Covering Kentucky

Jan 14, 2013 2:23 PM

Vicco, Kentucky Approves LGBT Fairness Law

On Monday, the Fairness Coalition joined the Appalachian town of Vicco, Kentucky as they approved the state's first lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) anti-discrimination Fairness ordinance in a decade.

The measure, which prohibits discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations based upon a person's actual or perceived sexual orientation and gender identity, received support from three of the city's four-member commission and Mayor Johnny Cummings.

Vicco joins three other cities in the commonwealth with anti-discrimination Fairness protections--Covington, which passed an ordinance in 2003, Lexington, and Louisville, which both approved laws in 1999.

Situated in the southern tip of Perry County in the Appalachian mountain region, Vicco was incorporated in 1964 and currently boasts a population of 334 residents, according to 2010 U.S. Census data. It is nestled in the heart of coal country and was originally named for Virginia Iron Coal and Coke Company, a large land business still operating in the region.

"Vicco is a community that believes all folks should be treated fairly," shared Vicco City Attorney Eric Ashley. "We believe everyone deserves the opportunity for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Fairness is a Kentucky value, a Vicco value, and one of our most American values."

Vicco's passage of a Fairness law comes on the heels of several other Kentucky communities' movements towards anti-discrimination protections through work with the Fairness Coalition of the American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky (ACLU-KY), Fairness Campaign, Kentucky Commission on Human Rights, Kentucky Fairness Alliance, and Lexington Fairness. In November, grassroots movements for Fairness began in Bowling Green, Elizabethtown, and Shelbyville, joining those already under way in Berea and Richmond.

According to a 2010 survey by The Schapiro Group, 83% of Kentuckians support anti-discrimination Fairness protections, which have been proposed in the Kentucky General Assembly for more than ten years without debate. Lexington Senator Kathy Stein has introduced Statewide Fairness Senate Bill 28 in the 2013 legislative session. Louisville Representative Mary Lou Marzian will introduce an identical bill in the House along with an anti-bullying/harassment law for Kentucky schools. Fairness supporters from all across the commonwealth will rally at the Capitol in Frankfort Wednesday, February 20.

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