Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Kentucky Equality Federation partners with the Kentucky Domestic Violence Association in support of House Bill 35

Lexington, KY -- Kentucky Equality Federation and the Kentucky Domestic Violence Association have formed a coalition to push House Bill 35 sponsored by Kentucky Senior Representative Jody Richards using a petition in partnership with

Kentucky House Bill 35 would expand the protective order statute to allow persons who are dating, or have dated, but who have never lived together, and do not have a child in common, to petition for protective orders. The bill would also expand the warrantless arrest statute to cover all persons in a dating relationship.

"We are excited to work with Kentucky Equality Federation on this bill," stated Beth Workman, the Kentucky Domestic Violence Association IDA Program Coordinator. "One in four adults are direct victims of domestic violence and one in five teenagers are victims of intimate partner violence. Currently in Kentucky, only certain groups are afforded legal protection to escape domestic abuse. House Bill 35 would expand the protective order statute to allow persons who are dating, or have dated, but who have never lived together, and do not have a child in common, to petition for protective orders."

Physical and sexual abuse is the most often talked about piece of dating abuse, but dating abuse doesn’t have to be physical. It can include verbal and emotional abuse and controlling behaviors. In addition, as technologies like cell phones and social networking become the norm for communication, they can also be used to further abuse and control.

"Passing House Bill 35 is a very important step forward in protecting all people from violence and securing equality for all citizens of the Commonwealth. Neither domestic nor dating violence are bound by a specific sexual orientation, both heterosexual and homosexual couples endure dating violence," stated Anderson Ruth, a Kentucky Equality Federation Internal Coordinator and Political Blogger. "Same-sex couples should be granted the same constitutional protections as any other family or dating couple."

"I welcome this union between Kentucky Equality Federation and the Kentucky Domestic Violence Association," stated Julia Oiler Spiegel, the Kentucky Equality Federation Children of LGBTI Parents Outreach Director. Ms. Spiegel is also the Director of the Kentucky Chapter of COLAGE (Children Of Lesbians And Gays Everywhere), an international organization with 52 chapters in the United States. The Kentucky Chapter of COLAGE is a coalition partner and member of Kentucky Equality Federation. "Physical and mental abuse is a major problem with all communities in Kentucky."

Click here to sign the petition.

Kentucky Equality Federation:  (877) KEF-5775 - Ext. 5
Kentucky Domestic Violence Association: (502) 226-5382

Monday, January 10, 2011

Funeral services concluded today for another Kentucky Equality Federation volunteer

Funeral services concluded today for Dustin Sizemore, a former volunteer for Kentucky Equality Federation. Mr. Sizemore died at the age of 23 years old.

When volunteering for Kentucky Equality Federation, Mr. Sizemore was the Leslie/Perry County Coordinator from 2007-2008.

Kentucky Equality Federation acknowledges that Mr. Sizemore had problems with school bullying and harassment growing up in such a rural area.  Kentucky Equality Federation defended and tried to counsel Mr. Sizemore on several occasions.  Many teenagers and young adults turn to drugs or alcohol to escape the bullying and/or harassment.

Kentucky Equality Federation wishes to express its deepest sympathy to his family.  Kentucky Equality Federation reminds the public that regardless of the circumstances of this death, Mr. Sizemore was a public advocate, and more importantly, a son and brother to a loving family. 

"I send my condolences to his family and am deeply saddened," stated Marriage Equality Kentucky™ Managing Director Halyn Roth.

"This is very sad to hear and the very reason that organizations like the Kentucky Equality Federation are so great to have. It really saddens me to hear this and my deepest condolences go out to his family," stated Kentucky Equality Federation Political and Community Blogger Anderson Ruth.

"Although I was not personally acquainted with Mr. Sizemore, he was a member of our family, a member of Kentucky Equality Federation's family and a close personal friend to many of our members, affiliates and coalition members. During this time of mourning and sadness I cannot help but feel the need to remind people who bully, harass, discriminate, intimidate, or shun the LGBTI community, it often leads them to suicide, or a life of drug or alcohol abuse to escape the pain. Mr. Sizemore himself made posts about this (such as the one about the Kentucky State Police, as well as the ARH Regional Medical Center in Hazard). If you know someone who needs help, please contact us online, or toll-free at (877) KEF-5775.  If we cannot help you personally, we will put you in direct contact with an organization that can." - Richard T. Jones, Chairman of the Board

Kentucky Equality Federation also lost a co-founder of Kentucky Equality Coalition, Inc. in late 2010.  Kimball Roy passed away on August 17, 2010 from a heart attack at the age of 45.

