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Covington Reaffirms Commitment to Human Rights

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COVINGTON, Ky. – The City of Covington reaffirmed its commitment to protecting all persons within the City from discrimination at Tuesday night’s Board of Commissioners meeting.

Approved unanimously, Covington’s Mayor and four Commissioners passed a resolution reaffirming the City’s commitment to its ground-breaking Human Rights Ordinance and its dedication to equal and fair treatment under the law for all citizens and visitors.

“Our Human Rights Ordinance has been a real positive for Covington and has led to our city being more inclusive and welcoming,” said Mayor Sherry Carran. “Allowing discrimination by a business or a government office because they do not endorse a person’s way of life or agree with a person’s beliefs is harmful, both to the individual being discriminated against and to the larger community as a whole.

“This is why Covington, Danville, Frankfort, Lexington, Louisville, Midway, Morehead, and the small Appalachian town of Vicco have all adopted Fairness Ordinances.”

The resolution also stated the City’s opposition to Kentucky Senate Bill 180, which seeks to impose legal protection for businesses which refuse service to gay, lesbian or transgender customers because of the owners’ religious objections.

“We believe if this legislation passes it would create an issue for the enforcement of our local Human Rights Ordinance, as the State legislation could supersede local legislation in this case,” said Frank Warnock, Assistant City Manager and City Solicitor.

Since its passing in April 2003, communities across the region have looked to Covington’s Human Rights Ordinance as an example. The ordinance prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender, race, color, religion, or national origin, as well as discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, ancestry, age, and parental and marital status.

The ordinance also established a procedure for enforcement by creating the City’s Human Rights Commission and imposing penalties for violations.

The Human Rights Commission investigates complaints of human rights violations and proactively works to foster mutual respect and understanding among all members of the City’s community.

Read Covington’s Human Rights Ordinance in full and learn more about the Human Rights Commission.