Fairness Coalition Rallies For Anti-Discrimination Laws

Reported by: Ellen Bryan
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Updated: 2/20/2013 7:04 pm

The Fairness Coalition wants statewide anti-discrimination fairness legislation and a tougher anti-bullying law based on sexual orientation.

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Kentuckians said they aren’t protected when it comes to their civil rights.

In Frankfort today, the LBGT community rallied in support of Kentucky bills that would protect them from discrimination in their jobs, the housing market and while out in public.

Lexington Democratic Senator Kathy Stein and Democratic Representative Mary Lou Marzian introduced Senate Bill 28 and House Bill 171, which would amend the Kentucky Civil Rights Act to include “sexual orientation” and “gender identity.”

Representative Marzian also introduced House Bill 377, which is an anti-bullying/harassment law that would help protect LBGT students in class.

“I think I deserve protections, employment opportunities and housing options and accommodations,” Tiff Gonzales, a gay woman who lives in Kentucky said. “But because I want those things for myself, I want them also for everyone else living in Kentucky, and that's why I'm here today.”

Chris Hartman, the Fairness Campaign Director, said their research shows 83% of Kentuckians support fairness.

“We need the legislators to set up and reflect their constituent’s beliefs,” Hartman said.

Vicco, a southeastern Kentucky town with 334 residents, recently passed a local fairness ordinance. The Mayor of Vicco, Johnny Cummings, hopes their community can be an example to state legislators.

“The fact that we can be part of this movement, yes, I'm very proud,” Cummings said.

Fairness Coalition supporters also delivered more than 11,000 post cards to legislators this morning to advocate passage of the fairness and anti-bullying laws.

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