12th Kentucky city adopts LGBTQ+ Fairness Ordinance!

DAYTON — With a unanimous vote of 5-0 tonight, the Northern Kentucky town of Dayton, population 5,338, became the twelfth city in the Commonwealth with a Fairness Ordinance prohibiting LGBTQ discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations.

“Dayton is extremely excited to be able to join the other eleven cities, out of 419 in the Commonwealth, to continue to be the welcoming community we know and love,” said Dayton Mayor Ben Baker upon the ordinance’s passage. “If any other river cities need help in embracing the Fairness Ordinance, please reach out. We urge our state leaders to adopt these protections—in Kentucky, y’all means all.”

Dayton City Councilman Joe Neary added, “I genuinely hope this carries up to the state level so cities don’t have to deal by this city by city. I can’t believe we’ll only be the twelfth in the Commonwealth.”

“We expect Dayton will be the first in a series of Northern Kentucky cities to adopt Fairness Ordinances,” shared Northern Kentucky Fairness leader Bonnie Meyer, who also helps run the Northern Kentucky Pride Festival. “We were proud to see Covington challenge its peer cities to follow their lead on LGBTQ rights.”

Eleven other Kentucky cities have adopted local Fairness Ordinances, covering just over a quarter of the state’s population—Louisville (1999), Lexington (1999), Covington (2003), Vicco (2013), Frankfort (2013), Morehead (2013), Danville (2014), Midway (2015), Paducah (2018), Maysville (2018), and Henderson (2019). 2020 will mark the 20th anniversary of the introduction of a Statewide Fairness Law, which has only ever received two informational hearings in the Kentucky General Assembly. This year, nearly a quarter of state legislators co-sponsored the measure.

‘Ban conversion therapy Kentucky’ Executive Director’s call to action

For me the word queer is liberating. Growing up in Southern Indiana, where there was minimal support for LGBTQ people, I didn’t know what supportive LGBTQ spaces looked like.

Moving to Louisville, Kentucky, I started coming into my queer identity and learning how my other identities influence the way I exist in various spaces. For myself, the queer community has given me purpose.

Being involved in activism and fighting for the queer community is a passion of mine.

I am heading a project to make conversion therapy illegal for minors in Kentucky. Hearing the horror stories from survivors of conversion therapy, we wanted to take action to show queer kids that someone is fighting for them. No one should have to experience this torture and should be able to be happy and celebrate who they are.

Though we have made significant strides as a community in the United States– our fight is far from over. In addition to the work we have ahead of us as a country, we as community have so much work to do.

I believe that Queer people and all people will never truly experience liberation until we as a community actively address the oppression that still exists in queer spaces.

We will not truly be a community until we fully support queer folks who are black and brown, undocumented queer folks, our queer folks with disabilities, queer folks of all body types, as well as many other identities that intersect with queerness.

I am excited for the progress that will come with future generations — it seems that today’s youth are more caring and unapologetic in their queer identities than ever before.

From Lewis County to Louisville

Kaleb McCane, Lewis County

I’m from Vanceburg, KY. I love it in Lewis County, but moving to Louisville was a great decision for me because getting out of the small town environment allowed me to grow as my own person and learn who I truly am. It also taught me how to think independently in many aspects of life. With that being said, growing up there was great.

I’m extremely close to my family, specifically my mom. I’m also still friends with some people I grew up with because with such a small amount of people in a county, you really learn everything about each other growing up. With Lewis County being such a small town full of traditionally conservative people, I was afraid to come out, but truthfully, everyone from back home that knows doesn’t treat me differently or feel differently.

To any person struggling to come into their own identity, I would say stay true to YOU and don’t let anyone interfere. There will always be people trying to knock you down no matter what. Gay, straight, male, female, black, white and everything in-between. But you have to think that at the end of the day, the main person you have is yourself, so if you’re not living up to your full potential of who and what you want to be, you’re only hurting yourself.

Honestly, how I identify doesn’t affect how I carry myself. I act the same now as I did when I identified as straight and was dating girls and when I first came out and everything about being gay was new to me.

I see a few major issues in the queer community – one of which is the standard at which gay men (I only specifically say gay men because that’s what I have seen the most of and have experience with. I know we aren’t the only ones who deal with this) hold themselves to when it comes to psychical appearance.

In the gay community, we are expected to always be dressed well, skinny, muscular, etc. I like to say I am straight skinny but gay fat. In our community if you don’t have a flat stomach or abs, you’re “fat” or “chunky” – which is absolutely ridiculous.

