Governor Restores Job Protections For Gay State Employees

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Gov. Steve Beshear signed an executive
order Monday setting up an advisory panel for state employees to
discuss their job concerns with his administration.
Beshear said the move does not give state employees collective
bargaining rights, but gives them a greater voice. Employees may,
however, join labor unions and be represented by them in talks with
the state, Beshear said.
"Fair and equitable treatment of all employees is essential to
the effective operation of government," Beshear said at a press
conference announcing the move.
Beshear, a Democrat who was elected governor in November, also
re-established the state Labor Cabinet and restored specific
protections that prohibit discrimination against state employees
who are gay or transgendered.
Former Gov. Ernie Fletcher, Beshear's Republican predecessor,
abolished the Governor's Employee Advisory Council, dropped the
Labor Cabinet to a department within a larger state agency and
stripped the protections for gay and transgendered employees.
Beshear says state employees do not have to join or pay dues to
unions and they are prohibited from striking.
State employees are prohibited by state law from collective
bargaining, Beshear said. Nevertheless, opening lines of
communication can give state employees a voice in their wages,
hours and other aspects of their jobs, Beshear said.
"While this is certainly not a perfect situation, it does give
public employees another avenue to communicate with the governor,"
Beshear said. "And I think that's always good."
Maurice "Mo" Davison, director for the United Auto Workers
Region 3, said his group had worked toward organizing some of
Kentucky's state government workers before the advisory council was
"People just want a voice in the workplace," Davison said.
Christina Gilgor, executive director of the Kentucky Fairness
Alliance, said in a statement she was thrilled by Beshear's move.
"It's another fine example of the critical role individual
states play in advancing justice for all Americans," Gilgor said.
"Kentucky's fair-minded majority has a reason to celebrate."

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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  • by disgruntled Location: ky on Jun 4, 2008 at 05:41 PM
    hey mykeez: spoken like a true who insists on cramming this stuff down the rest of our necks all the while saying it's in the name of equal rights.. since you insist on asking frivolous rhetorical ?'s then let me ask you this--if 2 potential employees were interviewing for the same job with similar qualifications and one was straight and one was gay who do you think would get the job??..I'll answer my own ?--the straight one would be back in the unemployment line because the employer would fear a civil lawsuit of discrimination because of issues just like much for equal rights...and again- if you're going to quote scriptures then put them in their place...
  • by mykeez on Jun 4, 2008 at 08:32 AM
    Hey disgruntled, religious FREEDOM is just that, free to choose what YOU believe. But taxes are paid by all. I don't see how you "think" you are supporting a "lifestyle". As I said, and you never answered, would you want a gay person who works hard as a state employee or a heterosexual who sits on his (edited) all day taking your tax $$ ? You are free to disagree, but when your views sets policy, it's discrimination. I do believe there are atheists in the workforce as well. Do they deserve to be fired for that religious freedom. I suggest you study the history books instead of the bible. The last time our government and churches meshed so called "christians" burned girls and widows alive while screaming "witch witch" remember??? How are your liberties diminished? Who stopped you from going to church last Sun? NO ONE!! Liberty is not prejudice. Again "whatsoever you do unto the least among you, you do unto Me?
  • by disgruntled Location: ky on Jun 3, 2008 at 06:16 PM
    And another thing - where are all the politicians who are trying to make protective child services better; and make medicare better; and make special needs education improvements; and improve our public school systems; and protect our children from preditors..etc, etc??? You don't hear much about that "sort of stuff" very often because that no longer seems as important to civil liberty judges as this whole issue... When the poor, the unborn, the elderdly, the citizens with disabilites have as many rights as gays, then we'll be a democracy..
  • by disgruntled Location: ky on Jun 3, 2008 at 05:55 PM
    MYKEEZ: Various rebuttles to your comments. 1. Why should I be expected to support that type of lifestyle? If you can be for it then why can't I be against it? 2. A big reason our government was founded to begin with was what??? You guessed it--religious freedom. Ravenous wolves have since came along and spied out our liberties to destroy that though.. 3. No where did I say anyone should mistreat anyone else. I'm just tired of having the whole alternative-lifestyle- thing forced down my neck. I disagree and I'm entitled... 4. God said the nation who turns their back on Him is in grave danger... 5. About the scripture you quoted--The point of this parable is the importance of serving other followers of Jesus not every special interest group that comes along. He was speaking to other followers about acts of kindness each individual believer did for other believers. If you're going to quote scripture then at least put it where it belongs.
  • by sharon Location: frankfort on Jun 3, 2008 at 08:19 AM
    Good job Governor, I like your courage and I would vote for you again just for trying to fix things here in Frankfort.
  • by kate Location: lex on Jun 3, 2008 at 08:12 AM
    This about basic rights being protected, not about Adam & Eve why is that so hard to seperate after all they too are taxpayers and citizens.
  • by mykeez Location: Ca on Jun 3, 2008 at 08:10 AM
    To disgruntled and Me, would you rather have your tax $$ paying for a gay state employee who does their job well, or a heterosexual who sits on his a-- all day and does nothing? And regarding the "religious" issue, there isn't one!! Religion has nothing to do with government. There are atheists, Muslims, Hindus, etc and they can still work. If you want to quote your Bible how about trying "whatsoever you do unto the least among you, you do unto Me". Remember who said that??!!
  • by Diane Location: Mt. Sterling on Jun 3, 2008 at 08:06 AM
    Can't afford pensions, teacher's medical benefits, increases in higher education BUT we can afford extend benefits to homosexual partners of state employees. HMMM Sounds like a priority to me. I especially like the patronizing remark about the "fair minded majority." The majority is rarely consulted when it comes to homosexuality. They use the courts routinely against the will of the people when they don't get their way.In California ONE judge overturned a majority vote AGAINST gay marriage. Bye Bye Democracy!
  • by DISGRUNTLED Location: kY on Jun 3, 2008 at 07:05 AM
    Someone remind me again why Ky, a mostly Christian state, is still a Democratic territory? It boggles my mind how we can go to church on Sunday and then go to the polls to put someone in our offices to use our tax money to help further gays and abortion rights....Truly mind boggling...
  • by bill on Jun 3, 2008 at 05:16 AM
    you can bet the republicans would never have done such a good thing, they're to stuck on themselves.
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