The head of Daviess County government says he now supports giving civil rights protections to the LGBTQ population.
Judge-Executive Al Mattingly says his position has evolved over time and says local government has an obligation to prevent discrimination in housing, workplaces, and other public accommodations.
Many in the opposition believe that having a so-called fairness ordinance would make them complicit in what they see as sinful sexual behavior, but Mattingly says he doesn’t agree.
“Was Wal-Mart complicit in mass shootings because they sell guns and ammunition to hunters? Is a liquor store owner complicit in a drunk’s lifestyle," questioned Mattingly. "We just passed a needle exchange a couple of years ago. Does that make us complicit in those substance abusers lives? I would say no.”
Mattingly spoke Thursday evening during a public meeting in Owensboro that drew a crowd of more than 200. The Daviess County ordinance being drafted is patterned after a measure that passed in Georgetown in September and would exempt churches and religious organizations.
All three county commissioners have recently said they would vote against the measure when it comes before Daviess Fiscal Court. Mattingly encouraged supporters to continue the conversation.
Fifteen Kentucky cities have passed similar ordinances, but Daviess County wants to become the first in Kentucky to pass a county-wide measure.