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Henderson, Ky. council to have first vote on fairness ordinance tonight

North Main Street in Henderson, Kentucky. ( Photo by Nyttend via Good Free Photos)

HENDERSON, Ky. — The city council in Henderson will consider the first reading of a fairness ordinance at its meeting tonight.

According to the Henderson Gleaner, the ordinance is aimed at barring discrimination because of gender identity or orientation in employment, housing and public accommodations.

A draft version was presented during a meeting earlier this year. However, the Gleaner reported, the version being read tonight includes wording from Kentucky’s version of the Religious Restoration Rights Act.

From the Gleaner:

As stated in the new version of the Fairness Ordinance, “The City of Henderson is prohibited from substantially burdening a person’ s freedom of religion … Accordingly, where a person, by action or inaction, violates the provisions of Chapter 10 of the City’s Code of Ordinances due to a sincerely held religious belief, the individual or entity alleging the violation must prove by clear and convincing evidence that the City has a compelling governmental interest in infringing the specific act or refusal to act and has used the least restrictive means to further that interest to establish the existence of the violation.”

Other changes include that the city’s Human Rights Commission could not interfere with a business that is the subject of an investigation, removes beauty shops and barbers from exemptions and would give businesses until Sept. 3 to update policies if it the ordinance is accepted on a second reading.
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