The city council chambers overflowed with citizens and Murray State students Nov. 13 when the Murray City Council convened to discuss revisions to the Human Rights Ordinance pertaining to the LGBT community.
The Human Rights Ordinance regulates civil liberties of residents in Murray. It does not list sexual orientation or sexual identity for protection, like it does for race or gender.
“To say that’s all we are adding would be an over-simplification,” said Jody Cofer Randall, chair of the Human Rights Commission.
Under the proposed changes it would be unlawful, based upon race, color, religion, natural origin, sex, age (over 40), gender identity, sexual orientation, familial status or physical disability of any type, to discriminate in employment, public accommodations or housing practices.
More than 75 emails from concerned citizens were submitted to the Murray City Council in the 24 hours before the meeting regarding the revisions.
Although Cofer Randall planned to present the commission’s recommendations, he decided to put it on hold due to the overwhelming negative response.
Revisions have been in the works for three years, said Jane Shoemaker, city council member.
Shoemaker said there was some confusion about the ordinance the Human Rights Commission will work to clear up.
“There’s a lot of fear and misconception and we want to straighten this out,” she said.
The Human Rights Commission will meet at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 8 to review the community’s input. The commission encouraged the public to attend and offer their thoughts directly.