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Bowling Green City Commission to Review 'Fairness Ordinance'

Lisa Autry

The Bowling Green City Commission is set to hear the first reading of a set of civil rights measures known as a "fairness ordinance" at its meeting Tuesday.

The proposal would prohibit discrimination in housing, employment and public accomodations on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

Commissioner Brian "Slim" Nash previously introduced the protections, but did not receive the second needed to bring them to a vote. He says that's when he decided not to reintroduce the ordinance until there was a shift in the makeup of the board.

With the addition of Commissioner Dana Beasley Brown to the board this year, Nash is renewing his efforts.

"So I think it's time again to test the temperature of the commission, as to whether or not they believe in civil rights," Nash said.

Bowling Green is the largest city in Kentucky to not have a fairness ordinance. Ten cities in the bluegrass state have approved one so far, including Louisville, Lexington and Paducah.

Tuesday's reading will likely be the first time the city's board will have to take an explicit stand on the measure.

"I think that as an elected official, you are resposnbile for stating your public position on issues regardless of whether you're in a meeting or not," Nash said. He added, the proposal will receive a second reading on May 7 regardless of whether it passes at the first reading.

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