Monday, August 13, 2001

Louisville expected to expand gay rights

The Associated Press

        LOUISVILLE — The Louisville Board of Aldermen is expected Tuesday to break a deadlock and vote to expand the city's gay-rights protections to include housing and public accommodations.

        At least seven of the 12 aldermen say they favor expanding a 1999 law that bans discrimination based on sexual orientation in the workplace — including hiring, pay and promotions.

        The Kentucky Court of Appeals ruled recently that Jefferson County's more sweeping gay-rights law, which includes housing and public accommodations, should also be in force in Louisville.

        Alderwoman Tina Ward-Pugh and Steve Magre, the aldermanic president, said it will be easier for the new Greater Louisville metro council to address the issue if the city and county ordinances are the same.

        The housing provisions make it illegal to refuse to rent to people solely because of their sexual orientation. The public-accommodations measures cover public transportation, retailing and service providers ranging from barber shops to hotels.

        Previously aldermen were presumed stalemated 6-6 on the broader gay-rights regulation.

        But now Alderman Lawrence Montgomery said he also favors the broader ordinance. Citing the recent appellate ruling, he said, “I have always simply wanted to be within the parameters of the law. But until the court ruled, it was uncertain” how widely the county law applied.


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