Reaction: Anti-Discrimination Ordinance Passes
By Bill Hughes
PADUCAH, KY - Reaction to the passage of a new anti-discrimination ordinance in Paducah was polarized, similar to the debate on the issue at Tuesday night's City Commission meeting.

The new ordinance includes age, sexual orientation and gender identity as protected classes by the Human Rights Commission, which investigates discrimination claims. It passed by a 4-1 vote after an amendment to exclude businesses on religious grounds failed by the same margin.

Paducah's Nathan Yancy said it was a great day for the citizens of Paducah.

"This is allowing the respect and the dignity and the equal treatment that the LGBT community deserves, and we're very proud of this moment for our city to be inclusive and show that we're a diverse community that cares about our citizens," Yancy said.

Yancy said he was glad to see a lot of Paducahans come to the meeting to support the ordinance. He pondered how one group's perception of their community could change.

"I was thinking about the youth of Paducah, and how they're going to see this - the LGBT youth - and go, 'you know what? We matter as kids.' We matter as adults. We matter in this community. And I think that's very important," Yancy said.

Kevin Gaunce, Pastor of Grace Fellowship Church in Paducah, said he's disappointed with the outcome. 

"I think there's already things in place for protection and we don't need to single out a particular segment of the population and equate that with a civil rights status," he said.

Gaunce said he's going to get with some like-minded people to investigate if there is anything else they can do while they wait for the Kentucky and U.S. Supreme Courts to rule on cases currently before them.

He said he encouraged his congregation to speak out on the issue in a dignified manner, and some of them shared opinions at the meeting.

Published 12:01 AM, Wednesday Jan. 10, 2018
Updated 09:40 PM, Sunday Jan. 14, 2018

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