Thursday, October 24, 2013
DECISION OF THE UNITED WAY OF THE BLUEGRASS TO RESCIND FUNDING TO THE BLUE GRASS COUNCIL OF THE BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA
Organizations are fostering the very intolerance, anti-diversity, and anti-equality ‘traditional values’ we seek to eliminate, but I am sad to say that some are not practicing the very values we seek.
It is our fear that, in this period of transition, we risk destroying an institution that brings positive value to the lives of children across the country. We ask the Boy Scouts of America to continue their progress. We also ask that progressive organizations not join forces with the radical social conservatives in exterminating the Boy Scouts over this issue. Institutions change over time, but that takes time and work. Now is a time for support and positive growth toward equality, not for using the hateful tactics of radical social conservatives against a group evolving toward modern equality."
In an email to Kentucky Equality Federation, this parent says it best: "Change takes time, and now is the time. Many conservative groups have disassociated themselves from Scouting because of the progressive movement. It is very damaging to Scouting to also be criticized by progressive groups."
“We request that United Way of the Bluegrass reconsider its decision in light of the damage it does to the equality movement and the children of Kentucky,” said Kentucky Equality Federation Vice President of Policy and Public Relations Joshua Koch. “While we support defunding legitimate anti-equality organizations, we recognize the advances made by the Boy Scouts, and we hope that they will continue to develop their standards in a more equal direction. We should reward their progress, and help them grow further in the future.”
Thursday, September 12, 2013
This lawsuit is the latest attempt to achieve equal rights and protections for families across the Commonwealth whose very existence has been banned by the forces of religious zealotry and hatred.
NOTE: A complete digital copy of Kentucky Equality Federation v. Commonwealth of Kentucky is available here in PDF format, the Case # 13-CI-1074. The lawsuit was conceived by President Jordan Palmer, written and signed by Vice President of Legal Jillian Hall, Esq., and Mark A. Morenz-Harbinger, Esq.
At the heart of the suit is the premise that the 2004 amendment to the Kentucky Constitution was passed in violation of the Constitution.
|Jill Hall, Esq.,|
Vice President of Legal
They decided to rewrite a document which guarantees freedom and to pervert it to fit their own jaded hatred of gay and lesbian couples. This was done despite the fact that it negated part of the bill of rights. We, as Kentuckians, must undo this immoral amendment which subverts the soul of our Commonwealth, our rights, and the government of Kentucky.
Lawmakers in Frankfort put something to the people for a vote that was unconstitutional if you read Kentucky’s constitution. The Kentucky constitution is the supreme governing document of the commonwealth; its provisions provide GREATER freedoms than the U.S. constitution.
Kentucky added a facially unconstitutional amendment to its constitution via a ballot initiative process. Thus, the attempt to abrogate constitutional sensibilities in favor of a ballot initiative, as was done for Section 233A of the Kentucky Constitution in 2004, is against the very notion of equal protection as guaranteed to each and all of Kentucky’s population. This should be held as true as a matter of law by the Courts, regardless of the ballot’s outcome."
"Fear of the LGBTI community reached a high-water mark after DOMA," said Kentucky Equality Federation Vice President of Policy & Public Relations Joshua Koch.
"Roving bands of lobbyists funded by extremist elements traveled the country for years vandalizing generations-old institutions and spreading lies and fear in several states. In 2004, they struck Kentucky, traditionally a leader in the region on civil rights, and managed to apply their graffiti to the Constitution, which had been in effect for 113 years. We are simply trying to undo the damage done."
Sunday, July 14, 2013
During his tenure as commonwealth’s attorney, Johnson failed to prosecute hate crimes in Harlan County, namely the case of Misty Turner and later, Kevin Pennington. Kentucky Equality Federation president Jordan Palmer was forced to ask the federal government to intervene.
Kentucky Equality Federation president Jordan Palmer was also featured in several stories with U.S. Attorney Kerry Harvey and his commitment to prosecuting LGBTI hate crimes in Kentucky.
"Kentucky Equality Federation will continue to monitor the conduct of Judge Johnson and will report any indifference to enforce the laws of this Commonwealth both to the U.S. Department of Justice as well as the Kentucky Court of Justice Judicial Conduct Commission,” stated Kentucky Equality Federation President Jordan Palmer. “Violent hate crimes do not just devastate the victim, they also send the message that some of our citizens are expendable, a message which will not be tolerated in our Commonwealth. We will not tolerate the slippery slope of allowing certain segments of our population to be victimized.
Though Johnson issued a summons for the accused in the Pennington case, the next day federal authorities took over the case. This is nothing short of political posturing on the part of the Johnson when he was the commonwealth’s attorney, as the citizens of Harlan saw that, something our attorneys later analyzed: http://community.kyequality.org/2012/10/kevin-pennington-hate-crime-trial.html
Misty Turner never saw any type of justice when Johnson was the Harlan Commonwealth’s Attorney; even after her family and children were assaulted in public. It is our sincere hope that Mr. Johnson now realizes the citizens of Harlan demand justice for all people, or they will be removed from office by their constituents as he was as commonwealth’s attorney.”
"The integrity and reliability of Kentucky’s criminal justice system has taken a major hit with the appointment of Johnson to the 26th Judicial Circuit,” stated Kentucky Equality Federation Regional Director Will Taylor. “I’m certain Johnson will not be reelected to the position given how easily he lost the last election and how indifferent Harlan citizens are to him.”
Kentucky Equality Federation is the Commonwealth's largest advocate for equal treatment of all citizens. As our mission statement explains, "Kentucky Equality Federation believes all people are endowed with inalienable rights to life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness and fulfillment free from oppression, discrimination, school bullying, and hate crimes, regardless of gender identity, sexual orientation, race, creed, veteran status, political affiliation, or any other defining characteristic."
According to The Harlan Daily Enterprise:
“Now, therefore, I Steven L. Beshear, Governor of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, by virtue of the authority vested in me pursuant to Section 118 of the Constitution of Kentucky, do hereby appoint the Honorable Henry Stuart Johnson… to the office of Circuit Judge for the 26th Judicial Circuit, of Kentucky,” said the order issued by Beshear.
“Judge Johnson shall serve subject to the provisions of Section 152 of the Constitution of Kentucky.”
Johnson served as commonwealth’s attorney in Harlan for nearly 20 years, beginning in 1992. He is currently in private practice. Johnson received his law degree from the University of Kentucky and began practicing law in 1976, according to previous reports.
Johnson was succeeded as commonwealth’s attorney after losing re-election to current Commonwealth’s Attorney Parker Boggs.