Kentucky has brought forth three bills concerning the LGBTQ community. One aims to revoke an outdated law criminalizing same-sex relations, another targets the ban of "conversion therapies," and the third strives to prevent discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
The old law that criminalized sexual relations between two men or women is currently no longer in use. It was struck down in 1992 by the Kentucky Supreme Court, but it is still among Kentucky's laws. A bill aims to remove this outdated provision once and for all!
Rep. Kim Banta (photo by LRC Public Information)
"I feel like it makes us look unfriendly to businesses who may be trying to come into Kentucky. When businesses are coming in, you want to have diversity, you want to be inclusive, and I just feel like that's kind of a slap in the face," said Rep. Kim Banta, a Republican from Fort Mitchell, who is the bill's sponsor.
A bill to ban "conversion therapies" has also been introduced in Kentucky. The language of the law sets strict guidelines for what mental health professionals can do, making it clear that they are not allowed to use this practice as a way of "changing" someone's sexual orientation or gender identity.
However, the bill will grant an exemption for religious leaders.
The sponsors of this bill are Kim Banta and Democratic representatives Lisa Willner, Joni Jenkins, Nima Kulkarni, Attica Scott, and Buddy Wheatley.
Last year a first attempt to ban "conversion therapies" failed. There was no vote, so we hope this time it goes further, finally stopping these hideous acts in Kentucky!
Finally, the third bill would ban discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in the state. This legislation is sponsored by Democratic lawmakers.
These bills are fantastic to advance LGBTQ rights in Kentucky, even though it might be a bit tough to stomach that Kim Banta is sponsoring two LGBTQ-related bills as she is pro-gun and anti-abortion. I'm not very happy about it, but I hope these bills get approved because they are important for LGBTQ people in Kentucky.
These bills will all be discussed during the upcoming legislative session beginning in January 2022.