Our community is hated on and discriminated against enough as is, we don’t need to go after our own brothers and sisters. I just wish we could let one another live our best lives while supporting each other no matter what, not tear each other down.

Another big issue that I see and personally deal with myself is politics. I have met so many people that I have hit it off with as friends but then they figure out that I am a republican. Then the whole dynamic of our friendship changes. It almost seems as if they are unaccepting of me not only as a friend but as a member of the community.

I think this is ridiculous as well. Just because we don’t have the same political views/opinions doesn’t mean that I am a terrible person or have turned my back on my community. People’s opinions differ, which is okay. That’s what makes America and our democracy great.

I think if our community took a step back to reflect on ourselves and realize that being gay, lesbian, trans, pansexual, whatever, doesn’t mean that you have to fit into the stereotypical mold that is the LGBTQIA community. We want and expect to be accepted by everyone outside our community but can’t even be accepting of one another. How is that supposed to work? If people outside of our community see us turning on each other and not respecting each other, why would they feel the need/want to respect and accept us?

To answer whether or not I feel excluded from the mainstream queer community, I guess I would have to say I can say both yes and no. No, because I do live up to the stereotypical queer standards; take that as you will. As far as politically, I do somewhat feel excluded. I was raised in a very conservative family and even after moving and learning my own political stance, I still consider myself a proud Libertarian-Republican. Obviously, on some social issues – like gay marriage – I tend to go more towards the center-left, but I still stick to most conservative beliefs. It actually has caused multiple spats between me and friends in the queer community. One of the main arguments I hear is that republicans don’t agree with my lifestyle, but I like to remind them that there are other gay republicans/conservatives out there and that there are many other components in politics besides gay marriage that typically take priority.

I feel my best – which I would describe as safe, happy and comfortable – when I am with my friends, loved ones, and other members of the queer community. Whether it is hanging out at home, going out to the bars, social events like pride, etc. I always feel my best when I am with these people.

I can’t really pinpoint one person who I can say influenced me to life the life I live now. My mother is and always has been my biggest supporter in life. She’s always pushed me to do and be my best. She has always been there for me and encouraged me to chase my dreams, whatever they were. So in part, I can say she is one of the people who have made the biggest impact. But there has also been other people along the way who have done the same. My English teacher/drama club director was basically my second mother during all four years of high school, friends and fraternity brothers I made when I moved to Louisville all helped me realize and come to terms with who I really am and who I want to be. So, all-in-all, many people in my short 22, almost 23, years of life have influenced me to live the life I live today.




Bevin attacks LGBT rights


By Wesley Whistle, QKY Contributor

Governor Matt Bevin is at it again. After calling Kim Davis “an inspiration to American Children” and filing a brief arguing a company shouldn’t have to make Pride shirts, Bevin is attacking LGBT rights again. Now, Governor Bevin is arguing that companies are allowed to fire someone based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.

This week 16 states—including Bevin—filed a brief with the United States Supreme Court asking to overturn a decision by an appeals court that redefines the word “sex” in federal law to include “gender identity.” The Civil Rights Act of 1964 says it is unlawful for employers “to discriminate against any individual with respect to his compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of such individual’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.” This case was brought when a transgender woman said she was illegally fired by a funeral home in Michigan while transitioning from male to female because she is protected under this act.

The states arguing against this are saying that civil rights law as written does not include sexual orientation or gender identity. On the other side, one argument says this definition of “sex” is appropriate because a woman who gets fired for being married to a woman wouldn’t get fired if she were a man married to a woman—therefore it is about her sex.

Currently, 28 states do not protect LGBT people against discrimination—including Kentucky. Thanks to folks like the Fairness Campaign, some in Kentucky are protected, as 10 cities have adopted fairness ordinances. And, as Attorney General Andy Beshear’s office told the Courier Journal, the state of Kentucky prohibits discrimination on sexual orientation right now for state employment. (Thanks, Governor Steve Beshear! Let’s hope Bevin doesn’t roll back that protection.)

But that still leaves LGBT folks in 110 Kentucky counties—and the parts of counties not covered by those cities—vulnerable to this type of discrimination. My home of Daviess County is one of those places that lack this protection. Plus, most of those places are rural where LGBT people face some of the worst oppression already.

This is an important case. If the USSC rules that employers cannot discriminate that would be a huge win—expanding that definition and protection to the folks who need it. However, if we lose it leaves those people hanging while also telling folks everywhere that discrimination is legal. That could empower those who might have otherwise thought twice before firing. It’s time Governor Bevin defend all Kentuckians. Not only is defending LGBT folks the moral thing to do, supporting LGBT people would be better for Kentucky’s economy.

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