Director, Commonwealth Policy Center

Paducah city commissioners are considering two religious liberty amendments to a controversial ordinance that passed last year.  The original ordinance added gender identity and sexual orientation to its list of civil rights in areas of housing, employment, and public accommodations. An amendment to protect the religious liberty of Paducah residents was voted down but since two new commissioners have joined city government there appears to be momentum in favor of a religious freedom amendment.  In either case, opposition to any amendment is strong. Similar ordinances in other communities have been used to bully business owners who don't want to promote messages that violate their religious beliefs. The U.S. Supreme Court reminded us last year that religion is a protected civil rights category. We'll find out soon if Paducah City Commission agrees.