Kentucky and LGBT Rights

Bill 180 came to be in 2012 because a local t-shirt printer in Lexington was fined by the Lexington Human Rights Commission. He was fined because he refused to...
LGBT rights
Photo credit to distelfliege via flickr

Bill 180 came to be in 2012 because a local t-shirt printer in Lexington was fined by the Lexington Human Rights Commission. He was fined because he refused to print shirts for an event being put on by the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender) community for LGBT pride. Based on prevailing anti-discrimination laws, this printer had no right to deny them service, regardless of the bill in place now. This printer was rightfully fined. The fine was overturned later on, thus the beginning of this bill.

Senator Robinson stated “All of these business owners want to treat everyone with full human dignity and respect.” If this were true, these businesses would be perfectly happy to sell to members of the LGBT community. Bill 180 revoking anti-discrimination laws is completely unethical, and Senator Robinson proves that in the statements he’s made about the bill and the people involved. For example, Robinson stated that “their consciences and religious beliefs prevent them from using their skills to promote a celebration that runs counter to what the Bible teaches about marriage,” referring to the business owners’ refusal to service gays. This statement is contradictory to his statement about treating people with dignity and respect. Are members of the LGBT community not deserving of this respect? This is the question we should be asking Senator Robinson. We have laws in this country that are supposed to prevent this kind of discrimination from happening. We as a people cannot allow this to continue.

The Mayor of Covington Kentucky, [Sherry Carran], did not take too kindly to this. “Our Human Rights Ordinance has been a real positive for Covington, and has led to our city being more inclusive and welcoming,” he said. I agree with the mayor. She is working very hard to protect the rights of ALL people, and not just those with certain religious beliefs on marriage. This is the ethical belief system that this country is based on. “Liberty for all” — not liberty for the “holy.” This country is supposed to be a safe haven for people of all lifestyles, from Christian to atheist. With this bill being passed, we are diminishing the principles of our free country. We can relate this bill back to when business owners would refuse service to African American people. The idea of not serving people because of the color of their skin is exactly the same as turning away people because of their sexuality. One could say this bill’s passage is taking our nation back to the moral equivalent of segregation.

The Mayor also talked about how this discrimination not only affects individuals but the community as a whole. She couldn’t be more right on the matter. It will start to tear the community apart piece by piece, establishing protected classes and protected beliefs as well as establishing groups against whom discrimination is sanctioned. As I previously stated, segregation will no longer be a thing of the past. It will slowly but surely creep up on our nation and take over and no one will bat an eye.

This bill is an ethical abomination, in my opinion. Above all, one should not treat other human beings as inferior. If we start to allow businesses to refuse service to people because of their sexuality we are abandoning the core value of respect for human dignity, because that is exactly what these businesses would be doing. They are treating members of the LBGT community as lesser human beings solely based on their sexual preference. If we as a nation allow this to continue we will slowly destroy the fabric of this nation.

Categories
Ethics Alerts (Op-Ed)
The Latest from GCMLP
  • One Way to Organize is…

    I see five options for dealing with the political world: 1) everything’s cool, disengage, 2) take to the hills with a rifle and some dried food, 3) electoral politics,...
    May 26, 2017
  • ‘Junk Food News’ Distracts from Systemic Issues

    A story about Beyoncé practically exudes “buying mood”. Everyone wants to have her clothes, her makeup, her music, and now her nursery. Celebrities promote consumerism. How could a dead black man possibly compete with that?
    May 2, 2017
  • Lessons from Occupy

    Occupy began in September 2011 for many of the same reasons as the Arab Spring. In both cases, government was not responding to the needs of the people. The...
    April 21, 2017

RELATED BY