City Commission Meeting Highlights for May 21, 2019

Ordinance Introduction to Amend Human Relations Ordinance (Chapter 58 of Paducah Code of Ordinances)

The Paducah Board of Commissioners approved tabling an ordinance amendment to Chapter 58 of the Paducah Code of Ordinances related to Human Relations that was introduced by Mayor Pro Tem Richard Abraham at the Board’s May 14, 2019, meeting.  That ordinance amendment was tabled since it was missing the words “individual or non-profit” as requested by Abraham. 

The Board then introduced an ordinance that included those words which will create section 58-133 of Chapter 58 of the Paducah Code of Ordinances as follows: 

A private business owner, individual, or non-profit shall not be forced to violate his or her sincerely held religious beliefs.



Please note that at the May 14, 2019, meeting, Mayor Brandi Harless also introduced an amendment to Chapter 58 of the Paducah Code of Ordinances.  Mayor Harless’ amendment is as follows: 

It is the intent of the City Commission that all sections of this Ordinance shall be interpreted in a manner consistent with KRS 446.350, which provides as follows: “Government shall not substantially burden a person’s freedom of religion.  The right to act in a manner motivated by a sincerely held religious belief may not be substantially burdened unless the government proves by clear and convincing evidence that it has a compelling governmental interest in infringing the specific act or refusal to act and has used the least restrictive means to further that interest.  A “burden” shall include indirect burdens such as withholding benefits, assessing penalties, or an exclusion from programs or access to facilities.”


Both ordinance amendments are tentatively scheduled to be included on the agenda for the May 28 meeting of the Board of Commissioners.