Louisville Fairness Campaign http://wfpl.org en Will Kentucky 'Religious Freedom' Bill Gut Protections for Women, Minorities and Gay Residents? http://wfpl.org/post/will-kentucky-religious-freedom-bill-gut-protections-women-minorities-and-gay-residents <p>Joining other civil rights group, the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights is urging Governor Steve Beshear to block a <a href="http://www.lrc.ky.gov/record/13RS/HB279.htm">bill that would allow people to ignore laws and regulations violating their religious beliefs</a>.</p><p>Last week, the Democratic-controlled House overwhelmingly approved HB 279 by an 82-7 vote. It has now moved on the state Senate, where observers predict it is likely to pass in the GOP-controlled chamber.</p><p>Supporters say the bill strengthens the rights for people of faith and clarifies religious freedom in state law. But civil rights groups such as the ACLU of Kentucky and Louisville Fairness Campaign argue it will gut protections for women, racial minorities and gay residents.</p><p>John Johnson, executive director of the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights, tells WFPL the commission agrees "wholeheartedly" with civil rights proponents, adding there is a potential risk for people to use their faith to discriminate.</p><p>"If this bill is adopted people can hide behind religious freedoms and discriminate in anyway they feel. They could say based on my religion I don’t think I should serve people based on interracial marriage. I don’t believe I should serve people because they are of a different religion," he says. "People can hide behind it in anyway, and it just makes it more difficult for the human rights agencies to pursue equality in our state."</p><p> Tue, 05 Mar 2013 19:19:23 +0000 Phillip M. Bailey 4338 at http://wfpl.org Will Kentucky 'Religious Freedom' Bill Gut Protections for Women, Minorities and Gay Residents? Fairness Campaign Praises Landmark Extension of LGBT Protections http://wfpl.org/post/fairness-campaign-praises-landmark-extension-lgbt-protections <p>Louisville Fairness Campaign leaders are praising a landmark decision by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which <a href="http://www.scribd.com/doc/90910497/EEOC-Ruling">ruled that discrimination based on gender identity qualifies as sex discrimination</a> under existing federal law.</p><p>The decision is being <a href="http://www.metroweekly.com/news/?ak=7288">heralded as a &quot;sea change&quot; by gay rights advocates</a> and came about as part of a resolution to a case filed by Mia Macy and the Transgender Law Center in California. Macy says she was denied a job as a ballistics technician at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms because she is transgendered.</p><p><!--more-->Louisville Fairness Campaign Director Chris Hartman says the EEOC&#39;s decision is a landmark achievement for the gay rights movement and elevates a marginalized community.</p><p>&quot;This is huge for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, but particularly transgendered community. What this decision does is really elevate the transgender community to a level of protections that not even lesbian, gay and bisexual individuals enjoy on a federal level,&quot; he says.</p><p> Tue, 24 Apr 2012 22:57:04 +0000 Phillip M. Bailey 44 at http://wfpl.org