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Hundreds gather for forum on proposed LGBT ordinance in Berea, Ky.

Hundreds gather for forum on proposed LGBT ordinance in Berea, Ky.

BEREA, Ky. — A public forum on a proposed ordinance in Berea that would prohibit discrimination against gays has drawn hundreds of residents.

Berea-KYThe Richmond Register reported 275 people were allowed inside the Folk Center on Tuesday night for the forum; others listened on speakers outside the building.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reported supporters and opponents took turns speaking about the proposal before City Council members for nearly two hours.

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Those who opposed the ordinance wore red shirts and sat on one side of the room while supporters wore blue shirts and sat on the other side.

The council held the first reading of its draft ordinance on Sept. 2. The second and final reading is scheduled for Oct. 7. If enacted, the city would become the eighth in Kentucky to pass a law aimed at protecting LGBT people from discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodations, according to The Fairness Campaign, which has lobbied for the measure.

Danny Philpot said Berea is already a fair community to everyone.

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“We’re not as bad as we act like we are,” said Philpot, who opposes the ordinance. “Why fix something that’s not broke?”

Beth Feagan, who supports the ordinance, said it offers future protection.

“Just because you haven’t been denied service doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen.”

The ordinance includes an exemption for people, religious institutions, and charitable organizations if they have a “sincerely held religious belief.”

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