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LGBT Advocate Tells Bowling Green City Commission to Get in Step with Fairness Law

Rhonda J. Miller

A Bowling Green LGBT rights advocate told the Bowling Green City Commission Tuesday that it’s time to get in step with communities across the nation and pass a fairness ordinance.

Supporters want members of the LGBT community protected from discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations.

Western Kentucky University legal history expert Patricia Minter points to the Municipal Equality Index released Oct. 17 by the Human Rights Campaign.  The index rates LGBT inclusion in cities across the nation.

Bowling Green got a score of 17 out of a possible 100, the worst score of the eight Kentucky cities rated. Minter says that low HRC rating casts a shadow over the city in both human and business terms.

“HRC is a well-respected civil rights organization, and what we know is that Fortune 500 companies, S&P companies, companies that are traded on the New York Stock Exchange, all look at HRC indexes when they’re deciding where they’re going to relocate, where they will look for employees.”

Minter says advocates for a fairness ordinance have been asking members of the Bowling Green City Commission to bring up the subject for discussion and a vote for nine months. 

She told the commission that Bowling Green is behind eight other cities in Kentucky that have seen the human and financial benefits of adopting a fairness ordinance.    

“In Morehead, for example, this passed unanimously, 5-0. People did it because it was the right thing to do. Most recently, Midway has become the eighth city to enact a fairness law. So again there are a lot of other places that think this is an idea whose time has definitely come.”

A member of the Bowling Green City Commission would first have to propose a fairness ordinance before it can come up for a vote.

Rhonda Miller joined WKU Public Radio in 2015. She has worked as Gulf Coast reporter for Mississippi Public Broadcasting, where she won Associated Press, Edward R. Murrow and Green Eyeshade awards for stories on dead sea turtles, health and legal issues arising from the 2010 BP oil spill and homeless veterans.
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