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Kentucky city to enact protections for gay city workers

Feb. 02, 2013 @ 01:01 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Gay rights advocates have scored another victory in a small eastern Kentucky town as Berea prepares to expand anti-discrimination protections for city employees.

Mayor Steve Connelly announced this week that he will sign an executive order banning discrimination based on actual or perceived sexual orientation in hiring, firing and benefits for the city’s 130 employees.

“Personally I think it’s the right thing to do, and in terms of our city, we were founded in 1853 with the idea that people were going to be treated equal,” Connelly said in a phone interview Friday.

The move follows the drafting of a new gay rights ordinance in the tiny Appalachian town of Vicco that went into effect last month. Vicco’s law bans discrimination against gays in employment and housing in the town of about 330 people.

Berea has considered a similar citywide anti-discrimination ordinance. In 2011, the city council reestablished the city’s Human Rights Commission to gather information and investigate the issue.

Connelly said he would likely sign the executive order for city employees in the next week or so. The city council is also reviewing whether Berea should offer same-sex partner benefits to city employees, he said.
 

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