Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Danville Joins Human Race; Shelbyville, E-town, Berea, Bowling Green Still Prehistoric

Those four cities have heard citizen petitions for fairness ordinances but have ignored or rejected them.  Meanwhile, a court decision this summer will likely force Kentucky to recognize equal marriages performed in the 20 states that now have marriage equality.

You know what's going to happen? A federal judge is going to strike down the gay marriage ban in Kentucky and declare marriage equality before most cities in the state start treating their gay citizens like human beings.

Greg Kocher at the Herald:

Danville on Monday night became the seventh Kentucky city to adopt an ordinance that prohibits discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodations based on sexual orientation or gender identity. 
 With a 4-1 vote, Danville joined Lexington, Louisville, Covington, Frankfort, Morehead and Vicco in Perry County as cities with similar ordinances.
But it's got a nasty little amendment that could undo all the good.

As amended and passed, the ordinance includes an exemption for a "faith-based social services provider."
That exemption was added after an attorney for Sunrise Children's Services had said Sunrise would sue if the ordinance became law. If the ordinance were passed and the lawsuit failed, Sunrise was prepared to leave Danville, he had said.

Sunrise is a psychiatric residential treatment facility for boys ages 6 to 18; it employs 50 people at its Woodlawn campus in Danville. Sunrise is affiliated with the Kentucky Baptist Convention but receives about 80 percent of its funding from state and federal governments.

A motion to reinstate language that said an exemption was null "when such institutions and organizations receive the majority of its annual funding from any federal, state or local government body or agency, or any combination thereof" was defeated on a 3-2 vote. Hunstad, Smiley and Caudill voted no; Atkins and Stevens voted yes. 
 Several citizens expressed disappointment that the exemption means Sunrise will face no penalty if it discriminates against a gay employee.
Putting aside for the moment the crime against science of allowing freakazoids to "treat" people with mental illness, giving a dime of taxpayers' money to freakazoids for any reason whatsoever is a crime against democracy.

And the precedent this amendment sets turns the ordinance into a farce.  Sorry, gay citizens of Danville, you still don't have human and civil rights.

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