Tuesday, July 17, 2012, 1:23 pm
(Richmond, KY) Richmond residents will join Cheri Chenault and Destiny Keith, the young lesbian couple ejected from E.C. Million Park last week for sharing a brief kiss, to rally for passage of a local anti-discrimination Fairness law Wednesday, July 18, 5:30 p.m. in front of Richmond City Hall, 239 W. Main St.
Though the Richmond Commission on Human Rights has advocated for a local anti-discrimination Fairness law for more than four years, the City Commission has yet to consider the ordinance, which would prohibit discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression. In Kentucky, only the cities of Covington, Lexington, and Louisville extend such protections to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender citizens.
While there has been some speculation that a local Fairness law would not have protected Chenault and Keith, who were taking maternity photos on a privately funded and operated side of the park, William Sharp, Staff Attorney for the ACLU of Kentucky, said that the park, based on available facts, would be considered a public accommodation subject to anti-discrimination protections, "In the same way a restaurant is privately owned and operated but open to anyone in the public to visit, the privately funded side of E.C. Million Park would likely be considered a public accommodation since it is open to the public to enjoy. Were there a local or statewide anti-discrimination Fairness law in place, the young couple would be protected by that law."
At various points, the Richmond City Commission and City Attorney have claimed a local Fairness ordinance would be too costly to enforce and the city does not have the expertise to handle such discrimination complaints. But last November, the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights proposed to the city commission viable enforcement models that would be budget neutral--adding no additional financial burden to the city's budget--and the Lexington Fair Housing Council and Kentucky Commission on Human Rights both offered training and/or investigation assistance at no cost to the city.
WHAT: Richmond Rally for Fairness
WHEN: Wednesday, July 18, 5:30 p.m.
WHERE: Richmond City Hall, 239 W. Main St., Richmond, KY 40475
WHO: Cheri Chenault and Destiny Keith, lesbian couple ejected from park
Richmond residents in support of Fairness
Bereans for Fairness