Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

November 12, 2013

Fairness ordinance has first reading

Lana Bellamy
The Independent

MOREHEAD — Morehead’s City Council met before a full crowd Monday where they had the first reading of an anti-discriminatory ordinance advocating equal work and housing opportunities for homosexual and transgender citizens.

The ordinance was previously a topic of heated discussion among the Morehead community, drawing large crowds to the meetings at the Morehead Conference Center since first being discussed in September.

Three audience members spoke out in favor of the ordinance, including Morehead State University President Dr. Wayne Andrews.

“I’m proud of you for considering this ordinance,” he said to the council. “Some communities wouldn’t touch this, but this is the right thing to do, and it’s right because in the United States of America we believe everybody should have the opportunity for equality on everything.”

The crowd applauded him after Andrews concluded with statements about MSU’s affirmative action plan and all-encompassing anti-discriminatory policies.

Council member Glenn Teager also showed strong support of the fairness bill.

“This is something we shouldn’t have to do,” he said, explaining it should be natural not to discriminate based on sexual orientation.

Other council members, particularly Carolyn Franzini and Tom Carew, seconded Teager’s comments in support of the fairness ordinance’s fruition.

 After no objections were made, the ordinance easily passed through its first reading.

Morehead Mayor David Perkins, who presided over the meeting, said the ordinance will have its second reading in December, after which it becomes law.

Morehead will join the five other Kentucky cities (Lexington, Louisville, Covington, Vicco and Frankfort) that have employed similar fairness laws within the last 10 years.

Other items on the agenda included discussion of safer bicycling and walking paths throughout the city, funding for new Freedom Dodge police cruisers for the Morehead City Police and Andrews discussed the university’s new master plan that will be complete by the end of December.

MSU is also working on a new strategic plan that Andrews said focuses on program growth, enrollment and improving residential life, which should be complete by May or June.

LANA BELLAMY can be reached at lbellamy@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2653.