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February 2011 Newsletter and Updates! 

We hope you enjoy our Newsletter and Updates. If you ever have content you want us to consider including, please contact us!  Kentucky Equality Federation is the Commonwealth's largest all-volunteer organization with 3 Independent member organizations and an additional 5 organizations as coalition partners!
Kentucky Equality Federation partners with StoryCorps!
Kentucky Equality Federation is delighted and excited to announce our partnership with StoryCorps to highlight the lack of equality in Southern Kentucky.

Since 2003, StoryCorps has collected and archived more than 30,000 interviews from more than 60,000 participants. Each conversation is recorded on a free CD to share, and is preserved at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress.

StoryCorps is one of the largest oral history projects of its kind, and millions listen to our weekly broadcasts on National Public Radio's Morning Edition.

Kentucky Equality Federation and StoryCorps will visit Whitesburg, KY from April 21st - May 14th.  Stories will also be heard that day on WMMT Radio, a local radio partner station.

Click here to read the press release.

Click here to participate! Share your story with Kentucky and the entire United States on radio and have comfort in knowing it will always be archived in the Library of Congress! If people hear your story, you can help change the hearts and minds of thousands of Kentuckians and Americans! (participants must register with Kentucky Equality Federation no later than March 12, 2011)

Kentucky Equality Federation will be making a donation to StoryCorps but the donation amount has yet to be released by Treasurer Dean Byrd because the Board of Directors has yet to determine an amount to cover expenses. 
2011 Legislative Session will end with no advancements for the LGBTI Community!
The Kentucky Legislative Session for 2011 will soon end with no advancements for the LGBTI community.  The only way to win equality in Kentucky is grassroots organizing, community outreach, and other measures, especially by signing the legislative action alerts below. 

If your lawmakers do not hear from you, they will assume there is no support for the legislation!
  1. Statewide Equality Law:  We need your help with Kentucky House Bill 106, House Bill 117, and Senate Bill 138!  These bills would add sexual orientation and gender identity to the Kentucky Civil Rights Act of 1966 as a protected class along with religion, smoking, disability, race, sex, and disability.
  2. Expand Kentucky's Domestic Violence Laws to Include ALL Couples in a Dating Relationship!  Kentucky Equality Federation and the Kentucky Domestic Violence Association have formed a coalition to push House Bill 35.  Kentucky House Bill 35 would expand the protective order statute to allow persons who are dating, or have dated, but who have never lived together, and do not have a child in common, to petition for protective orders. The bill would also expand the warrantless arrest statute to cover all persons in a dating relationship.
  3. Marriage Equality:  Repeal Kentucky's 2004 Constitutional Amendment banning same-sex marriage, civil unions, and domestic-partnerships.
For a complete list of action alerts, click here.
Westboro Baptist Church visits Kentucky

The Westboro Baptist Church visited Louisville and Owensboro on March 06, 2011.  Kentucky Equality Federation's Board of Directors responded by passing a Resolution ordering the President to act in a positive manner:


In Facebook,YouTube, and emails, our elected president, Jordan Palmer urged people to donate to HIV/AIDS Organizations in Kentucky from their official sites.


As for the Westboro Baptist Church, there is no greater justice than to donate to HIV/AIDS Organizations in Kentucky

to spite an organization who shows children holding signs "Thank God for AIDS," "AIDS is God's Punishment," "Thank God for dead soldiers," "Pope is in Hell," and "God killed your children."  


One person, using a fake IP address threatened Kentucky Equality Federation and its members.  We also received 4 death threats from our toll-free number, (877) KEF-5775 resulting in one community organizer withdrawing from organizing counter protests.  


The threats have been turned over to the Kentucky State Police.  Another death threat against Jordan Palmer and our legal representation, Jill Hall Rose, still remains open from June 2009 for defending students at a Southern Kentucky High School after school officials refused to allow them to open a gay-straight alliance, and another from May 2010 after our legal representation scorched the presiding Judge in the Jackson County Hate Crime.     


* Kentucky Equality Federation's Legal Representation is Jill Hall Rose, a Special Justice of the Kentucky Supreme Court, former Deputy Attorney General, and former Kentucky Supreme Court Law Clerk.  Her husband, John Rose was president of the Kentucky Senate for 14 years.   


Kentucky Equality Federation Chairman Richard T. Jones responded to one threat. (view)  

Come Together Kentucky
The annual Come Together Kentucky conference will be held at Morehead State University on April 8th and 9th. 

Come Together Kentucky is a conference for LGBTI student organizations from around the commonwealth of Kentucky.  The conference has occurred each year since 1996.

Kentucky Equality Federation has agreed to donate to and/or sponsor Come Together Kentucky 2011.

The last time Kentucky Equality Federation sponsored Come Together Kentucky was in 2008 at Northern Kentucky University.  Kentucky Equality Federation donated $1,800.00 (total) to the event, but after massive complaints about the content, the Federation pledged not to sponsor the event again unless significant changes were made to the content.  Students and their faculty adviser are responsible for the content. 

