SB180: Louisville's Hall of Fame and House of Shame Skip to content

SB180: Louisville's Hall of Fame and House of Shame

3 min read

There are votes, and there are votes. Some votes are meaningless, some are political only, some are arcane and wrapped in legal language.

But some are moments of courage. Or, moments of shame. Today’s vote on SB180 was one of those moments. How did our city’s Senators do? Who showed courage, and who brought shame on our city?

The Bill

For those who haven’t kept up with this bill, here’s the gist: SB180 allows a group of “protected actors” carrying out “protected activities” to refuse service to someone if doing so would offend their religious beliefs. While the bill’s language is so broad and so poorly written that it could cover anything and anybody, it is obviously aimed at gays getting married. If made into law, though, it could be used as justification for any discriminatory act. It is, in short, another attack on rights of gays and others, in the name of so-called religion. It is a horribly written bill, and deserved defeat in short order.

Instead, it passed 22-11 in our state Senate. It now goes to the House, where it will hopefully die a quick and merciless death.

Those Who Voted Against This Trainwreck of a Bill

Photo by jimpg2_2015

All 11 Democrats in the Senate voted against SB180. They were joined by 5 Republicans, who broke ranks with their party’s leadership to vote against it.

Since we are focused on Louisville, a special shout-out to Republican Julie Raque Adams, who both spoke against the bill and voted against it. Her reference to what happened to Indiana when they passed a similar bill last year should have been a warning to all, but 22 of her fellow Republicans ignored the warning and passed the bill anyway.

The other Republicans standing against discrimination were Alice Forgy Kerr, Carroll Gibson, Chris McDaniels, and Wil Shroder. Kudos to the five of you!

As for the Dems who voted against the bill, they include our own Denise Harper Angel, Dennis Parrett, Gerald Neal, Morgan McGarvey, and Perry Clark. Joining them in voting against discrimination were Dorsey Ridley, Johnny Ray Turner, Julian Carroll, Ray Jones, Reginald Thomas, and Robin Webb.

Those Who Voted In Favor of Discrimination

Photo by PinkMoose

As noted at the top, there are votes that are truly important and speak to what matters most to you as a legislator. This vote was clearly about blocking local fairness ordinances and rolling back some of the rights that gays and others have gained over the years. The bill’s authors and supporters can spin it any way they wish, but the possible outcomes have been named and the intent certainly seems clear. In fact, if their intent was NOT discrimination, then when the possible outcomes were pointed out to them (over and over), they would have either pulled the bill or rewritten it. But instead, they pushed ahead, rights be damned and too bad for the people hurt by it.

Here, then, are the four persons representing Louisville in the state Senate who voted in favor of discrimination, in favor of rolling back rights, in favor of one of the worst bills ever presented to a legislative body. Here are the four who voted in favor of SB180:

  • Dan Seum
  • Ernie Harris
  • Jimmy Higdon
  • Paul Hornback

Remember this vote the next time these four men ask for yours.

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