A Kentucky group that advocates for the LGBT community is hoping to expand Bowling Green’s civil rights ordinance.
The Fairness Campaign wants the city to become the ninth in the state to pass a fairness ordinance that would prohibit LGBT individuals from being discriminated against in employment, housing, and public accommodations.
The campaign’s western Kentucky regional organizer, Dora James, says the recent Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage isn’t the last hurdle for LGBT rights.
“There are no state or federal enumerated laws that protect against LGBT discrimination, so a lot of people are surprised to know that it’s 2015, but you can totally be fired from your job, or denied housing, or kicked out of a restaurant or park for being gay or transgender.”
The Bowling Green chapter of the Fairness Campaign is seeking signatures for a petition to present to the Bowling Green city commission in support of a fairness ordinance. They’re also holding an event Thursday night in the city’s downtown called “Love Takes Over: LGBT Fairness on Fountain Square.”
The goal of the event is to get signatures on a petition encouraging city government to add the LGBT community to the current civil rights statute covering the town. Those that sign will get a pin allowing them entrance to several concerts around town, as well as other specials at supportive businesses.
Fairness Campaign volunteer and Bowling Green resident Stephanie Menser says adopting a fairness ordinance would send a powerful message about Kentucky’s third-largest city.
“There’s a big LGBT community in Bowling Green, and at Western Kentucky University. So I think to show those people that it’s OK to be a part of our community, and you’re accepted, and that we want you as much as you want to be in Bowling Green, I think that's a really big deal.”
Midway became the latest city to pass a fairness ordinance when it did so last month. Louisville passed the first local fairness ordinance in 1999.