FRANKFORT, Ky. (FOX 56) – Allies of the LGBTQ community in Kentucky gathered at the Capitol Wednesday to challenge recently proposed legislation.
The Fairness Rally focused on transgender youth in Kentucky as lawmakers consider a bill some say put trans children at risk.
The building was filled with signs and people who came to make their voices heard.
“It’s really, it’s really amazing to see this many people, like me, and so many people who support me and especially to see so many transgender adults. To know that I can make it just like they did,” Sam Wilson, a transgender teen said.
Gov. Andy Beshear spoke at the event, reminding attendees he’s always trying to create a safe Kentucky no matter how people identify.
“Discrimination against our LGBTQ+ plus community is unacceptable. It holds us back and it simply isn’t right,” Beshear said.
Each speaker heard rounds of applause in an effort to make noise for lawmakers who don’t see things the same way.
“I want to lift up the lives that have been lost due to anti-queer, anti-trans, anti-humanity, and small and loud groups of people. We honor those lives,” said Rep. Keturah Herron, Kentucky’s first openly gay politician.
Attendees said the turnout for the rally shows them they aren’t alone.
“Just look around at how many people are in this room. There are people out there for you, and you’ll find them,” said Wilson.
The Kentucky Fairness Rally was run by the Fairness Coalition, a partnership between ACLU of Kentucky, Fairness Campaign, Kentucky Commission on Human Rights, & Lexington Fairness.
What is the Kentucky parents’ rights bill?
Sen. Max Wise (R-Campbellsville) who introduced the parents’ rights bill told lawmakers it would engage parents and schools with open communication about issues concerning their kids.
Wise said the bill will do three things: Notify parents of all health services being accessed by their kids in school, give parents notice and review of sex education courses, and allow their kids to opt-out, and prevent Kentucky’s Department of Education from issuing requirements or recommendations on pronouns that aren’t a student’s biological sex.
“These are all topics and discussions that parents need to be aware of — always in the upbringing of their children,” Wise told lawmakers.
Proponents said the bill could force LGBTQ youth to come out before they are ready and put them at risk.