When one thinks of Kentucky in relation to LGBTQ rights, Kim Davis and her fight to deny same-sex couples in Rowan County, Kentucky marriage licenses comes to mind. Almost five years later, the Bluegrass State has a liberal governor who became the first sitting governor in Kentucky to attend a gay rights rally.
Governor Andy Beshear made a historic appearance at a rally for gay rights in Frankfort, Kentucky on Wednesday, February 19, 2020. The rally, which was organized by the Fairness Campaign, took place the Capitol Rotunda in Frankfort, mere steps from the governor’s office.
“To have support in the highest office in the commonwealth of Kentucky is so meaningful for so many LGBTQ people who have never felt seen by lawmakers who can make a difference,” he said.
Beshear affirmed his support of a measure to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity concerning employment, housing, and public accommodations. Beshear also confirmed supporting a conversion therapy ban denouncing it as hurtful and dangerous.
I’m proud to be the first sitting governor to speak at a statewide Fairness rally and welcome our LGBTQ+ brothers & sisters to their Capitol. We must work together to pass a fairness ordinance, end discrimination & create a more inclusive Kentucky @FairnessCamp #TeamKentucky ^AB pic.twitter.com/BYipi7NR9j
— Governor Andy Beshear (@GovAndyBeshear) February 20, 2020
Both measures have little chance of passing in the Republican majority legislature in Kentucky. Yet, Beshear maintains hope in the fight for equality in Kentucky. A likely ally in Beshear’s pursuit to bring these measures to Kentucky’s legislature is Kentucky State Senator Alice Forgy Kerr.
Kerr, along with fellow Republican in the State House, Rep. Kim Banta, sponsored a bill called The Mental Health Protection Act (House Bill 199) which would ban conversion therapy for LGBT youth.
Kerr’s quest to pass The Mental Health Protection Act stems from her son, Jamison Kerr, coming out to her when he was 19 and after watching the film Boy Erased, Kerr felt she needed to act.
In an interview with Lexington Herald-Leader, Kerr stated, “We have to educate people. These children do not need to be repaired, they are ‘fearfully and wonderfully made’ in God’s image … they are perfectly made.”
MY BOYS….Gay/Straight….Perfection pic.twitter.com/GGLG7aRC7k
— Alice Forgy Kerr (@aliceforgykerr) February 24, 2020