Nebraska state Senator John Fredrickson

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A Nebraska State Senator convinced his colleagues to vote against an anti-trans bill

State Senator John Fredrickson, Nebraska’s first out gay representative, gave a speech about the bill in opposition to it.


Tricia Crimmins


Posted on Apr 17, 2024   Updated on Apr 17, 2024, 7:00 am CDT

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The Bill

Legislative Bill 575, also known as the Sports and Spaces Act, was introduced into the Nebraska State Legislature last year, but was only debated and voted on earlier this month. The bill would prevent students from using a school bathroom or locker room intended for a sex different from the one they were assigned at birth. It would also prohibit students from playing on sports teams intended for a sex different from the one they were assigned at birth. The bill targets trans students.

The bill did not make it out of committee and it is considered dead.

The Backlash

State Senator John Fredrickson, Nebraska’s first out gay representative, gave a speech about the bill in opposition to it.

“I personally know a thing or two about having a family that many people might say is not normal,” Fredrickson said. He and his husband have a son. “If you love your kid unconditionally for who they are, and if they know they’re loved, you can weather a lot.”

Speaking to the families of trans kids who were present at the state capitol building while the bill was being filibustered, Fredrickson said “don’t spend a minute of your energy or time thinking of any of my colleagues in here who are too scared of difference to allow themselves to understand and celebrate the beauty and joy you bring to our state.”

As reported by LGBTQ Nation, after Fredrickson’s speech, two of the bill’s cosponsors, State Senators Merv Riepe and Tom Brandt, abstained from voting on whether the bill would make it out of committee. Thus, they stopped the bill from moving forward and being voted on by the legislature.

The Background:

According to Trans Legislation Tracker, almost 550 anti-trans bills have been introduced nationally and in state legislatures across the country. 

Like LB575, many of those bills focus on trans people’s access to bathrooms and the sports teams they are allowed to play on. And 2023, the year LB575 was introduced, experienced the highest amount of anti-trans bills introduced since 2018—though 2024 is on track to beat it

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*First Published: Apr 17, 2024, 6:00 am CDT