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Kentucky

Vicco, Ky., becomes smallest U.S. town to adopt LGBT fairness law

Monday, January 14, 2013
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VICCO, Ky. — The Appalachian town of Vicco, Ky., on Monday approved the state’s first LGBT-inclusive anti-discrimination ordinance in a decade.

The “fairness ordinance,” 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.

With a population of 334 residents, Vicco is believed to be the smallest municipality in America with such an ordinance, according to advocates.

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

“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 laws 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 percent of Kentuckians support anti-discrimination fairness protections, which have been proposed in the Kentucky General Assembly for more than ten years without debate.

State Sen. Kathy Stein (D-Lexington) has introduced statewide fairness bill in 2013 legislative session; Rep. Mary Lou Marzian (D-Louisville) 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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