Founded in 1991, the Fairness Campaign is Kentucky’s broad-based community effort dedicated to equal rights for lesbian gay, bisexual, and transgender people. Its primary goal is comprehensive civil rights legislation prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, and to dismantle systemic racism.
Statement from the Fairness Campaign:
(Frankfort, KY) A “License to Discriminate” bill that would sanction discrimination against LGBT Kentuckians passed out of the Senate Veterans, Military Affairs and Public Protection Committee this morning. Senate Bill 180, introduced by Senator Albert Robinson of London, seeks to gut local LGBT Fairness Ordinances passed by eight Kentucky cities. Those cities include Covington, Danville, the State Capital Frankfort, Lexington, Louisville, Midway, Morehead, and the small Appalachian town of Vicco.
“Senate Bill 180 is nothing but a license to discriminate,” shared Fairness Campaign director Chris Hartman. “This legislation seeks to undo the hard work of eight Kentucky cities that chose to protect all their residents from discrimination. These cities, like nearly 200 local employers in the Kentucky Competitive Workforce Coalition, know that discrimination is bad for business. Should the Kentucky General Assembly pass this license to discriminate, it will have untold negative effects on our commonwealth’s tourism, economics, and business development.”
Similar legislation in Indiana and Georgia have sparked a national backlash by businesses and grassroots supporters in those states. Senate Bill 180 narrowly passed committee with eight “aye” votes, four “pass” votes, and one “nay” vote. It could be considered by the full Senate as early as next Monday.
The bill stands in stark contrast to the unprecedented bi-partisan support received this year by the Kentucky Competitive Workforce Acts–Senate Bill 176 and House Bill 155–which seek to protect LGBT workers statewide. House Bill 155 received its second-ever hearing in the House Judiciary Committee last week.
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