Amend the Kentucky Civil Rights Act to include Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity!
The LGBTI community makes a significant contribution to the economic welfare of the Commonwealth and our entire Union. This year, Kentucky Equality Federation has invested significant resources representing people across the Commonwealth who filed complaints with our Discrimination, Hate Crimes, and School Bullying Committee for being terminated because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
Add sexual orientation and gender identity to the Kentucky Civil Rights Act of 1966 as a protected class along with religion, smoking, disability, race, sex, ancestry, veteran status, and disability. We need an equality law the compass the entire Commonwealth!
That's right, you cannot be terminated in Kentucky for being a smoker, but you can be terminated because of your sexual orientation or gender identity.
In 2008 when Governor Steve Beshear signed Executive Order 2008-473 protecting LGBTI people from discrimination in Kentucky Government, he stated: "A person should be hired or dismissed on the basis of whether they can do the job. Experience, qualifications, talent and performance are what matter." We completely agree, and the Governor's Exeuctive Order should be passed into law by the Kentucky Legislature. As head of state and government, the Governor may issue executive orders on all branches of the Commonwealth and its government; executive orders carry to force of law on the Kentucky Government. However, only the Kentucky Legislature may make discrimination against the LGBTI community illegal under public law.
In 1966, Kentucky became the 1st state in the South to pass a civil rights law. The Commonwealth also became the first in the south to establish enforcement powers over civil rights violations on a state level. The Kentucky Commission on Human Rights becomes the state enforcement authority of the Act.
What happened to us?
At what point did our great Commonwealth lose its leadership in the area of civil rights?
The discrimination and exclusion of people because of the sexual orientation or gender identity undermine the integrity and dignity of our great Commonwealth.
"If you turn a blind eye and allow any government founded on our authority to trodden on fundamental civil liberties entitled to all citizens, you open a Pandora's Box to allow Governments to suppress additional civil liberties. Denial of civil rights to specific people is immoral regardless of how people try to justify it. If history has taught us anything, it is that denial of human rights to one group of people leads to the denial of human rights to another." - Kentucky Equality Federation President Jordan Palmer
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