Louisville, KY

'Fairness' rules win bipartisan 19-6 vote

December 10, 2004
The Louisville Metro Council voted 19-6 last night to renew a civil-rights ordinance that includes protection from discrimination because of gender identity and sexual orientation.
     A coalition of Democrats and Republicans approved the proposal, which supporters have called the "fairness ordinance," before an overflow crowd in the Metro Council chamber.
     Tina Ward-Pugh, the only openly gay member of the council, made a last-minute appeal for her colleagues to vote for the ordinance and noted that council members who would vote against it had eaten in restaurants with her in the past.
     "I ask you, if we had walked in, and they had said, `We're sorry; you can't eat here because we heard you were gay or we read you were gay,' would you settle for that? Would that be good enough?"

'Fairness' fight is in spotlight

December 08, 2004
Louisville Metro Council members used the last public hearing on retaining the city's civil-rights law as an opportunity to promote their positions.
     And almost all the talk was about protecting gays and lesbians, even though one proposed ordinance is intended to retain the entire civil-rights law — prohibiting discrimination based on race, religion, age, sex and other factors.
     A council vote is expected tomorrow.

OPINION: Lingering racism

December 04, 2004
Callers to certain radio talk shows are fond of telling African Americans to "get a life" and stop crying about racism, which supposedly disappeared as a factor in American life about the same time that people stopped dancing the Twist.
     A life is always a good thing to get, of course, but those callers appear to be directing their advice about getting one at the wrong audience.
     Even though racism's grip on the white psyche has been substantially weakened, it most certainly has not been broken, particularly in certain locales and among certain strata of our society.
     And the people who really need to be told, in no uncertain terms, to get a life are those who continue to foment, practice and apologize for it.

Some question council member's ad endorsement

December 02, 2004
Serious questions are being raised about a radio ad voiced by a metro council member advertising quick access to holiday cash. A local expert on predatory lending tells WAVE 3 News the ads are "very shady." WAVE 3's Dina Kaplan reports.
     The radio spot promises loans against homes or cars. The ad is voiced by Bentley, and she identifies herself in it, but not the lender. It's running on an urban radio station in Louisville.
     A predatory lending expert in Louisville (who didn't want to be identified) questions the ad. "I think it's very shady what she's doing."

Six offer alternative to Louisville 'fairness' law

November 11, 2004
Six Metro Council Republicans are proposing a civil-rights ordinance that would eliminate Louisville's controversial provision banning discrimination against gays and lesbians.
     Filed less than a week after six council Democrats proposed re-enacting the so-called "fairness ordinance" that prohibits unequal treatment because of sex, religion, race, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation or gender identity, the GOP measure differs primarily by eliminating reference to sexual orientation and gender identity.
     All six Republicans sponsoring the counterproposal are on record as opposing the gay-rights provisions of the Democratic measure. But one of the Republican co-sponsors, Hal Heiner, R-19th District, said the GOP version is meant to establish an alternative, should the Democrats' version fail.

Racial gap in home lending persists in Louisville

October 15, 2004
Racial disparity in mortgage lending improved in some cases last year in the Louisville area, but it's still more prevalent than five years earlier, according to a study released yesterday by ACORN, an interest group for low-income families.
     The organization analyzed 2003 lending data and found that African-American homebuyers were almost twice as likely to be denied a conventional mortgage than were white borrowers, and that Latinos were rejected 1.5 times more often.
     The Louisville results were slightly better than the national figures.
     "It improved, but it hasn't improved enough" to say it's fair, said Lindsay Mullaney, in charge of the Louisville office of ACORN, which stands for Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now.

Dillard's settles civil-rights lawsuit with Indianapolis man

September 15, 2004
An Indianapolis man who claims he was searched by a Dillard's security guard in Louisville, Kentucky, because he is black has agreed to settle his civil-rights lawsuit against the department store chain.
     Cory Bailey said in court documents that he and a friend were confronted by a security guard in another shop after he left the Dillard's store in a Louisville mall.
     He was searched and let go after items in his bag were matched with his receipt.

Mobile home owners want better state protections from rental-park evictions

August 15, 2004
Monica Whelan received a note last August that her month-to-month agreement to rent a lot at the Pioneer Mobile Home Park in southwestern Jefferson County was being terminated because she was pregnant.
     "I was shocked," she said. "I mean, I didn't know what to do."
     Although Whelan is fighting the eviction in court, relying on anti-discrimination laws, housing advocates say her situation underscores the need for a state law that would specifically protect mobile home owners from being evicted from lots they rent without "good cause."
     Kentucky is one of 17 states without a law requiring that mobile home park owners show "good cause" for eviction and one of 14 states without any laws specifically providing protection for mobile home owners in dealing with park operators, according to a study by the AARP, a national group representing the interests of older Americans.

Archdiocese withdraws federal suit: Church had sought to raze buildings

August 12, 2004
The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Louisville has withdrawn a federal lawsuit alleging that religious freedoms were violated by restrictions that prevented the razing of historic buildings it owned near St. Martin of Tours church.
     Negotiations on a possible sale of the buildings — commercial properties across Shelby Street from the church — to the Housing Authority of Louisville are continuing. The talks had started before the lawsuit was filed in June.
     Brian Reynolds, chancellor and chief administrative officer for the archdiocese, said the lawsuit was withdrawn because of doubts about whether it would be successful in removing the historic designations.
     Now the archdiocese, which had planned to tear down the buildings down to provide space for parking for the church, will consider repairing the buildings or selling them, he said.

Taking aim at ethnic hate crimes

July 22, 2004
Imam Ali Mian during Friday prayers at the Louisville Islamic Society, located on River Road.
     The FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorists list contains just 22 men. But every single name on the list sounds like it’s of Arabic descent; from Osama bin Laden to Ayman Al-Zawahiri to Abdulla Ahmed Abdullah.
     For Muslim, Sikh and Arab-American communities, those faces and names are perhaps the hardest obstacles to overcome in trying to establish relationships with their communities and combat the hate crimes that have dogged them since 9/11. apples.”


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