Nebraska Family Alliance

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Nebraska Family Alliance
NFA Logo with Tagline TM.png
MissionAdvancing Family, Freedom, and Life
FocusInfluencing Policy, Mobilizing Prayer, and Empowering People
PresidentJefferson Downing
BudgetRevenue: $483,489
Expenses: $343,478
(FYE 2019)[1]
Address1106 E St, Lincoln, NE 68508

Nebraska Family Alliance (NFA) is a statewide religious 501(c)(3) education, research, and policy organization based in Lincoln, Nebraska. It advocates for traditional gender roles and family structures, biblical marriage, and conservative Christian views on public policy.

NFA's policy efforts include: advocating for homeschool families, school choice laws, and parental rights in education,[2] establishing abortion regulations and restrictions, strengthening laws against human trafficking,[3] and permitting businesses to operate according to the owner's "religious beliefs." [4]

The organization also opposes expanded gambling, conversion therapy bans, LGBT employment protections, same-sex marriage, and same-sex adoptions.

Supporters of the organization characterize its activities as strengthening families, defending religious liberty, advancing a culture of life, and protecting traditional family values. Critics view it as discriminatory, calling it "the lobbying organization that turns Nebraskan conservative Christian fear into law."[5]


Nebraska Family Alliance was founded in 1988 as Nebraska Family Council (NFC). Its name changed to the current one when it merged with Family First, another Nebraska-based religious organization, in 2013.[6]

NFA is a family policy council and aligned with Alliance Defending Freedom, Focus on the Family, and Family Policy Alliance.[7]

History of Policy Efforts[edit]

Marriage and divorce[edit]

In its early days, NFA was focused on opposition to divorce. They supported "making divorces harder to get by increasing the waiting period for them to become final"[8] and other efforts against no-fault divorce.

The organization led the successful 2000 ballot initiative that amended the Nebraska Constitution to prohibit same-sex marriage.[9] Guyla Mills, organizer of the ballot initiate petition drive and NFA Executive Director, explained her organization's motivation at a January 2001 victory celebration. "We are not hate mongers," she said, addressing protesters on the street outside the celebration venue. "This is not about hate, this is about love. The Defense of Marriage Act movement was just a platform we had to share the love of Jesus Christ."[10]


From 2000 to 2002, lawyers for the organization fought a court battle against a lesbian couple who were attempting to adopt a child. NFC lawyers won the case, In re Adoption of Luke, in the Nebraska Supreme Court. This set precedent prohibiting gay and unmarried adoption throughout the state.[11][12]

In 2007, the Nebraska Legislature considered a bill that would allow gay couples to adopt.[13] Executive Director Dave Bydalek testified against the bill, saying "kids are better off with loving parents of both sexes."[14] The measure failed; adoption by same-sex couples was prohibited in Nebraska until 2017.[15]

Domestic assault[edit]

The organization opposed a 2004 attempt to modernize Nebraska domestic assault law to use the phrase "intimate partner" to include unmarried couples. Family First Executive Director Dave Bydalek stated "I am aware there are domestic assaults involved in dating, but the public policy of recognizing dating and other types of relationships outside the context of marriage cheapens the importance of marriage in our society." Al Riskowski of Nebraska Family Council said that legally recognizing two people living together is "recognizing an immoral situation. That is not upholding the family."[16]

Human trafficking[edit]

NFA has worked to raise awareness about human trafficking and supported the first anti-trafficking law in 2006 that made human-trafficking illegal under Nebraska law.[citation needed] In 2019 NFA supported legislation granting law enforcement the authority to utilize wire-taps in trafficking investigations and to expand the statute of limitations for prosecuting trafficking crimes.[17] NFA also backed legislation in 2018 to allow trafficking victims’ criminal records to be expunged of charges that were a result of trafficking,[18] and in 2017 advocated for a law increasing criminal penalties for trafficking offenses for both traffickers and buyers.[19]

LGBT protections[edit]

In 2012, shortly before their merger, Family First and Nebraska Family Council jointly led a successful petition drive against an attempt to ban LGBT employment, housing and public accommodations discrimination in Lincoln.[20] Firing an employee, evicting a renter, and ejecting a customer from a business for reason of sexual orientation remained legal in Lincoln until Bostock v. Clayton County prohibited employment discrimination in 2020.

