The bill’s fate was similar in the Republican controlled Senate an hour later. Democratic Senators Morgan McGarvey, D-Louisville, and Kathy Stein, D-Lexington, spoke against the bill. McGarvey cautioned against legal problems the bill might present while Stein expressed concern about the law’s effect on locally passed fairness ordinances, guaranteeing civil rights to gay people.
But in the end, the veto was overridden in the Senate, 32-6.
Voting to sustain Beshear’s veto in religiously conservative Kentucky was a tough choice even for some who may have harbored misgivings about the unintended consequences of the bill. They faced the prospect of the vote being used against them in the next campaign.
It was the first time one of Beshear’s vetoes has been overridden. He released the following statement:
“I am disappointed in the General Assembly’s override of my veto of HB279,” said Beshear. “As I explained in my veto message, I have significant concerns that this bill will cause serious unintentional consequences that could threaten public safety, health care, and individuals’ civil rights.”