Fairness Ordinance proponents prepare for second vote on Tuesday

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) -- Members of the Bowling Green Fairness organization met Monday evening in preparation for Tuesday's vote.

Bowling Green City Commissioners will gather to hear from the public again at City Hall, and take a second vote on this year's Fairness Ordinance.

"We believe that all people are deserving of respect and dignity, and that's what this is about," said James Line, a member of Bowling Green Fairness.

If Bowling Green were to add an ordinance on the books, it would set themselves as the 11th city to do so in the Commonwealth.

"We know that it's good for business - we know that businesses want to invest in places that are inclusive of all people," said Line.

The protections are reminiscent of what's granted through the Civil Rights Act -- which does not include those who are LGBTQ.

"There are no federal protections for LGBTQ people, and there are no statewide protections in 28 states," said Chris Hartman, executive director of the statewide organization, the Fairness Campaign.

For some, having an ordinance in place would mean peace of mind -- instead of the status quo.

"They can legally deny you employment, housing and public accommodations," Hartman explained.

Some of those in opposition of the ordinance say the amount of discrimination complaints filed have been minimal, and that the measure seemed unnecessary.

"It's important for us to have this in our community because discrimination is happening -- people have shared their stories. And there are many, many more stories that aren't being shared because people -- again -- are afraid to share those stories out of fear of retaliation," said Line.

Line said any discrimination claims would be investigated by the city's human rights commission, which already exists.

"We know that people have brought those claims forward to them already, and they can't tape them, they can't look into them, they can't process them, because there is no Fairness Ordinance on the books that says they can do that," said Line.

Whether or not the city commissioners will change their first vote of 3-2 remains to be seen. The meeting is set to begin at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 7 at City Hall.

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