Fairness supporters pack capitol



Posted on February 19, 2014 at 11:53 PM

Updated Thursday, Feb 20 at 12:43 AM

(Frankfort, Ky) -- More than 100 people packed into the Kentucky capitol building Wednesday calling on lawmakers to end discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Fairness ordinances are in place in several Kentucky cities, including Louisville, but supporters of House Bill 171 want to make it a statewide law.

Frankfort's Mayor Bill May was joined by lawmakers, religious leaders and a former Audubon police sergeant recently fired, he says, for being openly gay.

"I am a Kentuckian. I am a human rights activist. I am a person of faith and I support fairness!" Rev. Donzella Lee, with the Franklin-Simpson Human Rights Commission yelled to the crowd.
Lee was one of a handful of advocates for the state's Fairness Now campaign, backed by HB 171, that would extend protections against the LGBT communities.

"I think it's definitelty an issue. They're American citizens just like everybody else, so they should be given the same rights," Alyssa Klein, a Louisville resident said.
But this group of Kentuckians say they continue to witness discrimination in the workforce as well as housing and other public services.
"I grew up with a lesbian sister and so I know discrimination first hand. She suffered from bullying and not being accepted for who she was. That's why I'm here today, supporting her and all of my other gay friends," Shay Holman, from Bardstown said.
Wednesday's rally came a day after hundreds of people merged at the capitol for a rally of Christian supporters standing firm on traditional American values.

Right now, Rep. Tim Moore, a Republican from Elizabethtown, is urging the governor and attorney general to appeal a federal court judge's decision that overturned the state's majority, who voted against same-sex-marriage.
"The people of Kentucky voted overwhelmingly on a constitutional amendment that would make sure we define marriage as between a man and a woman. One judge has sought to overturn the will of the commonwealth of Kentucky," Moore said.
Aside from same-sex marriage, Moore says state laws already provide protection to people, fearing discrimination.
"I think we have guaranteed equality all throughout our society. That's not only been a long standing tradition, but it's protected in law," Moore said.
For supporters of the LGBT community, it's not enough.

"Luckily, I've been blessed not to be discriminated based on my sexual orientation. I know discrimination, based on my race, of course. It doesn't matter if I've been through it or not. We need to be out there supporting everybody," David Dulin, a Louisville resident said.
"I think there's no true freedom till we're all equal," Holman said.
Proponents of the statewide Fairness Now await word from House Judiciary Chairman John Tilley on whether or not the measure will receive a hearing.