Wednesday, June 7, 2006

Kentucky Equality Federation Condemns the Federal Marriage Amendment and Expresses Outrage Over Comments Made by U.S. Representative Davis

The Kentucky Equality Federation expressed outrage and regret today to its members and supporters for the response they received from U.S. Representative Geoff Davis [part of Kentucky's Congressional delegation for his response to their opposition to the proposed Federal Marriage Amendment.

In an email response to constituents, U.S. Representative Davis stated: "I am committed to protecting traditional marriage. I proudly supported the Same-Sex Marriage Amendment proposal in Kentucky in 2004 and was pleased to see it pass with 74% of the vote. For too long the courts have gone unchecked when they exceeded their constitutional boundaries. Our Constitution established a government of the people, for the people. It is a shame that we need to resort to amending our Constitution to define marriage. However, a judiciary run amok must be reined-in."

"One must wonder what U.S. Representative Davis thinks the judiciary is here for," stated Jordan Palmer, federation president. "It is the principal function of the judiciary to interpret our laws and constitution, and they are doing so. Our members and supporters haven't been so outraged since Governor Fletcher refused our request to veto funding to the University of the Cumberlands." The Kentucky Equality Federation believes the anti-gay marriage movement comes from the religious belief that homosexuality is a sin, immoral, harms children, and spreads disease.

The Federal Marriage Amendment is an attack on the sovereignty of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, which recognizes gay marriages, as well as the states of New Jersey, Vermont, California, and Connecticut, that have passed civil unions or similar partnerships.

The Kentucky Equality Federation is committed to organizing the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and fair-minded vote throughout the commonwealth. The Association's Board of Directors ratified a statement condemning the Republican attempt to appeal to right-wing voters ahead of November's congressional ballot, and for using the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community as a political punching bag.

Same-sex couples cannot fully participate in society if they are denied the rights and responsibilities offered to heterosexual couples.

Thursday, June 1, 2006

Kentucky Equality Association Issues Notice and Information to a Northern Kentucky High School

After receiving reports that officials at Boone County High School could be delaying the formation of a Gay-Straight Alliance ("GSA"), the Kentucky Equality Association has sent a letter and information pamphlets to the school's principal. The information sent to the school is entitled "Just the Facts" and has been endorsed by the American Association of School Administrators, American Federation of Teachers, American Psychological Association, American School Health Association, National Association of Social Workers, and the National Education Association, among others.

The federal Equal Access Act requires schools to treat GSA's as they would any other school group, according to the letter sent Tuesday to Ms. Peggy Brooks the principal of Boone County High School.

The Kentucky Equality Association/Federation believes delaying or denying the formation of a Gay-Straight Alliance would also violate the Kentucky Education Reform Act.

According to information obtained from the school's website, 16 clubs are currently active in the school including a club dedicated to the animated cartoon, Anime.

A GSA provides a place for students to meet, support each other, talk about issues related to sexual orientation, and work to end homophobia. Many GSA's function as a support group and provide safety and confidentiality to students who are struggling with their identity as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender.

Federal courts have repeatedly ruled in favor of GSA's where schools tried to block their formation, upholding students' right to form the groups in Salt Lake City, Utah, Orange, California, Franklin Township, Indiana, and Boyd County, Kentucky.

The Kentucky Equality Association has offered to make additional information available to any official or student of Boone County High School. "The Kentucky Equality Association will be pleased to provide information and data sheets about GSA's to any other school official or student in the commonwealth," stated Jordan Palmer, association president.

The Advisory Council of the Kentucky Equality Association will continue to monitor the formation of the GSA club at Boone County High School through its members.