LGBT

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Though some Kentucky policies — like a religious expression law that went into effect last year — have been criticized as discriminatory, a new report finds ten state facilities earned top scores for being inclusive towards people identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer (LGBTQ).

The report, released by the advocacy group Human Rights Campaign Foundation, asked 626 healthcare facilities whether they have explicit non-discrimination policies for LGBTQ people, training for LGBTQ patient care, options for people to self-identify and more.

Governor: Company Shouldn't Have to Make Gay Pride Shirts

Feb 13, 2018
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Kentucky's Republican governor is urging the state's highest court to rule in favor of a company whose owner refused to print T-shirts for a gay rights festival because of his Christian beliefs.

Attorneys for Gov. Matt Bevin have asked to file a brief with the Kentucky Supreme Court in the case involving Hands-On Originals. The company refused an order in 2012 from Lexington's Gay and Lesbian Services Organization for T-shirts in advance of the city's Gay Pride Festival.

WFPL News

The Supreme Court of Kentucky has agreed to take up a case dealing with a Lexington company’s refusal to print t-shirts for organizers of the city’s gay pride parade.  The court will decide whether the actions violated the city’s fairness ordinance.

The lawsuit began in 2012 when Hands On Originals owner Blaine Adamson refused to make t-shirts for the Gay and Lesbian Services Organization, saying doing so would violate his religious beliefs.

The group filed a complaint with the Lexington Human Rights Commission, which said that the company had violated the city’s law forbidding businesses from discriminating based on sexual orientation, but the company appealed the decision.

Human Rights Campaign

Kentucky has one city – Louisville - that earned top-ranking in a new report on towns that support lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender members of the community. Bowling Green was at the bottom.

The “Municipal Equality Index,” published by the Human Rights Campaign, grades cities on a scale of 1-to-100, based on issues like non- discrimination laws in employment and housing. The index also includes grades for the relationship city officials and police have with LGBTQ individuals.

U.S. Air Force photo illustration by Senior Airman Michael Smith/Released

Jacob Eleazer woke up today expecting an average day. He put on his tan khakis, brown shoes and gray polo, got in the car and drove to work. But not long after he walked in, messages from concerned friends and family members started flooding his phone. He checked the messages, and was shocked to see a series of tweets from President Donald Trump saying that transgender people would not be allowed to serve in the military.

Kentucky Hotel Says it Was to Host Events that Pulled Out

Jul 9, 2017
Creative Commons

A Kentucky hotel would have hosted two conventions that reportedly pulled out of negotiations due to California's state-funded travel ban, the hotel's general manager said.

"We received calls from each convention withdrawing from negotiations due to the California ban," Omni Louisville Hotel General Manager Scott Stuckey said in a release Saturday. "We have used discretion in discussing the issue and have not identified the conventions, in hopes that we could persuade them to do business with Omni and Louisville in the future."

Gage Skidmore/Creative Commons

The attorney general of California has added Kentucky to a list of destinations banned from official state travel, saying a new religious expression law passed by the Kentucky General Assembly is discriminatory.

Senate Bill 17 was signed into law by Gov. Matt Bevin this spring. Supporters say the legislation bolsters First Amendment protections for religious speech in public schools and universities.

Opponents have criticized the new law for language that protects religious and political student groups from being punished for how they select their members.

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A family court judge in Kentucky is being told he has to decide whether to recuse himself in gay adoption requests on a case-by-case basis.

Family Court Judge W. Mitchell Nance, who serves Barren and Metcalfe counties, had asked the state’s Chief Justice to approve a new local rule that would allow him to review all adoption petitions once they are filed with the circuit court clerk.

Prior to making the request to the Chief Justice, Nance entered an order last month saying he wanted to be advised by lawyers if they were bringing cases involving gay adults to his courtroom.

Kentucky Judge is Under Pressure; Won't Hear Gay Adoptions

May 16, 2017
Kevin Willis

Civil rights groups are seeking the removal of a southern Kentucky judge who won't hear adoption cases involving gay adults.

The American Civil Liberties Union and other groups complained to Kentucky's judicial disciplinary commission about W. Mitchell Nance, a family court judge in Barren and Metcalfe counties.

Nance announced he would recuse himself from adoption cases involving homosexuals because he believes it's never in a child's best interest to be adopted by a gay person.

Gay rights advocate Chris Hartman says Nance's "inability to be impartial is a blight on his office."

Nance declined comment through a court official.

Martin Cothran, with the Family Foundation of Kentucky, said Nance is following the law by recusing himself if he believes his views might bias a case.

Lisa Autry

Members of the LGBT community and their supporters want a judge in south central Kentucky to resign over his opposition to gay adoptions. 

Judge Mitchell Nance, a family court judge for Barren and Metcalfe counties, has recused himself from presiding over adoptions by homosexual parents.  He said he believes allowing gay couples to adopt is not in a child’s best interest.  His announcement has drawn a range of opinions, some calling for him to step down from the bench.

Lisa Autry

Supporters of what's known as a fairness ordinance will lobby the Bowling Green City Commission Tuesday evening. 

Members of the LGBT community and others will speak during a work session following the regular city commission meeting.  No action can be taken, but proponents will be allowed to address city leaders. 

The fairness measure would update the city’s civil rights ordinance to include protections for sexual orientation and gender identity.  A fairness ordinance would prevent discrimination in housing, employment, and public accommodations. 

Commissioner Slim Nash introduced the ordinance during the commission’s February 21 meeting.  The motion wasn’t seconded and died without any discussion.

Lisa Autry

Bowling Green will not become the next Kentucky city to enact a fairness ordinance that would have banned discrimination against the LGBT community. 

The measure failed during a city commission meeting Tuesday afternoon. 

Supporters of the fairness ordinance chanted ‘shame’ when no other commissioner made a second motion to approve the proposed ordinance introduced by Commissioner Slim Nash. 

The measure would have extended civil rights protections to the LGBT community in areas such as housing and employment.

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Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer is warning Kentucky lawmakers against any legislation that could stymie economic interest in the state or its largest city.

He said the state legislature, now controlled by Republicans in the House and Senate for the first time in history, can “achieve anything they want.”

“Let’s make sure that nothing negative happens in our community, in our state, regarding our ability to discriminate against anyone,” he told WFPL News during an hour-long discussion last week.

Flickr/Creative Commons

A transgender man fired from GE Appliances in Louisville can sue for race and gender discrimination, according to a federal court ruling late last month.

China-based Qindao Haier Co., the owner of GE Appliances, requested that the lawsuit be dismissed, saying the company did nothing wrong and that the employee should have reported harassment to a supervisor.

Bevin Rules Out Transgender Bathroom Bill

Dec 9, 2016
Jaison Gardner

Kentucky's Republican governor says he will not use the state's new GOP majority to push through a bill restricting transgender bathroom use. Matt Bevin held a news conference Friday to discuss his first year in office and look ahead to the 2017 legislative session, where Republicans will hold super majorities in both chambers for the first time.

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