Vicco fairness law continues to draw controversy

VICCO, Ky. (WYMT) - A large group of people came to Monday's city council meeting in Vicco to voice their concerns about the city's new fairness ordinance. Cameras were also there from a national TV show!

Since Vicco enacted the fairness ordinance last month, the tiny Perry County town has attracted national media attention. While many support the new law, a number of people who came to Monday's meeting say it does more harm than good.

Community members packed the small room where the Vicco City Council meets, voicing their concerns about the city's new fairness ordinance.

"These people are after special benefits, special priviledges," said Truman Hurt, "and you can't do that and live in a free country."

The city's attorney did his best to explain the ordinance, which bans discrimination based on either real or perceived sexual orientation. Vicco's mayor says the Q and A session went well.

"Just the fact that all these people have enough interest in their community to show up at this meeting and so show support shows me that I'm not wasting my time doing this and that made me real proud," said mayor John Cummings.

The mayor says there were a lot of misconceptions floating around about the fairness ordinance. He says after this meeting he hopes more people will understand what the law means.

Vicco has made national headlines ever since it passed the fairness ordinance last month. A TV crew with The Colbert Report, a satirical news show on the Comedy Central network, recorded Monday's meeting. Mayor Cummings says his city is rising above the negative stereotypes of Eastern Kentucky.

"If the majority of the community can understand this in Appalachia, then that shows to the nation that we're one step ahead of what they think we are," he said.

The mayor says while not everyone is pleased with the fairness law, the fact that it can be discussed with civility is a sign of progress.

All the national attention has led a number of TV networks to take interest in Vicco, and the city is considering taking part in a reality series about life there.

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