Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Kentucky Equality Federation leads the first rally of the 2008 Legislative Session at the Kentucky Capitol

Two gay rights groups lobbied lawmakers yesterday and held a rally in the Capitol Rotunda in opposition to the proposed ban on domestic-partner benefits.

The state Senate passed the bill (SB-112) in January. The bills fate now lies in the House of Representatives.

The groups also supported House Bill 33 filed by state Representative Mary Lou Marzian (D) Louisville, which is currently in the House Health and Welfare Committee for consideration.

"It's great that our legislatures are seeing that there is a huge LGBT presence in the commonwealth demanding equality and fairness under Kentucky law," stated Jordan Palmer, President of the Kentucky Equality Federation, a statewide gay rights organization. Palmer added, "Every Kentuckian should feel embarrassed that we have a Senate who wants to micromanage public universities, and kills every bill filed to protect LGBT Kentuckians from discrimination in employment, credit, and accommodations."

After lobbying lawmakers, a rally was held in the Capitol Rotunda where spectators drew inspiration from Kentucky Senator Ernesto Scorsone, Representative Kathy W. Stein, and a local Pastor.

The University of Kentucky, whose domestic-partner benefits program was attacked by the state Senate was represented by UK Gay-Straight Alliance Chairwoman Corinne Keel.

"For the first time in the history of the Gay Rights Movement in Kentucky, we are able to show that gay Kentuckians exist in every region of the commonwealth, and they deserve the same rights and protections as their heterosexual counterparts," stated Paul Brown, Chairman of Bluegrass Fairness of Central Kentucky, a Lexington gay rights group.