Paducah’s City Commission voted 4-1 on Tuesday to pass a local Fairness Ordinance, making it the ninth city in Kentucky to do so, and the only such city in Western Kentucky.
The ordinance was an amendment to the city’s existing anti-discrimination ordinance, which had been on the books for 70 years. It adds LGBT persons as a protected class, and prohibits discrimination against them in employment, housing, and public accomodations.
Over 250 Paducah residents packed City Hall to witness the vote, which included two hours of discussion among commissioners and testimony from local citizens. Over 70 people signed up to speak, with 14 being chosen to do so.
A “religious freedom” amendment was introduced, exempting business owners from complying with the fairness ordinance if they had religious beliefs that were “deeply held,” but it was voted down by the same 4-1 margin.
Paducah now joins Louisville, Lexington, Covington, Frankfort, Morehead, Danville, Midway, and the small Appalachian town of Vicco (2013) as Kentucky cities with local fairness ordinances.
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