A controversial policy in Kentucky is taking center stage in Henderson.
The discussion to revive the Fairness Ordinance comes with opposing viewpoints that is leaving those in Henderson trying to find common ground.
A town hall meeting called to inform and speak out regarding the proposed Fairness Ordinance which is intended to prevent discrimination against individuals on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.
The goal is to foster equality in employment, housing, and public accommodations.
Panelists from the ACLU, Kentucky Fairness, and Commonwealth Policy Center debated on the matter.
“This is something that would be marvelous for Henderson,” says Chris Hartman, Kentucky Fairness. “It would be marvelous for the Commonwealth. Again this is all building up to the day when we have one law that protects everyone across all of Kentucky so that everyone is treated with dignity, respect, fairness, and equality under the law.”
“I believe in fairness,” says Richard Nelson, Commonwealth Policy Center. “I believe in equality, but this ordinance does not move Henderson in that direction where fairness or equality is afforded. I believe it’s misnamed. This is not a fairness ordinance. I would call this an intolerance ordinance.”
And Henderson residents shared their opinions on the matter.
“I oppose it because there’s a lot of discrimination against other people. Maybe they’re not even gay,” says one resident who opposes the ordinance.
“You don’t sit high enough to tell me and everyone else that we don’t deserve this life. You do not sit high enough to make a life changing decision for any of us. We’re not affecting your way of life at all. Love thy neighbor no matter what,” says one resident in favor of the ordinance.
For those in favor of the Ordinance, many feel there is a need for equal opportunities and treatment especially in employment and housing.
“I’ve had kids come from Henderson to stay in my home in Owensboro because there wasn’t an accepting home in Henderson. So Henderson does have it’s fair share of hate.”
Their opponents showed a concern for small businesses along with diminished economic and religious freedoms.
“I believe this legislation will unleash unintended consequences on local businesses and landlords. It will create a whole new level of uncertainty for businesses when handling their human resources and labor.”
Henderson Mayor Steve Austin tells 44News that there will most likely be an ordinance review to see if any Commissioners want to suggest change. Within two to four weeks, the ordinance will possibly go before the commission for a first review.