Sunrise Services board members depart after gay employee - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Several Sunrise Services board members depart after gay employee debate

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- About half of the board of directors for Sunrise Children's Services have been replaced after debate over the organization's hiring policy regarding gays and lesbians.

The Kentucky Baptist Convention also issued a "no confidence" vote for president, Bill Smithwick.

The KBC announced both moves Tuesday night. 

The organization - formerly known as the Kentucky Baptist Home for Children - provides services for at-risk kids who have been abused or neglected.

Smithwick wanted to change the hiring policy to allow homosexual employees following a lawsuit by Alicia Pedreia.

She was fired in 1998 after her same-sex relationship was revealed.

Smithwick proposed the change to preserve millions in state and federal funding possibly at risk in case of any finding of discrimination.  Last week, the board voted to keep the group's ban on the hiring of gays, but on Tuesday the KBC voted to replace all members of the Sunrise Board.

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