NFA lobbied in opposition to a series of LGBT anti-discrimination bills in the Nebraska legislature from 2015[21] to 2019.[22]


NFA opposes state-sponsored gambling and in 2016 helped defeat a ballot initiative attempting to legalize casino gambling.[23][failed verification]

Fetal alcohol syndrome[edit]

NFA also raised awareness about fetal alcohol spectrum disorder and the alcohol-related issues plaguing the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation stemming from the sale of alcohol in the unincorporated village of Whiteclay, Nebraska.[24]


They identify as a pro-life organization and support restrictions on abortion. In 2019 NFA advocated for a law requiring abortion providers to inform women seeking a medication abortion about the possibility of continuing their pregnancy after beginning a medication abortion.[25] Such legislation has drawn criticism from professional medical associations. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists issued a fact sheet stating "claims regarding abortion 'reversal' treatment are not based on science and do not meet clinical standards."[26] The American Medical Association filed a lawsuit to block similar legislation from being enacted in North Dakota.[27]

The organization helped pass a bill in 2018 giving parents the option to request a state-issued commemorative birth certificate for miscarried babies at any gestational age.[28]

Conversion therapy[edit]

In 2019 NFA testified before the Nebraska Legislature in support of keeping conversion therapy legal in Nebraska. NFA cited the bill's broad definition of conversion therapy that would criminalize self-directed talk-therapy.[29]

Religious freedom[edit]

NFA's website says of religious freedom: "Due to the ever increasing size of government and the development of same-sex marriage, this fundamental freedom is at risk."[30] NFA invited Jack Phillips and Barronelle Stutzman to speak at a 2018 fundraiser[31] as exemplars of religious freedom because both had declined to provide wedding services to same-sex couples.[32][33]

NFA supported legislation in 2017 that passed into law to protect the religious freedom rights of teachers by repealing a decades-old law that prohibited teachers from wearing any religious dress or garb.[34]

NFA also hosts an annual National Day of Prayer event and promotes proclamations recognizing "Religious Freedom Day" in Nebraska.[35]

Notable people[edit]


