Michael Zonenashvili for AOL Conor Oberst, Bright Eyes' central figure and…
- Posted on Jan 25th 2012 1:30PM by Jason MacNeil
Tim Mosenfelder, Getty Images
According to The Omaha World-Herald, Oberst and the other artists said it was "deplorable and unacceptable" to try to stop Omaha City Councilman Ben Gray from moving forward on an ordinance to ban discrimination against homosexual and transgender people. The letter was sent to state senators on Judiciary Committee of the state legislature.
"We were excited to learn that Councilman Ben Gray was going forward to put forth a citywide ordinance that would ensure equal employment opportunity for all, including our LGBT community," the letter says.
"Progressive cities attract eager newcomers, both young professionals and artists, which in turns creates growth and economic prosperity. LB 912 will send the message to the world that Nebraska is not forward thinking or welcoming."
State Senator Beau McCoy of Omaha has proposed a bill (the aforementioned LB 912) preventing cities from passing such an ordinance. McCoy believes it should be done on a state level.
"It simply says there needs to be consistency," McCoy said. "I don't understand how discrimination could stop or start at a city border."
However, the musicians who signed the letter (including members of the Faint, So So Sailors and Big Harp) are afraid the bill will deter creative people from settling down in Omaha.
"A lot of the recent national press surrounding Omaha has revolved around the strength of our burgeoning art scene and the economic growth that has resulted from it," the letter says. "Passage of LB 912 will likely cause the attrition of some of our community's best and brightest; it will certainly deter outsiders from exploring opportunities in Omaha."
A public hearing on LB 912 at the State Capitol has yet to be slated.
In related news, Bright Eyes will see six of their albums re-issued on vinyl through Saddle Creek Records in the coming months. On March 6 a double album called 'A Collection of Songs Written and Recorded 1995-1997' will come out along with 'Oh Holy Fools -- The Music of Son, Ambulance and Bright Eyes.' Two additional rounds of releases are set for April 3 and May 1.
Bright Eyes released their last album, 'The People's Key,' in 2011.