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Bellevue Adopts Fairness Ordinance, Becomes Kentucky's 15th City to Do So

The Bellevue city council adopted what is commonly called a fairness ordinance at its meeting Wednesday night.

The move makes the city the fifteenth in Kentucky do so, and it follows neighboring Dayton in adopting a human rights ordinance this year. Five of the fifteen Kentucky cities with such legislation on the books have made the move in 2019.

Covington is the only other Northern Kentucky city with a similar ordinance having adopted one in 2003 as the third Kentucky city to do so.

Fairness ordinances prohibit LGBTQ discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations.

"Thanks to everybody in the community for their support and my colleagues," said City Councilman Scott Witte after the ordinance's adoption. "We have tried to work together the best we can and I think this ordinance was a great example of our team work.

"I hope that it allows some of our citizens in town who felt alienated, to walk with a little more dignity and with their heads held higher. No one deserves to be discriminated against. Sexual orientation, like race or religion of an individual's identity shouldn't be grounds for people to be treated unequally."

The ordinance passed unanimously in the meeting.

Dayton Mayor Ben Baker, former city councilwoman Carol Rich, and Rev. Keith Haithcock of the St. John United Church of Christ spoke in favor of the ordinance at Bellevue's meeting Wednesday.

The fourteen other cities in Kentucky to adopt a local fairness ordinance (and the year it was adopted) are: Louisville (1999), Lexington (1999), Covington (2003), Vicco (2013), Frankfort (2013), Morehead (2013), Danville (2014), Midway (2015), Paducah (2018), Maysville (2018), Henderson (2019), Dayton (2019), Georgetown (2019), and Versailles (2019).

2020 will mark the 20th anniversary of the introduction of a Statewide Fairness Law, which has only ever received two informational hearings in the Kentucky General Assembly. This year, nearly a quarter of state legislators co-sponsored the measure.

-Michael Monks, editor & publisher

Image via Fairness Campaign