Fairness Rally Fills State Capitol Rotunda

Feb 19, 2014

LGBT advocates sent chants of “Fairness!” through the state Capitol Wednesday.

LGBT supporters rallied at the Capitol Wednesday
Credit Josh James / WUKY

The event, organized by the Kentucky Fairness Coalition, was meant to generate more momentum for a pair of bills in the House and Senate that seek to add discrimination protections for sexual orientation and gender identity to state law.

Energized by a top Democrat’s recent co-sponsorship of a House bill adding sexual orientation and gender identity to the list of state anti-discrimination protections, hundreds of LGBT advocates listened to lawmakers and supporters call on the legislature to act.

"No one who is a member of the LGBT community should have fear of going into a restaurant or going into a hotel or just going to buy a pair of clothing and fear reprisal," said Fayette Sen. Reggie Thomas.

News of House Speaker Greg Stumbo’s co-sponsorship of the House bill has raised hopes that the issue could gain traction, but the top Democrat says the support may not be there yet.

"When I voted against Sheldon Baugh's bill on recognizing same-sex marriages in 1998 I believe there were eight of us. Today I'd say that number would have been increased. I doubt that it's in the majority yet to stop that legislation or to pass fairness legislation," Stumbo told reporters Tuesday.

A companion bill sponsored by Sen. Morgan McGarvey has been introduced in the Senate.