Kentucky Equality Federation also donated more than $2,000.00 to Northern Kentucky University's commonGround in 2006; the student group is now defunct.  "That's the reason we are cautious to donate to student groups; they fold easily," stated Kentucky Equality Federation Treasurer Dean Byrd.

However, Kentucky Equality Federation President Jordan Palmer has been in contact with the MSU ALLYance Member Education and Support Chair and is pleased with the content and their impressive website and Chairman Richard T. Jones has always supported stable gay-straight alliances.

Kentucky Equality Federation also received a copy of the agenda and is satisfied with the content of the workshops. 

The Board of Directors will determine the amount of the donation next week.
EKU Forum and Legislative Action
Kentucky Equality Federation, a founding member of the Statewide Fairness Coalition (but later withdrew per Board Resolution) attended the event by order of Chairman Richard T. Jones.

A post from Kentucky Freedom Digest summarizes the results of the forum; Kentucky Equality Federation urged changes to the setup of future public forums to the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights Managing Attorney, Morgan Ransdell. 

Kentucky Guardian also reported on the reliability of the poll results.

Our primary opposition, and most powerful anti-equality organization in the Commonwealth, the Family Foundation of Kentucky also posted several posts on their many blogs. They continue to hold forums around the Commonwealth urging people to oppose LGBTI rights: America's sexual behavior, and another slamming the Louisville Fairness Campaign's poll on the number of people who support LGBTI equality

Kentucky Equality Federation President Jordan Palmer spoke at the forum reminding people that all polls are deceiving, and that equality cannot be won in the Commonwealth without continued community outreach.

Tyler Watts, our Transgender Outreach Director, and Anderson Ruth, our Southern Kentucky Regional Director also spoke at the event. 

READ: "Same-Sex Marriage and Public Opinion: Spirals, Frames, and the Seinfeld Effect," about public polling regarding same-sex marriage and LGBTI civil rights. 

"Without intentionally being critical, the idea for a forum was wonderful!  However, after fighting Prop 8, when every poll said we would win, a public forum in this manner is not productive. You cannot run a fight for LGBTI equality the way you would a political campaign," stated Kentucky Equality Federation President Jordan Palmer.  "I stated as much years ago when fighting Prop 8 in a public profile/interview, being in politics for 14 years and an LGBTI activist for 8 years)."

Palmer continued: "When Prop 8 passed in California, everyone blamed each other; the coalition split-up, and 11 new statewide organizations appeared in California within a matter of weeks because LGBTI Community Leaders were angry with the Coalition and the Coalition's member organizations. Board members and officers from existing organizations resigned and started their own organizations and some organizations that had been around for decades folded. Only local media reported on the violence, assaults, and shootings in the fight against Prop 8; it was a very scary time to be in California.  I knew Prop 8 would pass when the Coalition barely reached a quorum to pull all gay ads and replace them with heterosexual allies, and to stop advertising in Eureka Valley (home of the Castro District), Silicon Valley, and other places with high LGBTI populations. The spokesperson for the quorum reached by the Coalition stated "gay people do not vote anyway."

Palmer continued: "The same thing could happen here in Kentucky. If equality has grown to over 80% across the Commonwealth it would be reflected by our lawmakers and other elected officials.  The Whitley County Judge/Executive continues to urge lawmakers and other County Judge/Executives around Kentucky to pass resolutions condemning same-sex marriage Another public forum must be performed, but it must be in a different format, but EKU's ABC Center has my eternal gratitude for having the courage to hold a public forum at all."

Our partnership with StoryCorps will give LGBTI citizens the opportunity to voice their stories and reach people on radio in Kentucky and across the nation.  The key to victory is to reach on person at a time!

Kentucky Commission on Human Rights Managing Attorney Morgan Ransdell has since asked Kentucky Equality Federation to assist in speaking to City Council members.  The Board of Directors is considering their request.
Victory at the United Nations:
United Nations Logo A culture war at the United Nations ended with victory for LGBTI rights organizations! 

It has been nearly two months since the United Nations General Assembly's Human Rights Committee approved an Arab and African proposal to cut a reference from a resolution on extrajudicial, summary, and arbitrary executions of people because of sexual orientation and gender identity.  Happily, international pressure led by the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, as well as the U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton, has caused the original text to be reinstated.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is the first leader of the United Nations to deliver a powerful speech (and orders) regarding sexual orientation and gender identity.  Following is part of the world leader's speech, courtesy of the International Lesbian and Gay Organization, a United Nations non-government consultant: 

"Human rights make up one of pillars of the United Nations, alongside international law, international security, economic development, social progress, and achievement of world peace.  Protecting human rights means protecting the rights of everyone, without distinction or discrimination, and paying particular attention to the most vulnerable and marginalized, who may face special obstacles to the full enjoyment of their rights.

