With a five to three vote of the fiscal court, Woodford County, population 26,368, became the first Kentucky County in two decades to approve a Fairness Ordinance prohibiting LGBTQ discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations. Jefferson County was the last county-wide municipal government to approve the measure in October 1999 before merging with the city of Louisville. Lexington-Fayette County's merged government also approved a Fairness Ordinance in July 1999.
Both Midway and Versailles, the two incorporated cities in Woodford County, previously approved Fairness Ordinances in 2015 and 2019 respectively. The vote makes Woodford County the eighteenth municipality in Kentucky with LGBTQ discrimination protections.
"This is a significant stride in ensuring that all members of our communities are protected from discrimination," said Woodford County Magistrate Liles Taylor, who introduced the ordinance. "Because of community leaders like those in Midway and Versailles, we’re seeing growing momentum for Fairness in cities across the Commonwealth. But as a rural state, many community members are left unprotected from discrimination simply because they live and/or work outside the city limits. This victory for equality will hopefully spark other counties to do the same."
The eighteen Kentucky municipalities with local Fairness Ordinances cover more than a quarter of the state's population—Louisville (1999), Lexington (1999), Covington (2003), Vicco (2013), Frankfort (2013), Morehead (2013), Danville (2014), Midway (2015), Paducah (2018), Maysville (2018), Henderson (2019), Dayton (2019), Georgetown (2019), Versailles (2019), Bellevue (2019), Highland Heights (2019), Fort Thomas (2020), and Woodford County (2020).
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the introduction of a Statewide Fairness Law, which has only received two informational hearings in the Kentucky General Assembly, and never a vote. A Statewide Fairness Rally in support of LGBTQ rights will be held Wednesday, February 19 at 1:30 p.m. ET in the Kentucky Capitol Rotunda.