Only one month remains in the current city commission’s tenure, but despite their lack of success the past two years, advocates of a “Fairness Ordinance” haven’t given up on winning over Richmond’s governing body.
Although repeated appeals since January 2011 have been listened to politely, no action has been taken on the proposal to ban discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgendered people in housing, employment or public accommodations.
Tuesday night’s remarks by two speakers during the commission’s public comment period also was part of stepped-up efforts by the statewide Fairness Campaign.
Actions by Richmond Residents for Fairness and Bereans for Fairness have inspired residents of Bowling Green, Elizabethtown and Shelbyville to launch similar campaigns, Marianne McAdam told the commission. Similar efforts also will be made in Danville and Owensboro, she said.
“The vast majority of Kentuckians,” 83 percent, “agree that everyone should be accorded the opportunity to earn a living, put a roof over their head and eat at their favorite restaurant without fear of being turned away just because of who they are.”
The issue is “deeply personal” to her, McAdam said, “because she recently married a woman legally in New York state and unofficially in Kentucky.”
After being married to a man for 27 years, she is well aware of the legal differences between being married to a woman instead of a man. She cannot file a joint tax return with her spouse, for example. Her wife gave up her first teaching job in Madison County because of the way she was treated at her school.
Richmond has the opportunity to become a civil rights leader in Kentucky by passing “a simple act of legislation” that would ban discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodations, McAdam said.
The issue is not a matter of religion, she said, but of basic human rights.
Lisa Day said she wanted to “clarify a few misconceptions” about the Fairness Ordinance proposal.
It is not just about protecting lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgendered people, she said. It also would protect straight people whose sexuality is not perceived as such.
The current proposal would exempt religious organizations as well as businesses with no more than two employees and landlords who rent no more than two rooms, Day said. The city commission also could impose its own limitations in the ordinance it passes, she said.
In general, however, a Fairness Ordinance “would be great for business,” Day said. All of the Fortune 500 companies that do business in Kentucky prohibit discrimination against LGBT individuals and prefer to locate in communities where they know their employees will not face discrimination, she said.
Mayor Jim Barnes thanked both McAdam and Day for their remarks, but neither he nor other members of the commission offered any comments.
Bill Robinson can be reached at editor@
or at 624-6690.
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EKU wins OVC tourney
The Eastern Kentucky University Colonels are OVC champions and are headed to the Big Dance.
Hot early shooting propelled EKU to a thrilling 79-73 win over defending champion Belmont Saturday in the championship game of the OVC Tournament.
The Colonels receive the OVC's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
The win gave EKU it's sixth OVC Conference Tournament title.
The Colonels hit four consecutive three pointers to open the game and led by as many as 15 points in the first half.
Corey Walden led all scorers in the game with 29 points, including 10-of-11 free throws. Glenn Cosey finished with 23 points on 5-of-8 shooting on three-pointers and Tarius Johnson added 15 points and five rebounds.
Veteran certification officer fired from EKU
Accusations of cheating on an online test led to the firing of an 18-year Eastern Kentucky University employee Wednesday.
Retha Sandlin, formerly a veteran certification officer in the Burnam House for EKU’s student veterans, said the decision resulted from a misunderstanding on the part of Jaime Roberts, the house’s interim office manager.
Proposed bill takes aim at heroin problem
Proposed legislation before the Kentucky General Assembly aims to combat the state’s growing heroin problem using three strategies – education, treatment and law enforcement aid.
Sen. Jared Carpenter, R-Berea, is one of the sponsors of Senate Bill 5. The bill was passed in the Senate earlier this year, 36-1, and is waiting to be heard by the House Judiciary Committee.
New kid at the market
A three-day old black-and-white goat named Ellsa was the star Saturday morning at the new Richmond Downtown Farmers Market.
The Nubian goat mix was brought to the weekly market by Four Sisters Farm. Located off Four Mile Road in Madison County, the farm specializes in goat products.
Hundreds turn out for fishing team’s fundraiser
Madison Central High School’s bass fishing team got a boost Saturday when its first-ever Fishing Tackle Swap turned out to be a huge success.
About 500 buyers showed up to check out what the 38 vendors had to offer. At least 17 of the vendors were from outside Madison County. There were even a few boats for sale.
Pets of the Week from the Madison County Animal Shelter
The Madison County Animal Shelter is located at 1386 Richmond Road in Berea. Shelter hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Animals available for adoption can be seen from noon to close Monday through Saturday.
Feds deny giving OK to selenium standards
When lawmakers wrestled last year with new standards for releasing selenium into streams by coal mines and industry, they were assured by state officials the proposals were based on sound science and approved by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials.
Eastern students practice fire fighting in burning building
Thick barrels of smoke rolled out of the room as nearby observers could feel the fire’s heat on their faces. Furniture and drywall fueled the blaze. Flames licked the top of the door frame and the flat ceiling.
Airport planning mock disaster drill
Madison Airport officials and Eastern Kentucky University are making plans for a mock disaster drill tentatively scheduled for August.
Prior 'bad acts' to be allowed in Marcum murder trial
A Madison Circuit judge ruled Friday that prior “bad acts” of murder defendant Christina Marcum may be admitted during her upcoming trial.
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