Monday, April 26, 2010

Cheyenne Williams Media Update. Jackson County Alleged Attempted Murder and Kidnapping Case of a Lesbian Student

As spokesperson for the Dee Johnson and her daughter, Cheyenne Williams, Kentucky Equality Federation has consulted our attorney Jill Hall Rose ( In addition, Ms. Johnson has been in contact with the County Attorney and neither are worried about the outcome of the case.

Per the request of the victim’s mother, Kentucky Equality Federation is the sole spokesman for all media outlets regarding this event. Inquiries may be directed to: (877) KEF-5775 – Ext. 5.


From my perspective as president of Kentucky Equality Federation, the alleged victim filed a criminal complaint and made statements to the media, as well as her mother, Ms. Johnson. Kentucky Equality Federation also rushed to her defense because of statements made by Kentucky State Police.

It is completely normal in these types of proceeding for the accused to have counterattacks.

Kentucky Equality Federation remains united with the plaintiff. Miss Williams stands by her statements and the hate crimes report filed with Kentucky Equality Federation.

Kentucky Equality Federation has offered to help pay legal expenses if Williams' family wants to push for a hate-crime designation or pursue a civil lawsuit. We have also offered to help in elevating this to a federal level under the new hate crimes law U.S. President Obama signed into law.

Richard Jones, a senior member of Kentucky Equality Federation’s Discrimination, Hate Crimes, and School Bullying Committee had a detailed conversation with Ms. Johnson and Miss Williams yesterday.

Committee members continue to work with Miss Williams and her mother. As Mr. Jones told the family yesterday, "We are committed to working with you and your family to the very best of our ability and the law."

In a Committee email, Mr. Jones reported:
After investigating the Hate Crime report submitted by the mother of Miss Cheyenne Williams, it has been determined that everything contained in the statement [the initial hate crime report to Kentucky Equality Federation] within the report is accurate to the best of the authors and my knowledge.

Kentucky Equality Federation also received the following email:
If you don’t help Cheyenne Williams and literally protest the streets of McKee, her attackers will walk free like Audrey Marcum’s.


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Kentucky Equality Federation condemns: Help 4 Families Presents, "Hope Gathering 2010"

Kentucky Equality Federation today condemned an anti-gay and so called "ex-gay" group coming to Nicholasville, KY on May 22, 2010. The gathering is called "Hope Gathering 2010" which is being promoted as an event to help people "gain a deeper understanding of Gender Identity Disorder in a Christ centered gathering."

"After visiting the site of Help 4 Families, everything I have read is complete dogma," stated Kentucky Equality Federation President Jordan Palmer. "As a Christian, the message from Jesus is to love your neighbor, yet we continue to have groups such as these who twist religion to suit their own selfish needs."

Nikki McIntosh, Kentucky Equality Federation's Transgender Outreach Director stated, "They are disguising this as if they are a support group or want to help people, however, their real agenda is brainwashing people. I am the way God made me and I'm no mistake."

Homosexuality and gender identity is not unique in its status as an issue some people use to justify their hatred and/or repression of others. Throughout the history of this Commonwealth, our nation, the world, and the church, there have been other issues that were divisive in nature: anti-Semitism, slavery, and female clergy to name a few.

Palmer continued: "Unfortunately, for LGBTI people, some of the people who treat them the worst are their closest friends, family members, and churches upon learning of their sexual orientation or gender identity. This double jeopardy situation leads many LGBTI people to the brink of despair, and sometimes to suicide," stated Palmer. "Their blood is on the hands of groups such as Help 4 Families and gatherings such as Hope Gathering 2010."

"Kentucky Equality Federation will not allow the minds of adults, and more importantly, our youth to be poisoned," added Kentucky Equality Federation Board Secretary and Treasurer Dean Byrd.

"The development of a person's gender identity is not preventable or curable, this has been misunderstood by mainstream society for years, stated Rick Wolfe, Special Advisor for Youth and Discrimination, and a member of Kentucky Equality Federation's Discrimination, Hate Crimes, and School Bulling Committee. "Reparative therapy has proved to be a fraud, society has proven there is no "normal" gender identity or "normal" gender role. The program that is offered, is for narrow-minded and fearful individuals that are in need of the acceptance of others."

