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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, including Kentucky Equal Ballot Access, the Kentucky HIV/AIDS Advocacy Campaign, and Marriage Equality Kentucky!


--> Because of pending litigation, Kentucky Equality Federation cannot comment further.  The lawsuit has been accepted by two attorney's, including Kentucky Equality Federation's General Counsel.  Additional details will follow by the end of the week in our press release section:
Kentucky Equality Federation warned Red Bird Mission School, Clay County Schools, and Grayson County Schools that immediate action must be taken to bring themselves into compliance with Kentucky school-bullying laws. The Kentucky Equality Federation is appalled at the lack of administrative education provided by the Kentucky Department of Education on bullying-related topics. 
In Clay, Grayson, Jefferson, Kenton, Lincoln, Pulaski, Whitley, and several other counties, we have received alarming reports from guidance counselors, principals, and other school district staff that they have received no briefings or information about complying with years-old Kentucky regulations regarding bullying in public schools. This lack of information is leading to a lack of enforcement of laws that are already in effect. 
"These laws were written to protect students," said Kentucky Equality Federation President Joshua Koch. "We hear cries for more legislation from the public, but we know there are laws in effect already. This is an insult to the visionary legislators who have already passed excellent laws to protect Kentucky's children. 
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Since 2005 Kentucky Equality Federation has served as public advocate for people discriminated against and disenfranchised.
 - Our history speaks for itself:
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Born Free and Equal Press Release
The United Nations Human Rights Office has released a new publication, Born Free and Equal (download), which outlines core legal obligations that countries have for their LGBT people. The guide is built around five core expectations: protect people from homophobic violence, prevent torture, decriminalize homosexuality, prohibit discrimination, and safeguard LGBT people's freedoms of expression, association, and peaceful assembly.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban-Ki Moon stated: "To those who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender, let me say - you are not alone. Your struggle for an end to violence and discrimination is a shared struggle. Any attack on you, is an attack on the universal values the United Nations and I have sworn to uphold. Today, I stand with you and I call upon all countries and people to stand with you too. A historic shift is under way - more states see the gravity of the problem....We must tackle the violence, decriminalize consensual same-sex relationships, end discrimination and educate the public."

Kentucky Equality Federation responds to community assaults in Louisville
Kentucky Equality Federation, a statewide organization whose former president successfully lobbied the federal government into prosecuting the first federal hate crime in U.S. history, condemns the violent attack on several youths on Taylor Boulevard in Louisville, KY.

Kentucky Equality Federation has made contact with both families to offer mental health services, legal services, or spiritual services after the attack.

Kentucky Equality Federation announces the following: 
Attorney Jillian Hall has been elevated to the Office of the President as Vice President of Legal. 
The Board of Directors elected Brandon Combs as their Chairman of the Board.  This led to UK Now doing a feature article on Mr. Combs.  Mr. Combs also received a letter from UK's President, Dr. Eli Capilouto, congratulating him!   
Chairman Brandon Combs appointed board member and long-term activist Gary Fowler as Vice Chairman of the Board.   
The Board of Directors elected Fran Everage as their Secretary of the Corporation, and long-term advocate Dean Byrd as their Assistant Secretary of the Corporation.  
The corporations that make-up Kentucky Equality Federation are formal membership organizations.  The acceptance of new members must be approved by unanimous vote of existing members ("Permanent and Official Membership") as defined in Article II of our Bylaws.  Permanent and Official Membership have a say in the structure and priorities of the organizations, including the appointment of the president, board members, and supreme authority over the Bylaws and Articles of Incorporation. 
Permanent and Official Membership ensure the continuation of Kentucky Equality Federation; both the Board of Directors and the President serve at the pleasure of Permanent and Official Membership.
The Kentucky HIV/AIDS Advocacy Campaign today announced a new managing director, Mr. Gary Fowler, PsyD, CDC/ASPH Fellow.  Mr. Fowler served as president of the Kentucky HIV/AIDS Advocacy Action Group, an organization that originally began in 2002 but folded when Mr. Fowler stepped down as president.  Mr. Fowler also served on the Governor's HIV/AIDS Planning Committee during his term as president, and remains the Kentucky board member and representative for Kentucky with the Southern AIDS Coalition (SAC).  

- Read the press release
Special message from the Chairman of the Board, Brandon Combs
Greetings Kentucky Equality Federation administration, allies, volunteers, and members. I hope this newsletter finds each of you in good health and spirit. Today I want to highlight some of the happenings within the organization. In my short tenure as Chairman, we have experienced some highs and lows that warrant discussion.

On the positive front, we have been involved in couple of activities that injected our name into local communities, such as the UK LGBT Services Welcome and the Civil Rights Symposium hosted by the U.S. Attorney's Office. We also have welcomed Mr. Palmer back to the position of President, elevated Jillian Hall to the position of Vice President of Legal, Vice Chair Gary Fowler accepted the Managing Director role within Kentucky HIV/AIDS Advocacy Campaign, and the Board elected our Secretary, Fran Everage, and Assistant Secretary, Dean Byrd.

There have also been some negative points of interest that deserve discussion as well. We traversed the Chik Fil A controversy, coached a gay inmate through his assault and pending lawsuit, had a controversial billboard in Lexington removed, and guided the mother of a female juvenile through her daughter's assault. These represent only a few of the complaints that have been handled since I joined the organization a few months ago. Mr. Palmer and the rest of Administration receive multiple complaints on a daily basis.

In writing this, we must accept the inevitable realization that we are at the heart of a civil rights movement at the grassroots level. While it may be easier for us to focus on and enjoy the positive aspects of our organization, the negative aspects are what bring such an eclectic group of individuals to the same table. We must continue to work and be vigilant in our advocacy for those who need a voice within the LGBTI community.

In a famous quote attributed to Mahatma Ghandi, "You must be the change you want to see in the world." Know that our work is necessary and that our strength is derived from our diversity as an organization. By working with us in this fight for equality, you are demonstrating the change you want to see throughout our Commonwealth and country.
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,

Brandon Combs
Chairman of the Board

Gary Fowler
Vice Chairman of the Board
Managing Director, Kentucky HIV/AIDS Advocacy Campaign (

Jordan Palmer

Joshua Koch
Vice President of Policy & Public Relations

Attorney Jillian Hall
Vice President of Legal

Fran Everage
Secretary of the Corporation

Dean Byrd
Assistant Secretary of the Corporation
-> Click here for a complete list of management and volunteers.
In This Issue:
New hate crime in Bowling Green
School bullying continues around the Commonwealth
Donate to keep Kentucky Equality Federation operating
United Nations - Born Free and Equal
Kentucky Equality Federation responds to community assaults in Louisville
New leadership roles
Kentucky Equality Federation names NEW volunteers
Special message from the non-executive Chairman, Brandon Combs
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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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