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Henderson City Leaders Approve Fairness Law on First Vote

Henderson is one step closer to becoming the 11th Kentucky city with a law that bans discrimination against the LGBTQ community when it comes to employment, housing, and public accommodations. 

The city commission voted 3-to-2 in favor of a so-called fairness ordinance during a first reading at Tuesday’s meeting.  Mayor Steve Austin cast one of the two ‘no’ votes but realizes opinions have changed in the past couple of decades.

“Two of the three commissioners that voted in favor of it are relatively young folks and sometimes young folks have a different idea about things, their lifestyle is different," Austin told WKU Public Radio.

Voting in favor of the ordinance were Commissioners Bradley Staton, Austin Vowels, and XR Royster.  Along with Mayor Austin, Commissioner Patti Bugg voted against the fairness proposal.

Austin says he doesn’t know of any complaints the local human rights commission has received from the LGBTQ community.  Supporters say complaints are under-reported. 

Henderson city leaders approved a fairness ordinance 20 years ago, but it was repealed a short time later with a different makeup of the city commission.

This measure includes a religious exemption and will go into effect if approved after a second reading on June 25.

Lisa is a Scottsville native and WKU alum. She has worked in radio as a news reporter and anchor for 18 years. Prior to joining WKU Public Radio, she most recently worked at WHAS in Louisville and WLAC in Nashville. She has received numerous awards from the Associated Press, including Best Reporter in Kentucky. Many of her stories have been heard on NPR.
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