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Fairness Ordinance Fails Before Bowling Green City Commission

Lisa Autry, WKYU

Bowling Green will not become the next Kentucky city to enact a fairness ordinance that would have banned discrimination against the LGBT community. 

The measure failed during a city commission meeting Tuesday afternoon. 

Supporters of the fairness ordinance chanted ‘shame’ when no other commissioner made a second motion to approve the proposed ordinance introduced by Commissioner Slim Nash. 

The measure would have extended civil rights protections to the LGBT community in areas such as housing and employment.

In an overflow crowd on the lawn of city hall was Gina Vervilles whose son is gay.  He was raised in Bowling Green, but Vervilles says he moved away because he no longer feels accepted here.  She expressed disappointment in city leaders.

"I respect them.  I voted for all of them, but I think they're very wrong on this," Vervilles told WKU Public Radio.  "They need to do a lot of research because the message they're sending is that the LGBT community is second-class citizens, and we really don't care."

Commissioner Nash said the issue isn’t going away and asked for the fairness ordinance to be placed on the agenda for the commission’s working session on March 7. 

"I served on this Bowling Green City Commission eight years previously and I've never seen a crowd like this show up at a meeting for any issue we were discussing," Nash told the crowd.

Bowling Green remains the largest Kentucky city without a law banning discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation.

© 2017 WKU Public Radio

Lisa is a Scottsville native and WKU alum. She has worked in radio as a news reporter and anchor for 18 years. Prior to joining WKU Public Radio, she most recently worked at WHAS in Louisville and WLAC in Nashville. She has received numerous awards from the Associated Press, including Best Reporter in Kentucky. Many of her stories have been heard on NPR.
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