Published Thursday, March 8, 2012 at 1:44 pm / Updated at 2:34 pm
Perlman: Ron Brown's LGBT comments don't represent NU

Read more about the March 6 City Council meeting and Ron Brown's comments.

Coming Tuesday: Follow live coverage of the City Council meeting.

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University of Nebraska-Lincoln Chancellor Harvey Perlman took assistant Husker football coach Ron Brown to task Thursday for not making it clear he was not speaking for the university when he testified on an Omaha proposal to add new legal protections for gay or transgender residents.

Perlman wrote in a letter to The World-Herald's Public Pulse: "Only the board can speak on university policy and practices. Recently Ron Brown, a Nebraska football coach, talked before the Omaha City Council in opposition to an ordinance that would ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Several people have written me asking if his remarks represent the position of the university. I want to be clear that they do not."

Brown testified at a City Council public hearing held Tuesday on a proposal by Councilman Ben Gray to amend the city's anti-discrimination ordinances.

Brown told the council:

"The question I have for you, like Pontius Pilate, is: ‘What are you going to do with Jesus?' For those of you on this council who have a relationship with Christ, and only you know if you do, you will be held to great accountability for the decision you make."

On Thursday, Brown said: "I don't have a problem with making it very clear that I don't represent the views of the University of Nebraska. However, in light of the context, I didn't think it was necessary and I didn't think it should be assumed that I was representing the university."

Gray's proposed amendments would allow gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender residents to file complaints with Omaha's Human Rights and Relations Department if they were fired over their orientation, suffered other workplace discrimination or were refused service at restaurants, hotels or other places that serve the public.

The City Council is scheduled to vote on Gray's proposal, as well as several amendments, at its 2 p.m. meeting next Tuesday.

Check Omaha.com later for more details. Perlman's full letter will be on the editorial page of The World-Herald on Friday.

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COMING TUESDAY

Ask questions and follow along with live coverage of Tuesday's Omaha City Council meeting, where the council is expected to vote on the ordinance.

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