Recently, the Herald-Leader reported on a travel ban California imposed on state employees in response to a new Kentucky law that allows student-run organizations to discriminate against their LGBTQ classmates.
Gov. Matt Bevin’s office responded by blaming “West Coast liberals” for imposing values on the commonwealth. I am deeply concerned about Bevin’s logic.
I am a very proud Kentuckian; I also lived in Southern California for four years. The characterization of California as a state full of leftist radicals is simplistic and embarrassing. Kentuckians and Californians share many values, like respect for our neighbors, compassion and personal autonomy.
Senate Bill 17 is not consistent with Lexington’s values. As Mayor Jim Gray recently wrote to California’s attorney general, Lexington is a city that welcomes everyone.
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On June 24-25, the city celebrated its 10th annual Pride Festival to celebrate LGBTQ visibility and rights. But legislation like SB 17 reinforces prejudice against the LGBTQ community.
I have family and friends who moved out of Kentucky because they identify as LGBTQ and did not feel accepted in our community. Frequently, this started with being bullied or isolated in school, which SB 17 will likely increase.
Kentucky needs to listen to California and discard SB 17.
Elizabeth Rose Hansen