Fairness Legislation Receives First Ever Hearing

Mar 5, 2014

The Kentucky House Judiciary Committee made history Wednesday by hearing discussion of a statewide fairness law.

The bill, would protect citizens from discrimination based on sexual orientation in housing, employment, and public accommodations, received the official committee recognition for the first time since its introduction 15 years ago.

While no vote was taken, Fairness Campaign director Chris Hartman told reporters he’s encouraged by the lawmakers' willingness to take up the issue.

"We're going to continue to focus on organizing support in the Commonwealth, to have folks made their voices heard to their elected representatives. And if not this session certainly to look at next session getting a vote here in the House Judiciary Committee and moving onto the floor of the House for a more robust debate," Hartman said.

Police officer Kile Nave, whose case drew national attention, told the panel he was fired for being gay and a fairness ordinance in Louisville enabled him to successfully challenge his dismissal.

"I'm a proud Christian, a Republican, a gun owner, and I'm gay. And I deserve to be protected from discrimination like everyone else," he argued.

The presentation spurred little discussion and no dissenting comments from legislators on the committee.

A similar measure is also pending in the Senate, but has yet to be taken up by committee.