In 1966, Kentucky became the first southern state to pass a Civil Rights law that banned discrimination in public accommodation and employment based on race, color, religion and national origin. In 1968, this law was extended to protect against discrimination in housing. And again in 1972, Kentucky was the first southern state to include gender and age in its anti-discrimination statutes.
Kentucky has a history of leading the region in the protection of civil rights. And now, the Kentucky General Assembly has a chance to be a leader once more with the passage of House Bill 171 and its Senate companion bill SB 140.
The enactment of these bills would prohibit discrimination in public accommodation, employment and housing on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
The Kentucky Young Democrats, and the young people of this Commonwealth, know that to discriminate against our fellow human beings for who they are or who they love is wrong. There is no place for such intolerance in a 21st Century Kentucky. To paraphrase Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. -- We must learn to live together as brothers and sisters or perish together as fools. Fairness is a civil rights issue and fairness is an economic issue.
And friends, fairness is a Kentucky value. A recent poll shows that 83% of Kentuckians support a statewide ban of discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
Then why do HB 171 and SB 140 have such a hard road in the General Assembly? It is because too often we sit on the sidelines and expect those making decisions to do the right thing. And Dusty Springfield taught us that just wishing and hoping won't get us anywhere.
The power to create change is in your hands! Today, please, SIGN OUR PETITION to tell the legislators in Frankfort that fairness is a Kentucky value and that they need to pass HB 171 and SB 140!
We join organizations like the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights and the Kentucky Fairness Coalition in supporting the right of EVERY Kentuckian to work and live without fear of harassment or discrimination.
History is calling again, Kentucky. Let’s answer.
President, Kentucky Young Democrats