LGBTQ

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.

Updated at 5:52 p.m.

In a historic decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday that the 1964 Civil Rights Act protects gay, lesbian, and transgender employees from discrimination based on sex. The ruling was 6-3, with Justice Neil Gorsuch, President Trump's first appointee to the court, writing the majority opinion. The opinion was joined by Chief Justice John Roberts and the court's four liberal justices.

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.

Lisa Autry

Kentucky’s first anti-discrimination law protecting gays, lesbians, and transgender individuals was approved 20 years ago by the city of Louisville, ushering in a new era of LGBTQ rights. 

Since then, more than a dozen communities have passed what supporters call fairness ordinances.

Mark Twain once said “When the end of the world comes, I want to be in Kentucky, because everything there happens 20 years after it happens anywhere else.”

LGBTQ individuals and their advocates are hoping Daviess County joins the national trend of protecting members of the group through a change in local law. Often referred to as a fairness ordinance, it would protect the LGBTQ population in the areas of housing, employment, and public accommodations.  Gender identification and sexual orientation would be added to an existing law barring discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, and age.

Sergio Martinez-Beltran | WPLN

The Tennessee Senate reconvened Tuesday and jumped into one of the most controversial issues left over from last year. 

Lawmakers approved a measure that would allow faith-based adoption agencies to refuse child placements based on moral beliefs.  

Some lawmakers worry about the economic implications. Sen. Steve Dickerson, R-Nashville, says he fears Tennessee will experience a corporate backlash over the adoption legislation, which he says discriminates against LGBT couples.

 


Thinkstock

The Kentucky Supreme Court has dismissed a lawsuit against Lexington T-shirt maker Hands On Originals, which refused to print T-shirts for a 2012 gay pride festival on religious grounds.

The court did not address the main arguments of the case, instead ruling that Lexington’s anti-discrimination ordinance does not protect groups who feel they have been discriminated against — only individuals.

 


Becca Schimmel

Western Kentucky University is hosting a support group this semester for LGBTQIA+ students.

LGBTQIA stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, and Allies. The plus sign at the end of the phrase is meant to include anyone who doesn't feel covered by the other terms. 

Katie Knackmuhs, a WKU counselor who is helping lead the group, said the goal is to create a supportive environment for students to develop a deeper community and maximize their collegiate experience.

She said some LGBTQIA+ students who arrive on campus are struggling with a lack of acceptance back home.

Activists Arrested At Kentucky Farm Bureau Ham Breakfast

Aug 22, 2019
Kyeland Jackson

Three protestors, including Fairness Campaign Leader Chris Hartman, were arrested Thursday morning at the Kentucky State Fair outside the Kentucky Farm Bureau’s annual fundraiser.

Hartman and others were protesting the Farm Bureau’s policies, which include opposing abortion rights and defining marriage as between one man and one woman.

Fairness Campaign Organizer Maggie Carnes said Hartman presented a ticket for the bureau’s fundraiser, but was denied entry. When Hartman and others protested, they were handcuffed and arrested. Carnes confirmed that Carla Wallace, the campaign’s co-founder, and Sonja DeVries were among those arrested.

Colin Jackson

The leader of a Kentucky LGBTQ-rights group is optimistic another city in the state will pass a Fairness Ordinance by the end of August.

Chris Hartman, executive director of the Fairness Campaign, made the prediction on the heels of the Henderson City Commission adopting a Fairness Ordinance at its meeting Tuesday night.

Hartman said advocates in other cities are encouraged whenever laws are passed that expand legal protections for the LGBTQ community.

Flickr/Creative Commons

The Henderson City Commission Tuesday night approved the second reading of a measure that will provide greater legal protections for LGBTQ individuals. 

The Fairness Ordiance passed on a 3-2 vote, the same margin of victory the proposal saw when it passed its first reading earlier this month. The measure prohibits discrimination against LGBTQ individuals in the areas of employment, housing, and public accommodations. 

It's the second time Henderson has passed a Fairness Ordinance. The city commission also passed a similar measure in 1999, but it was repealed 18 months later when the makeup of the commission changed.

Colin Jackson

The first reading of an ordinance that would provide greater protections for LGBTQ individuals failed to pass the Bowling Green City Commission at its meeting Tuesday night.  

The commission heard 24 public comments in favor of what's known as a "Fairness Ordinance", and nine comments against the proposal. 

The ordinance failed to pass on a vote of 3-2, with Mayor Bruce Wilkerson and Commissioners Joe Denning and Sue Parrigin voting against the proposal. Commissioners Slim Nash and Dana Beasley-Brown voted in favor of the proposal.


Lisa Autry

The Bowling Green City Commission is set to hear the first reading of a set of civil rights measures known as a "fairness ordinance" at its meeting Tuesday.

The proposal would prohibit discrimination in housing, employment and public accomodations on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

Commissioner Brian "Slim" Nash previously introduced the protections, but did not receive the second needed to bring them to a vote. He says that's when he decided not to reintroduce the ordinance until there was a shift in the makeup of the board.

Indiana Governor Says Passing Hate Crime Law 'Long Overdue'

Dec 17, 2018
Flickr/Creative Commons

The spray-painting of a swastika outside a suburban Indianapolis synagogue this summer was the final straw for Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb, who quickly called for Indiana to join the 45 states that have hate crime laws.

"It's not only the right thing to do, it's long overdue," Holcomb said Friday during an interview with The Associated Press. "I'm convinced the overwhelming majority of Hoosiers feel the same way."

As the annual legislative session draws near, though, some warn that such a proposal could spark a bitter cultural debate that would bring unwanted attention to the deeply conservative state, much like the 2015 religious objections law that critics widely panned as a sanctioning of discrimination against the LGBT community and that drew a stiff rebuke from big business.

Flickr/Creative Commons

Though some Kentucky policies — like a religious expression law that went into effect last year — have been criticized as discriminatory, a new report finds ten state facilities earned top scores for being inclusive towards people identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer (LGBTQ).

The report, released by the advocacy group Human Rights Campaign Foundation, asked 626 healthcare facilities whether they have explicit non-discrimination policies for LGBTQ people, training for LGBTQ patient care, options for people to self-identify and more.