The Bowling Green City Commission struck down the second read of the fairness ordinance Tuesday night in a 3-to-2 vote.
The vote came after the commission heard from over 80 Bowling Green residents. Commissioner Brian "Slim" Nash kept a tally of the speakers and said that 55 speakers were in favor of passing the ordinance while 30 speakers were opposed.
Nash and Dana Beasley-Brown were the commissioners who voted in favor of the ordinance. Joe Denning, Sue Parrigin and Mayor Bruce Wilkerson voted against the ordinance.
“I believe that LGBTQ individuals are subject to discrimination including harassment, bullying and intimidation in Bowling Green, Kentucky, everyday,” Nash said.
Nash shared a voicemail he received on Tuesday at 10:09 a.m. that he said was “reinforcement” of the discrimination in Bowling Green.
“Maybe you like the funny bunnies a whole lot more than some people but me, my family, my neighborhood, and my church do not like this idea,” the voicemail said. There was no identifying information of the person from the message.
The ordinance changed codes “to add language prohibiting discrimination in housing accommodations and employment on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, prohibiting discrimination in public accommodations on the basis of disability, race, religion, national origin, sex, color, sexual orientation and gender identity, and providing for certain exceptions and exclusions to such prohibitions, including an exception for burdening freedom of religion,” according to the text of the ordinance.
Representative Patti Minter was in attendance at the commission meeting. After the meeting, Minter stood on the front steps of Bowling Green City Hall, where she addressed the crowd gathered outside.
“We can’t lie and say that that is the result we wanted,” Minter said. “They discriminated against people who’ve shown more courage than anyone else I’ve seen in this city.”
During the meeting, the commission also passed ordinances relating the right-of-way by consent and municipal orders about a variety of things. There were 21 other items on the agenda before the fairness ordinance.
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