With Governor Beshear having reestablished protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) people in Kentucky Government, Kentucky Equality Federation will be pressing the General Assembly to make such protections public law.
"Though we appreciate Governor Beshear protecting Kentucky's LGBTI population from discrimination in government, hundreds of people in the private sector are discriminated against yearly," stated Kentucky Equality Federation President Jordan Palmer.
City ordinates are also in place in Covington, Lexington, and Louisville that prohibit discrimination against LGBTI people.
"Discrimination often takes place in rural areas of the Commonwealth," stated Palmer. "Discriminating against someone because of their sexual orientation or gender identity is no different than discriminating against someone for being Catholic, Mexican, or because of their age; discrimination is discrimination."
Since beginning an online complaint system in 2006, Kentucky Equality Federation has received hundreds of discrimination reports from LGBTI people in areas of the Commonwealth where it is not illegal.
"The recent nationwide rallies [including Lexington and Louisville] indicate a new level of support for equality and fairness from constituents; the LGBTI community and our heterosexual allies are more alert and engaged," added Palmer. "Smokers are protected from discrimination, yet people are not protected for being themselves, the way they are born. We urge the Kentucky Senate to heed the recommendation of the Kentucky Commission of Human Rights and add sexual orientation and gender identity as a protected class."
The Kentucky Senate is specifically targeted because non-discrimination bills routinely pass the House of Representatives, but not the Senate.