Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Versailles to Become KY Fairness City Number 9

Let's be clear:  Cities and counties that reject extending to LGBT citizens the discrimination protections already in place for citizens of minority race, religion, health and ethnicity are announcing flat-out that they are homophobic bigots and hypocrites.

I'm looking at you, Shelby County and Shelbyville.  For four years the City Council has been ducking and hiding and refusing to discuss a Fairness Ordinance. The joint city/county Human Rights Commission resigned en masse to avoid facing the issue, and County Judge-Executive Rob Rothenburger, confronted with a list of Human Rights Commissioner applicants who lack the hatred and homophobia he apparently wants on the Commission, has punted the question to a committee of the three most hateful and homophobic bigots on the Fiscal Court.


Versailles City Council moved forward Tuesday with a plan to draft an anti-bias ordinance for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.

Mayor Brian Traugott asked council member Carl Ellis, chairman of the council's administrative and legal committee, to begin researching and drafting an ordinance.

"This is not something we're going to rush into," Ellis said. Other Kentucky cities worked for months writing and revising their ordinances.

Peggy Carter Seal, a member of the Versailles-Midway-Woodford County Human Rights Commission's fairness committee, encouraged the council to adopt an ordinance.

"It would send a clear message that everyone is protected by the law," Seal said.

Kent Ostrander, executive director of The Family Foundation of Kentucky, told council members they should pass such an ordinance "if you have a serious problem with this kind of discrimination."
But if there isn't a problem, considering an anti-bias ordinance "opens up a can of worms," he said.

"As I see Versailles and even Woodford County, it's not a discriminatory kind of place," Ostrander added.

Seal told the council that she isn't aware of local complaints from the LGBT community.

"However, it is my understanding that people often under-report or tend not to report at all when they know that nothing can be done," Seal said. "It often makes the person complaining extremely vulnerable and perhaps open to retaliation."

An anti-bias or "fairness" ordinance would prohibit discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodations based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

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