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Fairness group rallies against House Bill 279

By: Melissa Etezadi Email
By: Melissa Etezadi Email

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - Those against House Bill 279 gathered on Wednesday in Frankfort to voice their concerns about the bill, urging Governor Beshear to veto it.

The bill passed through both the senate and the house with ease.
Supporters of the bill say it's designed to protect religious freedoms.
However, those against it disagree, stating that could legally open the door to discrimination.

"It is so broadly written that it truly opens the door for discrimination in the commonwealth," explains Chris Hartman, Director of the Fairness Organization. "it could avert civil rights protections at the municipal level or the state level."

Representatives from more then fifty organizations were at the meeting. Each taking turns expressing their concerns about what House Bill 279 could do.

"If someone claims to have a sincerely held religious belief, they could challenge the laws," explains Hartman. "For example, deciding not to rent to say a lesbian couple or a gay man because of their religious beliefs. These are just some of the things that could very well happen."

The bill's sponsor, Democratic Represenative Robert Damron says those fears are unfounded.

Those against it say, "it is irresponsibly broadly written and it opens the door for these possible civil rights violations and that's not acceptable."

According to the Human Rights Commission, there is no Federal Law that protects people from employment discrimination based on sexual orientation.


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