Principle 3 of The Yogyakarta Principles states that "Person of diverse sexual orientation and gender identities shall enjoy legal capacity in all aspects of life. Each person's self-defined sexual orientation and gender identity is integral to their personality and is one of the most basic aspects of self-determination, dignity and freedom" and Principle 18 of this states that "Notwithstanding any classifications to the contrary, a person's sexual orientation and gender identity are not, in and of themselves, medical condition and are not to be treated, cured or suppressed."

According to these Principles, any gender identity of a transsexual or transgendered person is neither "disorder" nor mental illness, thus the diagnosis "gender identity disorder" can be contradictory and irreverent.

Professor Michael O’Flaherty, with the International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA) and a member of the United Nations Human Rights Committee stated, "All human rights belong to all of us. We have human rights because we exist – not because we are gay or straight and irrespective of our gender identities, but that in many situations these human rights are not respected or realized. This is evident as a matter of principle and also as a matter of international human rights law."

The Yogyakarta Principles on the Application of United Nations International Human Rights Law in relation to Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity is a set of international principles relating to sexual orientation and gender identity, intended to address documented evidence of abuse of rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people, and further of inter-sexuality requested by Louise Arbour according to the International Human Rights Law. Louise Arbour, CC, GOQ is the former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, and a former justice of the Supreme Court of Canada.

67 of the United Nations' 192 member countries have sponsored the Yogyakarta Principles, including every member of the European Union.

In addition, the United Nations General Assembly welcomed the adoption of Resolution AG/RES. 2435 (XXXVIII-O/08) on "Human Rights, Sexual Orientation, and Gender Identity" by the General Assembly of the Organization of American States during its 38th session in June 03, 2008.

Richard Jones, Special Assistant to Kentucky Equality Federation President Jordan Palmer for Communications and Administration as well as Ben Brannock, Kentucky Equality Federation's Outreach Director for High Schools and Universities dismissed "Hope Gathering 2010" as anti-gay propaganda.

Friday, April 9, 2010

House Bill 350 is dead despite an attempt by a lawmaker to pass the bill by hiding it in other legislation

We are pleased to announce that Kentucky House Bill 350 is officially dead! At the last moment however, David Watkins, a Junior Representative, attached House Bill 350 to Senate Bill 127, a bill he knew the Governor would sign because it was an education bill.

However, by attaching the bill, it went back to the House of Representatives for concurrence, which they withheld.

"The Kentucky House Health and Welfare Committee knew House Bill 350 was dangerous, refused to post it, and no one voted on it. The Committee was wise enough to realize the requirements for licensed care providers must remain in place," stated Kentucky Equality Federation President Jordan Palmer. "Representative David Watkins used an underhanded technique used at the end of sessions to move pieces of legislation that haven't moved before by hiding them in other places."

House Bill 350 would have dismantled the education and prevention efforts performed by the Kentucky HIV/AIDS Branch, a unit of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services. In addition, House Bill 350 would have removed the requirement that podiatrists, physicians, acupuncturists, physician's assistants, athletic trainers, chiropractors, dentists, dental hygienists, registered nurses, advanced registered nurse practitioners, licensed practical nurses, pharmacists, optometrists, physical therapists, laboratory personnel, and social workers complete HIV/AIDS education and training as a condition of being licensed to practice in the Commonwealth.

Kentucky Equality Federation President Jordan Palmer and other volunteers had several meetings with Senior Representative Tom Burch, Chairman of the House Health and Welfare Committee about the bill.

"Citizens of the Commonwealth will continue to have educated licensed care providers, and the Kentucky HIV/AIDS Branch can continue to perform the wonderful job they struggle to do [not enough funding] in educating the public about HIV/AIDS," Palmer stated. As of March 15, 2010 exactly 3,115 Kentucky citizens signed our action alert condemning House Bill 350; once Representative David Watkins realized House Bill 350 was dead, and attached it to Senate Bill 127 we issued another action alerts with our coalition allies, adding another 2,348 signatures for a total of 5,463 signatures. This was citizen advocacy in action, the people spoke and the House of Representatives listened."

Kentucky Equality Federation would like to extend a heartfelt thanks to Kentucky Senior Representative Tom Burch (Chair of the House Health & Welfare Committee), Kerri Richardson with the Governor's Communications Office, the Kentucky HIV/AIDS Advocacy Action Group, and more importantly, all of the citizens around the Commonwealth that signed our action alert.

Click here to view a copy of Senate Bill 127, signed into law by Governor Beshear, which contacts no provisions of House Bill 350 (link is courtesy of the Executive Journal of the Kentucky Secretary of State's Office).