Commission on Human Rights
Panel in Richmond to discuss sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination
RICHMOND – In partnership with the Richmond Human Rights Commission, the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights will present a panel to discuss the adverse impact of ongoing discrimination against Kentucky's lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (“LGBT”) community. The panel will speak about the need for passage of a statewide law prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
This Citizens Advocacy Hearing panel will begin at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, June 17, at Richmond City Hall, in the Richmond Commission Chamber, in Richmond, Ky. The public is invited and there will be refreshments beginning at 5:30 p.m.
Teresa Isaac of Lexington will moderate. She is a former Lexington, Ky. mayor and currently serves as a faculty member in the Business Department of Midway College.
The panelists are Jody Cofer of Murray, Ky., Jennifer Crossen of Lexington, Rev. Don Smith of Covington, Ky., and Carla Wallace of Louisville, Ky.
On June 19, 2008, the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights unanimously adopted a resolution calling for the passage of a statewide fairness law prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in any person’s pursuit of employment, housing, and the goods and services of public accommodations.
On June 1, 2009, President Barack Obama issued a proclamation declaring June 2009 Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month to promote equal rights for all, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. As stated in the President’s proclamation, 40 years ago, patrons and supporters of the Stonewall Inn in New York City resisted police harassment that had become all too common for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community. This marked the beginning of the Gay Pride Movement.
To commemorate the important events of June 1969, and to commit to achieving equality for Kentucky’s LGBT community, the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights and the Richmond Human Rights Commission selected June 17 as the date for a fairness Citizens Advocacy Hearing.
For the past year, the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights has held a series of Citizens Advocacy Hearing panels to examine the concerns of various members of protected classes under the Kentucky Civil Rights Act.
The Kentucky Human Rights Commission is the state government agency that enforces the Kentucky Civil Rights Act and federal civil rights laws that give people the right to live free from discrimination in the commonwealth. These laws make illegal discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, age, family status, and tobacco smoking status.
While the state has not added sexual orientation and gender identity as protected classes within the Kentucky Civil Rights Act, three local governments in Kentucky currently enforce local ordinances prohibiting discrimination because of sexual orientation and gender identity.
The Kentucky Commission on Human Rights has called for statewide passage of these protections against discrimination in the areas of employment, housing and public accommodations.