In this context, I recognize the particular vulnerability of individuals who face criminal sanctions, including imprisonment and in some cases the death penalty, on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Laws criminalizing people on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity violate the United Nations principle of non-discrimination. They also fuel violence, help to legitimize homophobia and contribute to a climate of hate.

In May of 2010, during a visit to Malawi, I called for such laws to be reformed worldwide.  The responsibilities of the United Nations and the obligations of States are clear. No-one, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, should be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment. No-one should be prosecuted for their ideas or beliefs. No-one should be punished for exercising their right to freedom of expression."

Kentucky Equality Federation represents the International Gay and Lesbian Organization in Kentucky. 

The International Gay and Lesbian Organization (ILGA) is the worlds largest federation of allied organizations worldwide (with over 600 affiliates).  ILGA works at the United Nations to ensure equality for all gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, and intersex people worldwide under United Nations International Law!

ILGA was responsible for removing sexual orienttion and gender identity from the United Nations World Health Organization's list of mental illnesses. 
Marriage Equality Kentucky names Halyn Roth as Managing Director:
Halyn Roth Mr. Halyn Roth was named Managing Director of Marriage Equality Kentucky. Click here for the official statement.

Mr. Roth was a volunteer with Kentucky Equality Federation for years, and recently served as the Campaign Manager for Democrat Jim Holbert, who opposed Republican U.S. Representative Hal Rogers in Kentucky's Fifth Congressional District during the 2010 election.
Facebook statement receives positive reaction from both gay and straight people:
A Facebook post on the personal account of Kentucky Equality Federation President Jordan Palmer created a lot of likes and conversations.  Palmer stated:

"I give and do the very best I can; and I mean to keep on doing so until the end. People ask me why I am so passionate about causes and our Governments. No government can survive without the support and will of the People. Being gay, if the laws of this Commonwealth do not recognize me and protect me, then they should not apply to me either."
Thank you for your time, attention, and dedication to equality! 

Please forward this email to as many people as possible!  We need them on our email list!


Richard T. Jones
Chairman of the Board

Halyn Roth
Managing Director, Marriage Equality Kentucky

Dean Byrd
Treasurer and Secretary of the Corportion
In This Issue:
Kentucky Equality Federation partners with StoryCorps!
The 2011 Legislative Session
Westboro Baptist Church visits Kentucky
Come Together Kentucky 2011
EKU Forum and Legislative Action
Victory at the United Nations!
Marriage Equality Kentucky names Managing Director!
Facebook Statement on Equality
Public Advocate
Financial Help
EKU Gets New Center!
Kentucky Equality Federation President engages Lt. Governor candidate Mike Harmon
Governor Beshear, DADT, and Love is Love!
LGBTI Religious Icon Retires

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Public Advocate
Part of Kentucky Equality Federation's Mission is to act as public advocate for citizens of the Commonwealth who suffer from discrimination, hate crimes, school and workplace bullying.  If you or someone you know needs our assistance, please contact our Discrimination, Hate Crimes, and School Bullying Committee directly.  Kentucky Equality Federation will be your advocate!
Financial Help
Kentucky Equality Federation also offers financial assistance to qualified individuals who need help paying for rent, utilities, life-saving medications, and other essential items as our budget permits.
EKU gets new Center!

The Alphabet Center


EKU's Alphabet Center (ABC) has an affirming statement that is inclusive to everyone regarding race, creed, age, sex, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, ability, class, religion and education.


One important goal of The ABC Center is to educate and affirm the LGBTQQIAA community.


The ABC Center has a lending library, lounge area, conference room, uni-sex bathrooms, magazines, computers, television, and great company.


The ABC Center is also the first organization on EKU's Campus to offer FREE and anonymous HIV testing!

Kentucky Equality Federation President engages Lt. Governor candidate Mike Harmon
Click here for details! 

Kentucky Representative Mike Harmon is on the ticket for Lt. Governor with Phil Moffett!
Kentucky Equality Federation President Jordan Palmer wrote an editorial to the Louisville Courier-Journal and the Lexington Herald-Leader.  Both editorials have been published. (more)  
Governor Beshear, DADT, and Love is Love:

 - Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear responds to Kentucky Equality Federation about the Equality Bill currently being considered by the Kentucky House and Senate. (more) 


 - Kentucky's U.S. Senate Delegation Opposed Repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell (DADT); U.S. Senate Passes the Bill! (more) 


 - Artist shares "Love is Love" music video with Marriage Equality Kentucky. (more) 

LGBTI Religious Icon Retires
Archbishop Desmond Tutu
If God, as they say, is homophobic, I wouldn't worship that God.

When will we learn that human beings are of infinite value because they have been created in the image of God, and that it is a blasphemy to treat them as if they were less than this and to do so ultimately recoils on those who do this?

In dehumanizing others, they are themselves dehumanized. LGBT people are part of God's family.-

Archbishop Desmond Tutu