  1. ^ "Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax" (PDF). IRS. 2019. Retrieved June 11, 2021.
  2. ^ Writer, Ashley Bebensee, Hub Staff. "State Board of Ed hears both sides on proposed health education standards". Kearney Hub. Retrieved 2021-06-11.
  3. ^ Duggan, Joe (May 21, 2017). "Nebraska legislators' approval of harsher human trafficking penalties sheds light on extent of crime". The Omaha World-Herald. Retrieved June 11, 2021.
  4. ^ "Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission". SCOTUSblog. Retrieved 2021-06-16.
  5. ^ Avery, Daniel (September 13, 2019). "Transgender Barista Fired After Harassing Anti-LGBT Lobbyist: 'Get Out And Don't Come Back!'". Newsweek. Retrieved June 8, 2021.
  6. ^ Hicks, Nancy (October 3, 2013). "Two Nebraska conservative groups merge". Lincoln Journal Star. Lincoln, NE. Retrieved November 5, 2019.
  7. ^ "Allies". Family Policy Alliance. Archived from the original on 2019-09-29.
  8. ^ Stoddard, Martha (October 30, 1997). "Bill creates new option for marriage".Lincoln Journal Star. Retrieved July 4, 2019.
  9. ^ Associated Press (May 23, 2000) – "Nebraska petition effort wants to ban same-sex marriages". Sioux City Journal
  10. ^ Baker, Tess N. (January 12, 2001). "Family Council celebrates". Journal Star. Lincoln, Nebraska. Retrieved September 13, 2019.
  11. ^ "In Re Adoption of Luke". Justia US Law. March 8, 2002. Retrieved July 4, 2019.
  12. ^ Mabin, Butch (September 28, 2001). "Group files brief in adoption case". Lincoln Journal Star. Retrieved September 16, 2019.
  13. ^ "Lawmakers consider allowing gay couples to adopt". Lincoln Journal Star. Associated Press. March 19, 2007. Retrieved September 16, 2019.
  14. ^ "Judiciary Committee" (PDF). Nebraska Legislature. Clerk of the Legislature. March 20, 2007. Retrieved September 16, 2019.
  15. ^ "Nebraska court rules to end ban on LGBT foster parents". Boston 25 News. April 9, 2017. Retrieved September 16, 2019.
  16. ^ Hicks, Nancy (April 16, 2004). "Redefining 'intimate partner'". Lincoln Journal Star. Retrieved July 4, 2019.
  17. ^ Schulte, Grant, "Nebraska may take new steps to prosecute human traffickers","The Associated Press", May 12, 2019
  18. ^ [1] "Nebraska Legislative Bill 1132 Committee Statement", February 9, 2018
  19. ^ Duggan, Joe, "Nebraska legislators’ approval of harsher human trafficking penalties sheds light on extent of crime", "The Omaha World Herald", May 21, 2017
  20. ^ Hicks, Nancy (May 29, 2012). "Opponents to 'fairness ordinance' hand in 10,000 signatures". Lincoln Journal Star. Retrieved July 4, 2019.
  21. ^ Nohr, Emily (February 23, 2017). "Dozens testify for and against Nebraska proposal to ban employment discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity". Omaha World Herald. Retrieved October 10, 2019.
  22. ^ "How will LB 627 affect my business?" (PDF). Nebraska Family Alliance. Retrieved October 14, 2019.
  23. ^ "Nebraska casino gambling measure fails to make 2016 ballot","10/11 News", August 11, 2016
  24. ^ Pluhacek, Zach, "Ending Whiteclay beer sales a 'human life issue' to social conservatives", "The Lincoln Journal Star", August 28, 2017
  25. ^ "Area senator introduces pro-woman, pro-life legislation", "Norfolk Daily News", January 12, 2019
  26. ^ American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (August 2017). "Facts Are Important: Medication Abortion "Reversal" Is Not Supported by Science" (PDF). Retrieved 15 September 2019.
  27. ^ Siemaszko, Corky (2 July 2019). "American Medical Association sues after North Dakota passes abortion 'reversal' law". NBC News. Retrieved 15 September 2019.
  28. ^ Rabenberg, Audrey, "Nebraska Passes Law Granting Birth Certificates For Miscarried Babies", "The Federalist", August 22, 2018
  29. ^ Stoddard, Martha (February 8, 2019). "Therapy aimed at changing sexual orientation would be banned for minors under Nebraska bill". Lincoln Journal Star. Retrieved July 4, 2019.
  30. ^ "Religious Freedom". Nebraska Family Alliance. Retrieved September 12, 2019.
  31. ^ "2018 Gala". Nebraska Family Alliance. Retrieved September 12, 2019.
  32. ^ "Do You Know What's At Stake In Jack Phillips' Supreme Court Case?". Nebraska Family Alliance. June 25, 2018. Retrieved September 12, 2019.
  33. ^ "Supreme Court Issues Order In Barronelle Stutzman's Case". Nebraska Family Alliance. November 8, 2017. Retrieved September 12, 2019.
  34. ^ "Protection for teachers’ religious rights proposed", "Unicameral Update", January 17, 2017
  35. ^ "Nebraska Governor proclaims Religious Freedom Day","NTV News", January 16, 2018
  36. ^ Olberding, Matt (December 10, 2019). "Kim Russel reflects on her time at Bryan as Gronewold prepares to take over as president/CEO". Lincoln Journal Star. Retrieved April 28, 2020.
  37. ^ Rawles, Lee (November 1, 2017). "8th Circuit nominee answers senators' questions on 'not qualified' rating". ABA Journal. American Bar Association. Retrieved April 28, 2020.
  38. ^ Ruiz, Rebecca R.; Gebeloff, Robert; Eder, Steve; Protess, Ben (March 14, 2020). "A Conservative Agenda Unleashed on the Federal Courts". The New York Times.

External links[edit]