In a brave move for the rights of Kentucky’s citizens, Gov. Steve Beshear (D) vetoed Kentucky House Bill 279, a controversial religious freedom bill that threatened anti-discrimination laws in the state.
House Bill 279, or the “Religious Freedom Act,” allowed persons with “sincerely held” religious beliefs to discriminate against anyone on the basis of those beliefs. The bill had the potential to eliminate years of progress made fighting against the discrimination of minority groups, such as the LGBT community.
“I value and cherish our rights to religious freedom and I appreciate the good intentions of House Bill 279 and the members of the General Assembly who supported this bill to protect our constitutional rights to practice our religion,” Beshear said in a statement. “However, I have significant concerns that this bill will cause serious unintentional consequences that could threaten public safety, healthcare, and individuals’ civil rights.”
The fight to stop this legislation, is far from over. State Rep. Bob Damron (D), who introduced the bill, believes the legislature will override the governor’s veto. It would only require a majority vote in the Kentucky House and Senate.
Ashley Wright is a writer and researcher with Ring of Fire.