This week, the Kentucky House of Representatives passed a bill that would make it a hate crime to specifically target police officers and first responders.
House Bill 14, which is known in some circles as the “Blue Lives Matter” bill, passed with bipartisan support, with a vote of 77-13, and will now go on to the state senate. If the Kentucky Senate passes the bill, Kentucky will be the second state, after Louisiana, to pass such a measure.
Democratic Representative Jim Wayne spoke out against the bill, saying that it was in response to the Black Lives Matter movement and said, “I strongly reject this type of legislation that pits one group against the other.”
“It’s not about Blue Lives Matter,” Republican Representative John Blanton argued in response to Wayne’s comments, arguing that firefighters wear red. “How about we call this ‘First Responders Matter?'”
In response to critics who say someone’s occupation shouldn’t be treated the same as someone’s race, gender or sexual orientation, Blanton disagrees.
“You don’t just take the uniform off and lay it down,” he said. “It’s part of who you are.”