EDITORIAL: BG Fairness Ordinance a step forward

February 4, 2014 Editorial cartoon

Herald staff

THE ISSUE: Bowling Green and other Kentucky cities are considering passing a fairness ordinance which would make it illegal to discriminate against someone because of their sexuality, particularly in a business setting. 

OUR STANCE: The idea to pass a law that would make it illegal to discriminate against a person because of his or her sexuality is necessary in Bowling Green. We believe that discriminating against a person of the LGBT community is antiquated and wrong, especially for 2014, when things should already be progressing. 

Currently in Bowling Green, it is legal to fire someone if they are perceived as a member of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community. Restaurant owners in town are currently allowed to refuse service to someone they perceive to be an LGBT member. LGBT members may also be prohibited from sitting with his or her partner in a a hospital room. 

Community housing can also be denied to a person of the LGBT community in the city. These are but a few of the many examples of legal discrimination allowed in the Commonwealth.

In fact, according to Dora James, a recent alumna and organizer of WKU’s Fairness Campaign, these acts of discrimination are allowed in approximately 75 percent of the Commonwealth. 

Subsequently, only six cities within Kentucky have passed fairness ordinances that tackle discrimination: Lexington, Frankfort, Covington, Louisville, Morehead and Vicco. 

The cities of Danville and Berea are currently in talks regarding the passing of a fairness ordinance. 

Attempts to pass a fairness ordinance in Bowling Green have occurred, but were ignored. 

We believe that it is time to stop ignoring this attempt at progress and fairness. WKU passed an act in January 2011 to ensure that domestic partners received benefits just like any other couple, and it is time for the rest of Bowling Green to follow in the footsteps of the Hill. 

Ironically, some of those opposed to passing the ordinance argue that a fairness ordinance protecting the LGBT community is unfair to heterosexuals. We believe this claim is completely absurd. 

Passing an ordinance like the one in question means that everyone will be treated fairly in the town of Bowling Green. 

To us, being fired simply for who you are and who you are attracted to is a much more serious offense than passing an ordinance that prevents such discrimination. 

This editorial represents the majority opinion of the Herald’s 9-member editorial board.