Paducah council weighing religious liberty, civil rights

PADUCAH, Ky. (AP) — Paducah officials are debating possible amendments to an anti-discrimination ordinance to protect religious liberty.

The Paducah Sun reports , the ordinance that passed in January 2018 added protections for residents who encounter discrimination based on age, gender identification and sexual orientation.

Earlier this month, City Commissioner Richard Abraham proposed an amendment that reads, “A private business owner, individual or nonprofit shall not be forced to violate his or her sincerely held religious beliefs.”

Mayor Brandi Harless proposed a different amendment based on state law. It says in part that “government shall not substantially burden a person’s freedom of religion.”

Harless says the goal is to find a balance between religious freedom and civil rights protections.

The ordinance governs the Paducah Human Rights Commission.

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