Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Kentucky Gay Civil Rights Leader Elected to National Organization

Jordan Palmer, co-founder and president of Kentucky Equality Federation has been unanimously elected to the Board of Directors of Marriage Equality USA. Marriage Equality USA was founded in 1998 and has chapters operating across the nation.

Marriage Equality USA seeks to "secure legally recognized civil marriage for all, at the federal and state level, without regard to gender identity or sexual orientation."

Marriage Equality USA has made headlines in recent years for their fight to legalize equal marriage rights for the LGBT citizens of California, whose case is currently before the California Supreme Court arguing for the equal right for LGBT people to marry in California. Marriage Equality USA is using a 1948 court ruling (Perez v. Sharp) that overturned a law prohibiting interracial marriage, concluding the right to marry the person of your choice is a "fundamental right of citizenship."

Palmer will be working alongside an army of national activists, including celebrities who are members of the Advisory Board to the Board of Directors of Marriage Equality USA, including Jason & Demarco, Ari Gold, and Brian Kent.

Some of Marriage Equality USA's other activities to date include:
  1. The first organization (joint effort with Lambda Legal) to institute a comprehensive grass roots marriage and media training program for activists.
  2. Began the Valentine's Day/Freedom to Marry Day Marriage License Counter demonstrations across the country; same-sex couples ask for marriage licenses from their city hall and county recorder's offices.
  3. Obtained support of our Marriage Declaration from council members, clergy, community boards, mayors, and other key people throughout the United States.
  4. Sponsored the first-ever Same-Sex Wedding Expo in New York, garnering solid support from gay and non-gay businesses.

"I think Kentucky Equality Federation's strategic alliance with Marriage Equality USA, as well as my appointment to their national Board of Directors is the first step toward repealing Kentucky's 2004 anti-gay amendment, as well as garnering additional support for non-discrimination laws, hospital visitation rights for same-sex couples, and other laws to bring complete equality to Kentucky," stated Palmer.

Palmer's appointment to Marriage Equality USA's Board of Directors is for two years.