Discrimination | Kentucky | News

Kentucky Legislature Overrides Veto of Bill Protecting Right to Discriminate Against Gays Based on Religious Beliefs

Last week I reported that Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear had vetoed House Bill 279, by which a "religious individual could claim an exemption from any law or policy that prohibits discrimination" according to the ACLU, "leaving racial minorities, women, LGBT people and others without adequate protections."

BeshearThe ACLU earlier this month had expressed concern that the bill might be used to undermine existing LGBT Fairness protections for individuals covered by local statutes in Louisville, Lexington, Covington and Vicco, Kentucky.

Tuesday night, the Kentucky legislature voted to override Beshear's veto:

The House's 79-15 vote sent House Bill 279 to the Senate, which voted 32-6 to override the measure.

The one-paragraph bill that stirred strong emotions now will become law in 90 days.

The bill says that government shall not infringe on any person's sincerely held religious beliefs unless it can show with "clear and convincing evidence" some compelling governmental interest for doing so.

Feed This post's comment feed


  1. In other words, if one says one is a Christian it is both a tacit admission of homophobia and a justification at the same time.

    We all knew that!

    Praise Jaheezus

    Posted by: Steve Rider | Mar 28, 2013 7:55:24 AM

  2. 1. Thank you to Kentucky for showing that this really isn't about fiscal issues it's just simple bigotry and hatred that is fueling them.

    2. And if there is an attorney general and a court clerk who feel that it is their religious duty to GRANT a gay couple a marriage license? I'm guessing that the govt. there will interfere so fast it will make their heads spin.

    Posted by: Cam | Mar 28, 2013 7:59:29 AM

  3. thanks GOP! *barf*

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Mar 28, 2013 8:08:47 AM

  4. And now Kentucky will be forced to spend hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars in legal fees to discover that the courts have already decided that freedom of religion is just as liable to be limited as freedom of speech or freedom of the press, and that your superstitions and bigotry do not automatically entitle you to break laws protecting people from discrimination. I would have thought they could have put the money to better use.

    Posted by: candideinnc | Mar 28, 2013 8:33:26 AM

  5. This is embarrassing.

    Posted by: Matthew | Mar 28, 2013 8:44:47 AM

  6. Oh, Kentucky...

    You never cease to amaze us with your backwoods, hillwamp, moonshine-making, cousin-breeding, gay-bashing, bible-thumping, bigoted ways...

    The only good products to come from KY are Jack Daniel's and race horses. Go figure.

    Posted by: johnny | Mar 28, 2013 8:48:28 AM

  7. I hate to do this, but guess I'm gonna have to resort to boycotting bourbon. No, I'm not being sarcastic.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Mar 28, 2013 9:16:37 AM

  8. @Johnny,

    JD is a TN whiskey. It's not bourbon. Think Wild Turkey, Evan Williams, etc.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Mar 28, 2013 9:18:04 AM

  9. You are going to spend years of time and millions of dollars fighting about something that is inconsequential and unconstitutional. That is sad.
    How many children in Kentucky could be better fed and have a better education?
    Why do these men and women (few women) of god feel that discrimination is an acceptable form of lawful discourse in a legislature?
    What would Jesus say?
    What would Jefferson say?
    What would your native son Lincoln say?
    You might even ask your sons and daughters because they will tell you are not the father they thought you were. It is a sad day for Kentucky, but not our nation as we have a constitution that can never let this stand. Being on the wrong side of history is just a sad place for fools, tyrants, and men of little consequence.

    Posted by: Rees Cramer | Mar 28, 2013 9:50:40 AM

  10. It's my sincerely held religious belief that Kentucky is full of devil-worshippers.

    Posted by: tc in bk | Mar 28, 2013 10:30:36 AM

  11. I am all about this. This is like Christmas. Bills like that are just impossible to enforce and their terrible language makes them applicable to anyone, especially the people it intended to protect.

    I love it when bigots overextend like this, way back when they could get away with it, but it just isn't possible now.

    Bigots are this countries little helpers, slowly trolling and destroying the GOP and conservatism with their crazy.

    Posted by: Fenrox | Mar 28, 2013 10:35:55 AM

  12. Christians. Ya gotta love 'em and their twisted, mean, petty little hearts. May disease, floods and pestilence rain down upon the State of Kentucky for the next two decades.

    Posted by: jamal49 | Mar 28, 2013 10:54:29 AM

  13. They are now saying that religion (a made-up belief system and shadow government) is a stronger right than any other right: the rest of the First Amendment (freedom of speech,freedom of assemblage, right to petition), all of the Fifth Amendment and all of the Ninth Amendment. Whatever happened to "your rights stop at my nose"? This has to be unconstitutional.

    Posted by: woodroad34 | Mar 28, 2013 10:56:13 AM

  14. As a non American the only view I clearly held of Kentucky is from old western movies I saw as a child. I guess I can still hold that views without failing to reality.

    Posted by: SayTheTruth | Mar 28, 2013 11:24:49 AM

  15. does this only apply to Christians or do those, you know, "other religions" that the Christian Right hates going to have access to this sorta thing too? ;-)

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Mar 28, 2013 11:30:03 AM

  16. The Founding Fathers didn't write the Constitution or the Bill of Rights with the intention advancing gay rights at all - but we can use them that way now. There are sincerely-held, pro-gay religious beliefs, too. The State will now have to provide compelling justifications for burdening these believers with limitations of their rights relating to: spousal benefits, taxes, marriage etc. It's going to be a litigous shitstorm - but this could get very interesting.

    Posted by: Kipp | Mar 28, 2013 12:02:45 PM

  17. Though this bill was surely intended to target gays there are many other groups who this religious discrimination will hurt. Anti-Semitism is by no means over and there is a LOT of anti-Muslim feeling out there. I suppose one could claim that their bias against mixed-race couples is Biblically based, though I don't know if there are verses to support that.

    In short this is going to be HUGE mess and yeah, it's going to end up costing KY a lot of legal fees before it's gone, which it eventually will be. What kind of idiot could even vote for something like this?

    Posted by: Caliban | Mar 28, 2013 12:36:49 PM

  18. can i throw rocks at a woman who isn't a virgin when she gets married?

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Mar 28, 2013 12:42:06 PM

  19. Oh wait i thought christians are an oppressed group! Gotta need those laws so their rights can be protected you know! You are all ignorant! Your livelihood is not as important as their beliefs (by choice)! How dare you idiots trying to get rid of their rights to discriminate! We can't have that, totally immoral and appalling! Just go and gamble and you will be fine.

    Posted by: rallyx | Mar 28, 2013 3:38:43 PM

Post a comment


« «Towleroad Talking Points: DOMA Before the Supreme Court« «