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House Panel Could Hold Hearing on Fairness Law

The House Judiciary Committee has posted a bill that would create a statewide fairness law to its schedule, which means the anti-discrimination legislation may receive its first ever hearing in the General Assembly as early as next week.

Gay rights advocates have been lobbying state lawmakers for over a decade to bar discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations based on sexual orientation and gender identity.  Across the state, only the cities of Louisville, Lexington and Covington have passed laws giving lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals civil rights protections.

Similar ordinances have been considered in the cities of Richmond and Berea, but Fairness groups still believe pushing for a statewide law is necessary.

State Rep. Mary Lou Marzian, D-Louisville, introduced the proposal. She calls the bill’s movement exciting because Kentucky has never had fairness issues posted to committee.

“This is really groundbreaking for Kentucky to be able to start educating legislators and the public on the need for this legislation,” she says. “All Kentucky citizens should be guaranteed justice and equality. Our gay citizens pay taxes, they’re part of this commonwealth and certainly they should enjoy the same justice that everybody else does.”