Commission on Human Rights
Kentucky Commission on Human Rights passes resolution confirming support for fairness protection in state
At its meeting last week in Frankfort, Ky., the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights unanimously passed a resolution confirming its official support of adding sexual orientation and gender identity as protected classes to the Kentucky Civil Rights Act. The commission first stated its support in 2008. The current Kentucky General Assembly session has proposed legislation before it that would prohibit discrimination in the areas of employment, housing, public accommodations and financial transactions against people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender.
“Discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity assault the health of our democracy, the stability and safety of our communities, and the integrity of the fundamental principles of equality and fairness that form the foundation of the Kentucky Civil Rights Act,” the resolution to the Legislature states.
“No person should have to suffer the devastation of discrimination,” said Kentucky Commission on Human Rights Executive Director John J. Johnson. “Every person in Kentucky and in the nation should have equal opportunity and fair treatment,” he said.
“It’s time for Kentucky to provide protection from discrimination for all people,” said Commission Chair George W. Stinson of Louisville, Ky. “Twenty-one states plus Washington D.C and Puerto Rico outlaw discrimination based on sexual orientation, and 18 states plus Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico outlaw discrimination based on gender identity or expression,” he said.
The Kentucky Commission on Human Rights is the state government authority that enforces the Kentucky Civil Rights Act (Kentucky Revised Statutes Chapter 344), and, through its affiliation with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development, enforces federal civil rights laws.
The Kentucky Civil Rights Act makes it illegal to discriminate against people in the areas of employment, financial transactions, housing and public accommodations. Discrimination is prohibited in the aforementioned areas based on race, color, religion, national origin, gender, and disability. In employment, discrimination is further prohibited on the basis of age (40-years and over) and on the basis of tobacco-smoking status. In housing, discrimination is further prohibited based on familial status, which protects people with children in the household under the age of 18-years old, and it protects women who are pregnant. It is also a violation of the law to retaliate against a person for complaining of discrimination to the commission.
For more information, contact the commission at 1.800.292.5566. For information about the commission and civil rights, visit the website at www.kchr.ky.gov
For news about civil rights and information pertaining to protected classes, visit the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights Facebook and Twitter sites. Directly link to the sites from the commission website address listed above.