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Paducah City Commission Adding Language Regarding Religious Beliefs To HRC Ordinance

Matt Markgraf, WKMS

  The Paducah City Commission postponed a vote this week on changes to the Human Rights Commission until January. Officials want more time to include language regarding religious beliefs.

The commission read a proposed ordinance last week that shifts the HRC focus to LGBTQ issues.

Commissioners this week added to the proposal that a business must not be forced to participate in a ceremony or activity that would violate their religious beliefs.

City Attorney David Denton admitted during the meeting that he didn't know how to define how a business would participate in a "ceremony," but he offered a non-LGBTQ example of how the language might work.

“If you own a tshirt shop and they come in and they want a white tshirt, sell it to them like you would the public," Denton said. "But if they want to put some sort of satanic message on there where they worship the devil- and that’s not your religious belief, then you should be able to say ‘I’m not doing that.”


The commission will vote on a revised ordinance in January. The next reading will include the additional language regarding religious beliefs.


Some religious groups say LGBTQ rights violate their beliefs. The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to make a decision on this issue in 2018.


Taylor is a recent Murray State University graduate where she studied journalism and history. When she's not reporting for WKMS, she enjoys creative writing and traveling. She loves writing stories that involve diversity, local culture and history, nature and recreation, art and music, and national or local politics. If you have a news tip or idea, shoot her an email at!
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