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Covington Mayor to Testify on Gay Fairness Bill in Frankfort

For the first time, a proposed Kentucky law that would prohibit discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people in employment, housing, and public accommodations will have a hearing in the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday.

Covington Mayor Sherry Carran will be among those testifying on behalf of the legislation. Covington adopted a human rights ordinance protecting gays in 2003 and is joined by Louisville, Lexington, Frankfort, Morehead, and Vicco as Kentucky cities with similar legislation.

Carran spoke of Covington's experience with the legislation during a forum with other mayors and city leaders in Lexington last October.

House Bill 171 has a record number of co-sponsors in the House of Representatives, including Covington Democrat Arnold Simpson, the only Northern Kentucky legislator to put his name on the bill.

Carran will be joined in testimony by former police sergeant Kile Nave who said he was fired from his job in 2012 for being gay, Father Joseph Fowler who retired from the Archdiocese of Louisville and leads Catholics for Fairness, and Ralph de Chabert, Brown-Forman Corporation's chief diversity officer.

A companion statewide fairness bill was filed in the State Senate by Louisville Democrat Morgan McGarvey which also received a record number of co-sponsors.

The hearing is scheduled for noon on Wednesday in the Capitol Annex Room 171, 700 Capitol Avenue in Frankfort.

Photo: Mayor Sherry Carran