OWENSBORO — More than 300 attended and 40 spoke at a forum on a proposed fairness ordinance in this western Kentucky county.
A fairness ordinance would add orientation and gender identity to the local human rights ordinance. Businesses and the county judge-executive have both expressed support for the ordinance, but county commissioners have stated their opposition. The ordinance was proposed back in November.
The Owensboro Times reported that both supporters and opponents of the ordinance spoke. Those for it talked about LGBTQ desrving equal rights and the lack of inclusion in the local community driving young people away. Opponents talked about “religious liberty,” promoting immorality and the bible. Many said LGBTQ was a choice.
“We just want to be safe in our jobs,” Andrea Timmel, a manager at a local business, said. “We’re not asking you to go against God. We just want to be treated right. Judge me on the fact that I’m kind, hard-working and want to be a better human being — that’s all.”
One opponent said that the ordinance would be discriminitory. “It’s deeply ironic to me that this has been labeled a fairness ordinance attempting to be fair to all, and is in fact fair to none and unfair to everyone,” said John Birkett. “This proposal, if adopted, would instantly codify not fairness but unfairness. unfairness to every single Daviess Countian it frankly astounds me that anyone under the LGBTQIA+ umbrella favors this proposal.”
A local pastor said that “God had not changed” and that “sinful behavior was a choice.”
The Times reported that the Daviess County Fiscal Court will hold a first reading for the nondiscrimination ordinance on March 3. A second reading will be held March 19, followed by a vote. Both will take place at the Daviess County Courthouse and public comments will not be allowed during either reading.