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House Speaker Signs On to State Fairness Legislation

Kentucky Speaker of the House Greg Stumbo (D-Prestonsburg) has joined 17 other House members--now a third of the Democratic House Caucus--as a co-sponsor on Rep. Mary Lou Marzian's (D-Louisville) House Bill 171, which would extend discrimination protections in employment, housing, and public accommodations to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people. 

Senator Morgan McGarvey's (D-Louisville) Statewide Fairness Senate Bill 140 also achieved a record number of co-sponsors last week when Senate Minority Whip Jerry Rhoads (D-Madisonville) signed onto the measure.
 
"It makes sense for leadership to start getting behind this simple anti-discrimination law," said Fairness Campaign director Chris Hartman. "Aside from being the right thing to do and having the support from the vast majority of Kentuckians, 83% according to a recent poll, it will save our state money in these strapped financial times. As individual cities pass Fairness ordinances, there is a cost associated with their enforcement, but a uniform statewide measure would be budget neutral for the commonwealth, according to the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights."
 
Proponents of Statewide Fairness now await word from House Judiciary Chairman John Tilley (D-Hopkinsville) on whether or not the measure will receive a hearing, which it has gone 15 years without.
 
Six Kentucky cities currently extend Fairness protections to LGBT people--Covington, Frankfort, Lexington, Louisville, Morehead, and the small Appalachian town of Vicco--and there are grassroots movements for Fairness afoot in nearly a dozen other municipalities throughout the commonwealth, Hartman said in a news release.
Hundreds of Kentuckians will join the Fairness Coalition's Rally this week, which will be held in the Capitol Rotunda on Wednesday, February 19 at 1:30 p.m., 700 Capital Avenue, 40601. Speakers will include Faith Leaders for Fairness, Frankfort Mayor Bill May, and former police sergeant Kile Nave, who claims he was fired from his job in a Louisville suburb for being openly gay.
 
WHAT: Statewide Fairness Rally & Lobby Day
 
WHEN: Wednesday, February 19 (Activities occur all day)
1:30 p.m. Rally
 
WHERE: KY Capitol Rotunda, 700 Capital Ave., 40601
 
WHO: Fairness Supporters from Across the Commonwealth
Faith Leaders for Fairness
Frankfort Mayor Bill May
Kile Nave, former Audubon Park Police Sergeant
HOUSE BILL 171 CO-SPONSORS
* Indicates New Sponsorship This Year
Rep. Mary Lou Marzian (D-Louisville)
Rep. Joni Jenkins (D-Louisville)
Rep. Tom Burch (D-Louisville)
* Rep. Denver Butler (D-Louisville)
* Rep. Jesse Crenshaw (D-Lexington)
* Rep. Jeffrey Donohue (D-Fairdale)
Rep. Kelly Flood (D-Lexington)
* Rep. Derrick Graham (D-Frankfort)
* Rep. Dennis Horlander (D-Shively)
Rep. Reginald Meeks (D-Louisville)
Rep. Darryl Owens (D-Louisville)
Rep. Ruth Ann Palumbo (D-Lexington)
Rep. Arnold Simpson (D-Covington)
* Rep. Rita Smart (D-Richmond)
* House Speaker Greg Stumbo (D-Prestonsburg)
* Rep. David Watkins (D-Henderson)
Rep. Jim Wayne (D-Louisville)
Rep. Susan Westrom (D-Lexington)
 
SENATE BILL 140 CO-SPONSORS
* Indicates New Sponsorship This Year
Senator Morgan McGarvey (D-Louisville)
Senator Denise Harper Angel (D-Louisville)
Senator Perry Clark (D-Louisville)
Senator Gerald Neal (D-Louisville)
* Senator Reginald Thomas (D-Lexington)
* Senate Minority Whip Jerry Rhoads (D-Madisonville)