OWENSBORO — The judge-executive of Daviess County has said he will support the proposed fairness ordinance.
The Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer reported that judge-executive Al Mattingly has been waiting to hear out from everyone and not making a decision before a vote.
“I didn’t have a hard-nosed stance in the beginning,” he told the newspaper. “I wanted to listen to both sides and learn so that I could become better informed on all of the community’s concerns. I have spoken with many around the community, and the more letters that I receive, especially from those opposed to an ordinance, the more convinced I am that we need one. As the county judge-executive, I am taking the stance that I believe we need it and am going to propose that we continue to have this conversation. We need to allow folks the opportunity to voice their experiences and opinions.”
Last week, commissioners Charlie Castlen, George Wathen and Mike Koger all said that they opposed the ordinance on “religious freedom grounds.”
The ordinance, similar to ones passed in 14 other Kentucky cities, was proposed at the beginning of November. If passed, it would at LGBTQ protections to the local human rights ordinance.
Mattingly told the Messenger-Inquirer correspondence the Fiscal Court had received was four to one in favor of the ordinance.
“What I have received from many in opposition has been filled with vitriol,” he said. “I received an email from one citizen that said, ‘I am opposed to any fairness ordinance, it would remove my right to withhold services to anyone in the LGBTQ community based on my religious convictions without impunity. I would be complicit in their sin if I were to enable their sexual behavior.’ It is obvious to me that this individual and those that have spoken against it have never had anyone close to them discriminated against.”
He said he didn’t know how things would work out, but that “I can assure you that we are going to continue the conversation.”