At least 25 people met Wednesday evening for a special screening of a 30-minute documentary about Daviess County's proposed fairness ordinance.

The video gives voice to several in the local LGBTQ community who have suffered from discrimination. It also includes comments from a pastor, community leaders and businesspeople, all of who make a public plea for acceptance.

To be fair, the documentary's creators shared comments from the opposition. The video contains comments from Daviess County Commissioner George Wathen, who read a lengthy statement opposing the proposed ordinance at a Fiscal Court meeting late last year.

Others from the opposing side were asked to comment, an Owensboro Fairness Campaign official said, but no one accepted the invitation.

In between segments presenting both sides of the fairness issue, the video shows sweeping vistas of Owensboro's riverfront and aerial views of the downtown core. From the fountains at Smothers Park to a cityscape dotted with church steeples, the scene looks idyllic.

And that's what the Owensboro Fairness Campaign was shooting for.

"It's ultimately a love letter to this community," said Chad Benefield, a fairness advocate who appears on the video.

The film makes Owensboro look beautiful and inviting, Benefield said. Fairness campaign officials wanted the overarching message to be: Inclusion and acceptance can only make the community stronger.

Fairness campaign officials planned to release the video on Facebook and YouTube within hours of its screening.

Charlene Greer attended the special showing at New Beginnings Sexual Assault Support Services.

"I thought it was wonderful," she said of the documentary. "We gave a lot of information and facts."

Greer was pleased to see the opposing side represented in the film.

"We wanted to make sure we had it even," she said. "Some in the community are against the ordinance."

She also was happy the film included residents who are not part of the LGBTQ community. Their inclusion shows the ordinance's groundswell of support from every corner of the community, Greer said.

Alexander Clark, a local videographer who owns Alexander Francis Films, filmed the documentary. For months, he had been watching the ordinance issue unfold in the news.

Clark thought it was time to take a stand and put his talent to use in support of the ordinance. From a personal standpoint, he referred to the documentary as an "eye-opening experience."

During the interviewing process, Clark said he learned that local discrimination existed at a level he was not aware of before. "It's been great to learn these stories and to see a different side of Owensboro that you don't always see."

Deanna Smith, Owensboro Fairness Campaign chairwoman, viewed the film before Wednesday night and was pleased with the final product. She felt the video did an excellent job of explaining the ordinance's intent.

"We're not trying to get special rights," Smith said. "We're asking for the same rights as everyone else."

Renee Beasley Jones, 270-228-2835, rbeasleyjones@messenger-inquirer.com

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