ACLU of Kentucky Applauds Governor's Veto of House Bill 279

Affiliate: ACLU of Kentucky
March 22, 2013 3:04 pm

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Veto Signals Strong Commitment to Civil Rights Protections

March 22, 2013

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LOUISVILLE, KY – Today Governor Steve Beshear announced his veto of House Bill 279. The bill, known as a Religious Freedom Restoration Act, was written so broadly that it could have threatened civil rights protections in the Commonwealth if signed in to law. After hearing from thousands of Kentuckians, and a variety of groups including religious congregations, labor unions, grassroots advocacy organizations, and civil rights agencies—Governor Beshear decided the unintended legal and civil rights consequences were too great to sign House Bill 279.

“Historically Kentucky has been a leader in the South on civil rights. Today’s bold action by Governor Beshear to keep the door to discrimination closed honors that important legacy,” said ACLU of Kentucky Executive Director Michael Aldridge.

A simple majority vote in both chambers is required to override a Kentucky governor’s veto. The House and Senate have until 11:59 p.m. Tuesday night to vote to override the Governor’s veto, vote to let it stand, or take no action on it at all, allowing the veto to automatically stand.

“With the myriad of concerns and questions that have been raised over the past several weeks, we strongly urge the Kentucky legislature to allow Governor Beshear’s veto to stand. This would allow lawmakers another year to reach a compromise that would ensure the proper balance between individuals’ religious freedom and others’ civil rights protections,” added Aldridge.

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