Rep. Patti Minter plans to reintroduce statewide Fairness Bill

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Patti Minter, a history professor at WKU, is involved in the Bowling Green Fairness group, which is a group working on getting the fairness ordinance passed in Bowling Green.

Debra Murray, Digital News Editor

The Statewide Fairness Act is being reintroduced into the Kentucky House of Representatives by State Rep. Patti Minter (D-Bowling Green) and WKU history professor. Minter announced she was planning to reintroduce the bill on June 1, the start of Pride month.

The bill titled “AN ACT relating to civil rights,” would ban discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. The bill adds to Kentucky’s existing civil rights law, which already prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, sex, and other factors.

Since 1999, Minter has been working in Bowling Green, as the founding member of Bowling Green Fairness Act hoping to pass a fairness ordinance. In 2019, Minter was co-sponsor on the Fairness Act, and is now the primary sponsor on the bill as it is being reintroduced.

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“When I was elected to the General Assembly one of my campaign promises was that I would take this to the state,” Minter said. “I’m proud to be carrying this bill for the last two years. 

The Bowling Green City Commission has voted against the local Fairness Ordinance several times, but twenty-one other cities in Kentucky have officially adopted the ordinance on a local level.

“It’s an uphill battle,” Minter said. “With only a few exceptions, there’s only been two Republicans who have been willing to be co sponsors on fairness, but it’s the right battle.” 

According to Minter, currently 70% of LGBTQ Kentuckians have no civil rights protections where they live.

“I’m deeply committed to making sure that this fairness bill passes,” Minter said. “When people say, ‘How long are you going to keep doing this work?’ My answer is ‘I’m going to keep working on it until it’s done, till everyone has the rights that should belong to us all.’

A frequently asked question about the bill is why a fairness ordinance is needed if the Biden Administration has started to pass executive orders protecting rights of LGBTQ people, Minter said. Her response is that Supreme Court opinions can be reversed, and presidents change.

“This will build upon federal employment protections that the Supreme Court has validated, and that the Biden ministration has issued through executive order,” Minter said. 

Minter is hoping that the legislation she will reintroduce can be passed and enacted statewide.

“I want to make sure that from Paducah to Pikeville, y’all truly means all,” Minter said.

Digital News Editor Debra Murray can be reached at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @debramurrayy