Scott County

Georgetown City Council tables fairness ordinance after lengthy discussion

Edward Hoover, 4, waved a rainbow flag at the Pride Festival and Community Cookout, presented by Georgetown Fairness, on Oct. 8 at Royal Spring Park in Georgetown.
Edward Hoover, 4, waved a rainbow flag at the Pride Festival and Community Cookout, presented by Georgetown Fairness, on Oct. 8 at Royal Spring Park in Georgetown.

During a lengthy meeting Monday, the Georgetown City Council voted to table discussion of a fairness ordinance.

The proposed ordinance would prevent discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in employment, housing and public accommodations.

Lexington, Louisville, Covington, Danville, Frankfort, Morehead, Vicco in Perry County, and Midway are all Kentucky cities that have approved fairness ordinances.

The council voted 4-3 to table the issue. Councilman David Lusby, who was present for a portion of the meeting, had to leave for personal reasons.

The ordinance was not under consideration during the meeting, but a presentation by the city attorney was on the agenda.

The vote to table the issue followed two hours of comment from the public, whose remarks were about evenly divided between support and opposition.

The meeting attracted more than 50 people, and about 30 spoke.

Arguments in favor of the ordinance included the promotion of equal human rights and wanting to protect those who were harassed because of their sexual orientation.

Gentry Hambrick, a Georgetown resident who supported the ordinance, said she wishes to eventually start a family with her girlfriend.

“Please not only consider voting for this fairness ordinance’s passing,” she said. “But to consider voting for the future of Georgetown and the protection of all of its people.”

Opponents wondered whether the ordinance was needed. They said Georgetown is an accepting community. Others cited religious objections, arguing that the ordinance might discriminate against Christians.

Ron Fannin of Georgetown was among the opponents.

“The current proposed ordinance is not needed. Georgetown is a law-abiding community that adheres to the Civil Rights Act of 1964,” he said. “We do not need additional regulations or ordinances, and I feel that this ordinance defies the basic moral standards upon which this nation was founded.”

There has been a recent push to establish a fairness ordinance in Georgetown.

In October, a pride festival was held in hopes that Georgetown would pass such legislation. In late February, several speakers advocated support for a fairness ordinance, and about 1,050 signatures in support of the ordinance were presented to the council.

Trey Crumbie: 859-231-3261, @CrumbieHLeader

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