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City ordinances protecting gays illegal, according to Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning

BY TIMBERLY ROSS, ASSOCIATED PRESS

OMAHA, Neb. -- Nebraska cities can't adopt ordinances protecting people from discrimination for being gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender because the state's anti-discrimination laws don't extend to sexual orientation, the state attorney general's office said in a legal opinion issued Friday.

Voters can approve changes to city charters to extend protections to groups not covered by state law, but local governments lack the authority, the opinion said.

"Nebraska statutes do not authorize political subdivisions in Nebraska, including municipalities, to expand protected classifications beyond the scope of the civil rights classifications created in state statute," Attorney General Jon Bruning said in a statement after the release.

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