Saturday, December 27, 2008


With Governor Beshear having reestablished protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) people in Kentucky Government, Kentucky Equality Federation will be pressing the General Assembly to make such protections public law.

"Though we appreciate Governor Beshear protecting Kentucky's LGBTI population from discrimination in government, hundreds of people in the private sector are discriminated against yearly," stated Kentucky Equality Federation President Jordan Palmer.

City ordinates are also in place in Covington, Lexington, and Louisville that prohibit discrimination against LGBTI people.

"Discrimination often takes place in rural areas of the Commonwealth," stated Palmer. "Discriminating against someone because of their sexual orientation or gender identity is no different than discriminating against someone for being Catholic, Mexican, or because of their age; discrimination is discrimination."

Since beginning an online complaint system in 2006, Kentucky Equality Federation has received hundreds of discrimination reports from LGBTI people in areas of the Commonwealth where it is not illegal.

"The recent nationwide rallies [including Lexington and Louisville] indicate a new level of support for equality and fairness from constituents; the LGBTI community and our heterosexual allies are more alert and engaged," added Palmer. "Smokers are protected from discrimination, yet people are not protected for being themselves, the way they are born. We urge the Kentucky Senate to heed the recommendation of the Kentucky Commission of Human Rights and add sexual orientation and gender identity as a protected class."

The Kentucky Senate is specifically targeted because non-discrimination bills routinely pass the House of Representatives, but not the Senate.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Kentucky Equality Federation supports United Nations Statement

People gathered in the state capitol rotunda on December 10, 2008 to hear Governor Steven Beshear's proclamation of Kentucky Human Rights Day on the 60th anniversary of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).

Today, December 18, 2008 the United Nations General Assembly will hear a critical statement on gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender rights. The statement, endorsed by more than 50 countries across the globe calling for an end to rights abuses based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

"In 1948 the world's nations set forth the promise of human rights, but six decades later, the promise remains unfulfilled for the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered community," stated Jordan Palmer, president of Kentucky Equality Federation, a member of the International Lesbian and Gay Association since 2006.

Kentucky Equality Federation issued an action alert (click here to view it) earlier this month urging Kentucky citizens to contact the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, as well as the U.S. Department of State to support the statement.

As a member organization, Kentucky Equality Federation represents the International Lesbian and Gay Association ("ILGA") in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Composed of over 600 member organizations around the world, ILGA is to this day the only international non-profit and non-governmental community-based federation dedicated to achieving equal rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people at the United Nations.

The draft statement condemns violence, harassment, discrimination, exclusion, stigmatization, and prejudice based on sexual orientation and gender identity. It also condemns killings and executions, torture, arbitrary arrest, and deprivation of economic, social, and cultural rights on those grounds.

So far, 55 countries have signed onto the General Assembly statement, including: Andorra, Armenia, Australia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada, Cape Verde, the Central African Republic, Chile, Ecuador, Georgia, Iceland, Israel, Japan, Liechtenstein, Mexico, Montenegro, New Zealand, San Marino, Serbia, Switzerland, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Uruguay, and Venezuela. All 27 member states of the European Union are also signatories. The United States however, has yet to commit itself to the statement.

United Nations treaty bodies have called on states to end discrimination in law and policy. "It is appalling that the United States of America, the only superpower in the world, currently has no laws prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, nor does the Commonwealth of Kentucky," stated Palmer. "We are very proud however, and grateful that Governor Beshear issued an executive order prohibiting discrimination in Kentucky government, and that the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights finally has a gay member."

If you want to watch it live on December 18, 2008: (Select the General Assembly picture below the screen)

- Print the agenda

You can also come back to the site the following days and look for agenda item 64(b) in the archived video for December 18, 2008:

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Kentucky Equality Federation wishes to express its sincere gratitude and appreciation to students of the Basic Public Speaking class at the University of Louisville

Kentucky Equality Federation wishes to express its sincere gratitude and appreciation to students of the Basic Public Speaking class at the University of Louisville, and its instructor.

"One student persuading their classmates to donate $1.00 to the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender cause shows the impact one person can have," stated Kentucky Equality Federation President Jordan Palmer. "The act means far more than the monetary value of the check; one student persuading 18 classmates to donate $1.00 to our cause is a remarkable feat."

Despite the November election, which resulted in three additional state constitutional amendments restricting marriage to be between a man and a woman and another amendment that restricted adoption to married couples, Kentucky Equality Federation believes the equality movement remains strong here in the Commonwealth, and around the nation.