County officials say a non-discrimination, or fairness, ordinance has been drafted, and that it’s currently being examined by County commissioners and residents of Daviess County who proposed and supported the ordinance.
The non-discrimination ordinance is an extension to an existing local law that allows the LGBTQ community to be included as one of the Human Relations Commission’s protected classes. The HRC can currently protect housing, employment and public accommodation discrimination based on age, race, national origin, gender, religion, and several other itemized classes, but cannot protect those in the LGBTQ community.
According to Owensboro resident and non-discrimination ordinance proponent Chad Benefield, each of Kentucky’s 14 fairness ordinances that have been enacted in different cities is written slightly different from the next. Benefield and Daviess County Judge-Executive Al Mattingly said Daviess County’s non-discrimination ordinance has been modeled after Georgetown’s.
“It’s modeled after Georgetown’s, with some differences,” Mattingly said.
Benefield agreed, adding that he and a group of fairness ordinance supporters sat down to read through and analyze Georgetown’s ordinance.
“At the last fairness ordinance meeting, we were taking turns reading it aloud and asking, ‘Does this make sense to you?’” he said. “We are working to read through it and familiarize ourselves with it. We have somebody on our team who’s agreed to sit down with the draft copy and bullet point ten of the most important aspects of the ordinance to make it easier to understand.”
The next step for Benefield and his group will be to study Daviess County’s ordinance and understand the similarities and differences between the local ordinance and Georgetown’s.
Benefield said ordinances like this one often get mischaracterized because of a lack of familiarity with them, so it’s important to him to understand all the ins and outs of the legal document.
County Attorney Claud Porter said that after each County commissioner has reviewed the ordinance in its entirety, the ordinance will be added to a Fiscal Court agenda when the time is appropriate.