City Commission votes against Fairness Ordinance in final reading

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – The Bowling Green City Commission has officially decided against an ordinance that would prohibit housing and employment discrimination toward the city’s LGBTQ community.

On Tuesday evening, commissioners voted the same way they did during the first reading of the Fairness Ordinance last month.

In the end, Mayor Bruce Wilkerson and Commissioners Sue Parrigin and Joe Denning said NO, while Commissioners Dana Beasley Brown and Slim Nash voted YES.

The decision came after more than four hours of public comment. Nearly 90 people spoke at the meeting, the majority of them supporters.

“Fairness is a foregone conclusion in Bowling Green,” said, Paul Carter, a supporter of the ordinance who spoke with WNKY after the meeting. “The majority of the people want it and we will have it.”

Opponents argued, that if passed, the measure would infringe on religious freedoms.

The three no votes would not comment on their decisions immediately following the decision. At the conclusion of the meeting, WNKY asked Wilkerson why he voted the way he did.

“People are welcome to come and express their opinion and those who are voted to represent the community will express their opinion as well,” said Wilkerson.

After the final vote, supporters held a rally outside of City Hall, where Nash and Beasley Brown spoke, along with Democratic State Rep. Patti Minter.

If the measure had passed, the city would have become the 11th in the state to implement a Fairness Ordinance.

Commissioners Slim Nash and Dana Beasley Brown voted in favor of the Fairness Ordinance, while Mayor Bruce Wilkerson and Commissioners Sue Parrigin and Joe Denning voted against.

The public comment portion of the meeting saw nearly 90 speakers take the podium to address the City Commission.

55 speakers were in favor of the ordinance and 30 were against it, according to City Commissioner Brian “Slim” Nash.