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Georgetown to create Human Rights Commission

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Posted at 1:10 PM, Nov 15, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-15 17:53:51-05

GEORGETOWN, Ky. (LEX 18)  — Georgetown is taking another step towards ending discrimination in its community.

Back in September, it was the 13th city in Kentucky to pass a fairness ordinance, which protects the LGBTQ community against discrimination when it comes to jobs, housing, and public services. Stemming from that, the city now plans to create a Human Rights Commission, which will hear complaints of discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

"The two new protected classes in the fairness ordinance are created by local ordinance,” said Mayor Tom Prather. “Those protections do not exist at the federal level and today they don't exist at the state level in Kentucky, so this is a local ordinance, a local protection, so it's appropriate that we have a local commission."

The commission will be made up of five members appointed by Mayor Tom Prather. When a complaint is legitimate, the commission will decide how to deal with the accused individual or business.

"They have the authority to assign some financial penalties within a very strict range that ranges from $100 to $500, and to ask people to change their behavior,” said Prather.

The accused can appeal the decision to the circuit court. Additionally, the commission may come up with how to handle false complaints.

City council still needs to give final approval before the commission will be created. They expect to do that at their next meeting. Prather hopes to have the commission ready by the beginning of next year.