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Statewide anti-discrimination Fairness laws have been filed in both chambers of the Kentucky General Assembly for consideration in the 2013 legislative session. Senate Bill 28, introduced by Sen. Kathy Stein (D-Lexington), and House Bill 171, introduced by Rep. Mary Lou Marzian (D-Louisville), would both amend the Kentucky Civil Rights Act to include "sexual orientation and gender identity" among other classes of individuals protected from discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations. Fairness supporters from across the state will rally in the Capitol Rotunda in Frankfort Wednesday, February 20 at 1:30 p.m.
Introduction of the statewide Fairness laws follows a string of recent grassroots movements across the commonwealth to pass local anti-discrimination ordinances in Berea, Bowling Green, Elizabethtown, Richmond, Shelbyville, and other communities. Last month the tiny Appalachian coal town of Vicco, population 334, became the first Kentucky city in a decade and smallest municipality in America to extend discrimination protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people. Covington, Lexington, and Louisville have also passed Fairness ordinances in Kentucky.
Berea Mayor Steve Connelly announced last week he intends to sign an executive order amending the city's personnel policy to include protections for LGBT employees. Connelly stated he felt the move was "the right thing to do," and added LGBT protection is "a historical trend and I would rather Berea be a leader rather than a latecomer."
According to a recent survey by The Schapiro Group, 83% of Kentuckians support anti-discrimination Fairness protections.
The Fairness Coalition consists of members and allies of the American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky, Fairness Campaign, Kentucky Commission on Human Rights, Kentucky Fairness Alliance, and Lexington Fairness, working together to advance equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Kentuckians.