KY Governor Vetos “Religious Freedom” Bill That Would’ve Legalized Anti-Gay Discrimination

steve-beshearQueerty has been dinging the dingbats with our esteemed Douche of the Week award for some time. So we thought it was only fair to honor those who do right by the LGBT community.

Introducing the Queerty Badass of the Week.

On Friday, Governor Steve Beshear of Kentucky vetoed a bill that would have allowed individuals to ignore any state law that ran counter to their core religious beliefs.

Beshear said House Bill 279 was well-intended but its vague language could have serious unintended consequences.

“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.

However, I have significant concerns that this bill will cause serious unintentional consequences that could threaten public safety, health care, and individuals’ civil rights. As written, the bill will undoubtedly lead to costly litigation. I have heard from many organizations and government entities that share those same concerns. Therefore, after giving this measure thoughtful analysis and consideration, today I vetoed the bill.

The measure had clear implications for the LGBT community, who would have faced discrimination under the mask of religious tolerance.

Numerous professional, civil-rights and even religious groups supported Beshear’s veto, including the Kentucky Equality Federation, Kentucky Commission on Human Rights, Kentucky Education Association, the ACLU of Kentucky, Faith Leaders for Fairness, Gay and Lesbian Services Organization (GLSO) and the Jewish Community Relations Council of Louisville.

All together now: Good on you!

Photo: Gage Skidmore