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News and Upcoming Events!  

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!
Urgent Action Alerts - Take Action Online Immediately and "Share" on Facebook and Twitter.
Kentucky Equality Federation Transgender Flag
State of the Commonwealth - Equality Law:  Kentucky Equality Federation challenges Governor Beshear to raise the issue of an LGBTI equality law in his joint session of the Kentucky House and Senate to report the "State of the Commonwealth."  This will send a clear message to both chambers of the Kentucky Legislature that our Governor and Commander-in-Chief takes equality serious and would be the first time any Kentucky chief of state and government ever raised the issue in a State of the Commonwealth Address. 
The "State of the Commonwealth" is given by the Governor yearly to a joint session of the Kentucky House and Senate and is the primary staging area for the Governor to list his legislative priorities to both Houses.  A statewide equality law would prevent discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity; currently it is perfectly legal to terminate someone for being LGBTI, but NOT for being a smoker!  (sign now) 
- Transgender Equality - Driver's License:  Transgender Hate Crimes have increased 13% with 44% of them being killed! We MUST stop this. Kentucky Equality Federation is pushing for the following:
"Gender identity" shall mean a person's gender-related identity, appearance or behavior, whether or not that gender-related identity, appearance or behavior is different from that traditionally associated with the person's physiology or assigned sex at birth.
Any Transgendered citizen of the Commonwealth may provide evidence to any District Judge, including, but not limited to, medical history, care or treatment of the gender-related identity, consistent and uniform assertion of the gender-related identity or any other evidence that the gender-related identity is sincerely held, as part of a person's core identity.
The District Judge may then order their "sex" or "gender" changed to that of their appearance or behavior on Driver's License, Kentucky I.D. Card, or Driver's Permit regardless of their actual assigned sex.
The Transgender Community is part of the LGBTI Community and we must protect them!  (sign now)
Hate Crimes in Southeastern Kentucky
Hate crimes have struck Harlan, Knott, and Clay Counties.  As a result, Kentucky Equality Federation Jordan Palmer created a special operating region in Southern Kentucky.   In addition, President Palmer requested immediate assistance from the U.S. Department of Justice and they are investigating the cases.

These are the cases that are public:

Kevin Pennington Case:

Misty Turner (and family):

Kentucky Equality Federation President Jordan Palmer and Chairman of the Board Richard T. Jones issued a scathing report against elected prosecutors in Kentucky Equality Federation's request for assistance. 

U.S. Attorney Kerry B. Harvey called President Palmer personally about the cases to acknowledge receipt of the request.  President Palmer described their conversations as productive.  

Kentucky Equality Federation volunteers continue to work with U.S. Department of Justice officials as well as the victims.  A meeting was held with prosecutors from the Commonwealth of Kentucky and the U.S. Department of Justice on November 10, 2011. (read)

"Kentucky Equality Federation will assume a proactive and aggressive posture on any reported crimes, discrimination events, retaliations, or other offenses against any person based on gender identity, sexual orientation, race, creed, veteran status, political affiliation, or any other defining characteristic," stated Kentucky Equality Federation Vice President of Policy & Public Relations Joshua Koch. "Volunteers and equality allies are urged to cooperate with local, state, and federal law enforcement to protect our communities from hateful conduct against any citizen. We will not tolerate, nor will we turn a blind eye to, any violence or intimidation, and we will pursue any offenses against persons or property to the fullest extent of civil and criminal law."

Kentucky Equality Federation President Jordan Palmer divided several Southern Kentucky counties into a Southeastern Kentucky Region. (details) 

The Hazard, KY Pavilion Incident - Two Gay Men Thrown Out
Two gay, developmentally challenged men were forced to leave a public facility in Hazard, KY.  Kentucky Equality Federation President Jordan Palmer and Southeastern Kentucky Regional Director Will Taylor organized a Rally in support of the men which over 100 people across the Commonwealth attended.  

The event also made news on MSNBC, and 360 with Anderson Cooper. (more)

In the end, the City of Hazard agreed to Kentucky Equality Federation's demands, adding sexual orientation to the facility's discrimination policy, suspending the employee who made them leave, and ordering all employees to undergo sensitivity training.  Both Kentucky Equality Federation, the two men involved, Mending Hearts, Inc., as well as the City of Hazard were pleased with the outcome as one reader outlined in the Lexington Herald-Leader (more).

The Atlantic National Magazine (special report):
Click here to read the "feature story" detailing Kentucky Equality Federation's work with StoryCorps and other outreach programs entitled "Growing Up Gay and Transgendered in Appalachia."

The Atlantic has more than 400,000 readers, and publishes its magazine 10 times per year. The Atlantic is a liberal American magazine founded in 1857. It quickly achieved a national reputation, which it held for more than a century.  The Atlantic article was written by famed reporter and author, Alex Hannaford.
Former Statehouse Candidate Matthew Vanderpool
Matthew Vanderpool Former Kentucky House of Representatives candidate Matthew Vanderpool attended the Hazard, KY Rally and volunteered at Kentucky Equality Federation's booth at the Lexington Pride Festival on June 25, 2011. 
Mr. Vanderpool committed suicide on July 12, 2011.  Mr. Vanderpool was a Kentucky Equality Federation volunteer almost since its conception.  

Mr. Vanderpool's roommate, Kentucky Equality Federation Jordan Palmer only released one public statement about the event to Lex18 News which was picked-up by MSNBC and CNN.  
(more)  A sick and devastated Palmer gave one media interview which can be watched by clicking on the link; Palmer did the interview at the request of Mr. Vanderpool's biological Mother and his biological Father. 
All other media statements and interviews were handled by Joshua Koch who is in charge of Kentucky Equality Federation's media and public relations.  (more)

The Lexington Herald-Leader ran a different story. (more) 
The Honorable Matthew Vanderpool, Honorary Colonel of the Commonwealth of Kentucky:
 For his contribution to the LGBTI community, as well as having the courage to run against homophobic incumbent Stan Lee, Governor Steve Beshear, at the request of Jordan Palmer made Matthew Vanderpool an Honorary Kentucky Colonel, the highest honor bestowed by the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Palmer presented the honor to Mr. Vanderpool's father, a Vietnam war veteran.  
Kentucky Equality Federation joins ILGA with a stunning victory at the United Nations for LGBTI people worldwide.
United Nations Logo Another culture has erupted at the United Nations and Kentucky Equality Federation joined the ILGA in celebrating a stunning victory for LGBTI people worldwide.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is the first leader of the United Nations to stand-up for LGBTI rights.  The world leader's actions have lead 85 nations signed a pro-gay statement that was read out by Colombia's representative at the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva on March 22. (more)

Kentucky Equality Federation represents the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, and Intersex Association (ILGA) in Kentucky. (more)

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. 
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!

For Equality,

Richard T. Jones
Chairman of the Board

Jordan Palmer

Joshua Koch
Vice President, Policy & Public Relations
Office of the President

Click here for a complete list of management and volunteers.
In This Issue:
Urgent Legislative Action Alerts (please sign now)!
Hate Crimes in Southeastern Kentucky
Two Gay Men Forced to Leave Public Pool
Matthew Vanderpool
Public Advocate
Financial Help

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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.
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) 


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

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