Daviess county commissioners say they’ll vote against fairness ordinance

by Thomas Wray, Illinois Eagle

OWENSBORO — Officials in Daviess County, Ky. told a local newspaper that there weren’t the votes to pass a fairness ordinance. A fairness ordinance would add LGBTQ to the local non-discrimination laws. Fourteen cities in Kentucky have passed fairness ordinances in the past few years. One of the most recent was the western Kentucky city of Henderson, in the county just next door to Daviess County.

The Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer reported that commissioners Charlie Castlen, George Wathen and Mike Koger all said on Monday that they will not vote in favor of a Fairness Ordinance, prior to members of the Owensboro Fairness Campaign and the Owensboro Human Relations Commission presenting Daviess Fiscal Court with a draft ordinance.

“I don’t think this type of ordinance will have this kind of support on fiscal court to pass,” Wathen said, according to the newspaper.

“It has to have three yeses to pass and I don’t think that is going to happen. I don’t think that they could change my mind, I never want to say 100% no. I don’t think they could draft anything that would change my mind.”

The other commissioners said they were worried about encroaching on “religious liberties.”

“I don’t see any way that I would be a yes vote on the matter,” Casten told the Messenger-Inquirer. “It comes down to protecting religious rights. I can’t see supporting an order that could be in conflict with the rest of our citizens’ religious liberties.”

The newspaper reported that the human rights commission and the Owensboro Fairness Campaign were thinking of submitting the proposal anyway or going to the Owensboro City Council. The city is the county seat and one of the largest cities in western Kentucky.