dangerous rhetoric designed to generate irrational fear of LGBTQ+ people and further discriminate against an already marginalized group.
Members of the concerned organizations have issued the following statements in response to the executive order:
“This Executive Order will not protect Nebraska’s women and girls, it will make every one of them a target for government intrusion on private matters. Under this order, any woman or girl can have their femininity called into question. I do not believe that everyday Nebraskans want their state to be in the business of policing gender based on our internal or external organs. Once again, the governor focuses on culture war issues when there are more pressing matters for our elected officials to address.” - Abbi Swatsworth, OutNebraska Executive Director
“Trans, nonbinary, intersex and gender expansive Nebraskans have always existed in our state. It is disappointing to see Governor Pillen continue to hide behind the promise of protecting gender equity when in reality, this executive order is the catalyst for the continued and slow errorison of decades of rights. This Executive Order is not about protecting the rights of women, this is about attempting to remove trans women from public life and we refuse to let that happen.” - Mindy Rush Chipman, ACLU of Nebraska Executive Director
“I challenge our executive government to actually show up and address opportunities that Nebraskans care about versus causing undue harm and division across the state. Elected officials represent their constituents, which include nonbinary and trans folks. We demand a Nebraska where all people can access their full potential to live wholly - anything less will not be tolerated.” - Ashlei Spivey, I Be Black Girl Executive Director
“Gov. Pillen’s recent anti-trans identification executive order is nothing but a sham and a further attack on some of the most vulnerable Nebraskans. It blatantly discriminates against transgender people, who have faced countless attacks by the people elected to represent them. The only rights the governor cares about are the ones that align with a narrow ideology that is out of touch with the majority of Nebraskans. Transgender Nebraskans are valued members of our community who deserve to feel safe and welcome.” - Andi Curry Grubb, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Nebraska Executive Director
“Attacks on trans people protect no one and hurt us all. While this is framed as “protecting women’s and girls’ sports,” we know better and directly call out this hateful measure for what it actually is—a discriminatory attempt to target an already-marginalized group. We know who is perpetuating gender-based violence in our communities, and we can clearly see what systems are impeding our progress toward gender equity. Demonizing and weaponizing trans identities endangers all women and girls.” - Jo Giles, Women’s Fund of Omaha Executive Director
“In declaring a ‘Women’s Bill of Rights’ based on biological sex, Nebraska doesn’t protect women; it further marginalizes trans women, setting a dangerous precedent for discrimination. We denounce this executive order as an attack on human rights, cloaked in the guise of protection. Legislation that defines women by biological sex is not a ‘Women’s Bill of Rights’; it’s a Bill of Wrongs against the transgender community.” - Tatyana Moaton, PhD, MBA-HRM, Black & Pink National Executive Director
"Yesterday’s executive order is a dismissive and dishonest attack on women, non-binary, and gender expansive Nebraskans. The executive order’s words are dangerous - falsely espousing support for “women” while simultaneously putting trans, non-binary, and gender expansive people’s existence and rights at risk. Discrimination is not a legitimate use of executive power. To trans Nebraskans - you belong, you are loved, and we stand with you." - Becky Gould, Nebraska Appleseed Executive Director
“This executive order serves no meaningful purpose other than perpetuating inaccurate and harmful information about the trans community. This executive order falls far short of protecting women; instead, it fuels an environment of exclusion and discrimination that does not align with the values we hold as Nebraskans. We firmly believe in an inclusive and equitable Nebraska, one that welcomes and supports transgender Nebraskans. This order does not reflect the spirit of unity that our state should champion. Our commitment remains resolute: standing alongside the trans community and working towards a Nebraska that upholds justice, respect, and dignity for all.” - Shelley Mann, Nebraska Abortion Resources Executive Director