Kentucky's LGBTQ Community Responds to Landmark SUPCO Ruling

Jun 15, 2020

Credit WFPL

LGBTQ individuals in Kentucky now have legal protections against being fired from their job on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity. 

In a 6-3 opinion, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Monday that the 1964 Civil Rights Act barring sex discrimination in the workplace applies to gay, lesbian and transgender workers. 

The historic ruling from a conservative court was a welcomed surprise for Nicholas Breiner of Kentucky.  Breiner says he was fired from his job as a Montgomery County school teacher in 2017 after coming out as bisexual.

“Obviously for me personally and then the community as a whole, we’re seeing years and years of work finally come to fruition, albeit there’s still a long way to go," Briener said.

Breiner filed a federal lawsuit against the school system which was dismissed, but he’s appealing the decision. 

Even with the Supreme Court ruling on employment, Kentucky’s LGBTQ population could still be refused housing and public accommodations. 

“Nearly three-quarters of our commonwealth live in a place that, before today, it was still legal to fire them from a job," said Chris Hartman, executive director of the Louisville-based Fairness Campaign. "Even after today, it is still legal to deny an LGBTQ person housing or public accommodations in most of our commonwealth.”

The high court’s ruling is creating a renewed push for a statewide fairness law, which has been stalled in the General Assembly for two decades. Twenty municipalities in Kentucky have passed local fairness ordinances, covering only 27 percent of the state’s population.