Update: Daviess County Non-Discrimination Measure Fails to Pass Thursday Vote

Apr 2, 2020

Daviess County Judge-Executive Al Mattingly spoke during a public forum on a proposed non-discrimination ordinance at Brescia University.
Credit Lisa Autry

A Fairness Ordinance failed to pass the Daviess County Fiscal Court at its Thursday meeting. 

 

The ordinance would have offered legal protections for members of the LGBTQ population in the areas of employment, housing, and public accommodations. 

 

The ordinance needed three votes to pass. The vote total was 2-2.

 

Daviess County Judge Executive Al Mattingly and County Commissioner Mike Koger voted in favor of the proposal.

 

County Commissioners George Wathen and Charlie Castlen voted against it.

 

 

Twenty municipalities in Kentucky have passed Fairness Ordinances, including the state's two largest cities, Louisville and Lexington. 

 

Bowling Green and Owensboro are among the cities that don't offer those protections to the

LGBTQ community. 

 

Original story:

Leaders in Daviess County will make a long-awaited vote Thursday on a proposal that would ban discrimination against the LGBTQ community. 

The proposed ordinance aims to prevent members of that group from being fired from a job, or denied housing and public accommodations based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. 

All three county commissioners initially came out against the non-discrimination measure, but a lot of discussions have taken place in the past nine months since LGBTQ advocates started the campaign to enact a non-discrimination law. In an interview with WKU Public Radio, Judge-Executive Al Mattingly said he is eager to put the issue to a vote.

"In the end, I think if you don’t address divisive issues, it becomes something that festers and rots in the community," Mattingly stated. "We have a wonderful community, 21st century amenities, and I think we now need to come into the 21st century in our thinking and how we treat people.”

Opponents are concerned about the measure infringing on the religious rights of business and property owners. 

County government has hosted two community forums on the proposed ordinance, and the Daviess Fiscal Court will not be taking public comment at Thursday's meeting, which starts at 5:00 p.m.

The city of Newport became the 20th municipality in Kentucky to approve what's known as a Fairness Ordinance in March.  Combined, the local measures cover just over a quarter of the state's population. 

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the introduction of a statewide fairness law, which has received two informational hearings in the Kentucky General Assembly, but never a vote.