Mr. Roy also served as Assistant Treasurer and Assistant Secretary of the Corporation for both Federation for Kentucky Equality, Inc. and Kentucky Equality Coalition, Inc. (collectively called Kentucky Equality Federation).

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Marriage Equality Kentucky names Halyn Roth Managing Director

Marriage Equality Kentucky™ today announced that long-term Kentucky Equality Federation™ volunteer Halyn Roth was named managing director of Marriage Equality Kentucky™.

"Being nominated and appointed Managing Director of Marriage Equality Kentucky™ is very important to me," stated Roth who was recently the Campaign Manager for Democrat Jim Holbert, who opposed Republican U.S. Representative Hal Rogers in Kentucky's Fifth Congressional District during the 2010 election.

Roth continued: "I am a believer in the Constitution and our rights as citizens to live our lives the way we see fit. That being said, I believe we have a Constitutional right to marry any consenting adult we choose, regardless of sexual orientation. I would utilize my experience as a Campaign Manager and as a political activist to bring marriage equality to the Commonwealth of Kentucky.  I also intend to reach out to the religious community and attempt to form alliances with those who understand that our movement does not seek to destroy any religious institution, but rather equality under the laws of our Commonwealth and the United States. I will also lobby Kentucky lawmakers who may be "on the fence," by educating and persuading them to vote in favor of marriage equality."

  • Marriage Equality Kentucky™ has a Facebook group with over 7,500 members who support marriage equality in Kentucky, over 400 people who have signed public petitions, with an additional 4,230 people who have signed private petitions.  

Marriage Equality Kentucky™ is a member of the national organization, Marriage Equality USA™.

Marriage Equality Kentucky is an independent group funded by Kentucky Equality Federation. Marriage Equality Kentucky is also a member of Kentucky Equality Federation and recognizes the sitting president of Kentucky Equality Federation as their Ex-Officio President.

Kentucky Equality Federation President Jordan Palmer yesterday gave the appointment a "rubber stamp," approval as required by the Bylaws of Kentucky Equality Federation, and the Constitution of Marriage Equality Kentucky.

Kentucky Equality Federation Treasurer Dean Byrd called the appointment of Halyn Roth as Managing Director of Marriage Equality Kentucky "an excellent decision."

Julia Oiler Spiegel, the director of the Northern Kentucky Chapter COLAGE™ (Children Of Lesbians And Gays Everywhere, an international organization with 52 chapters in the United States) stated: "As an engaged lesbian in a committed relationship, I personally thank Halyn Roth and Jordan Palmer for their continued efforts and passion in helping to make a much needed change within the Commonwealth and throughout the country. I will help Mr. Roth anyway possible, and have a high degree of confidence in Jordan Palmer's decisions."

The COLAGE – Northern Kentucky Chapter is also a coalition ally and member of Kentucky Equality Federation.

Louisville based Jeffrey Johnson; the Central Kentucky Regional Director for Kentucky Equality Federation also offered his support to Roth.

"Just because the largely anti-gay Tea Party now controls the U.S. House of Representatives, in addition to losses of gay-friendly lawmakers in the Kentucky House of Representatives, we shall not hide in the dark, nor shall we retreat because a new political force originally founded to bring financial change is now pushing social change," stated Kentucky Equality Federation President Jordan Palmer. "Though many national organizations are retreating, we shall not let the issue of marriage equality fall aside in Kentucky. We cannot allow social injustice to survive another generation; our time is now and we will continue to fight for peace, liberty, and equality regardless of opposition."

Richard T. Jones, Kentucky Equality Federation's Chairman of the Board announced that legislative priorities will be announced tomorrow after continued consultation with coalition partners, members, and allied organizations.

Kentucky Equality Federation owns the trademark "Marriage Equality Kentucky," but the Federation's Board of Directors permit Marriage Equality Kentucky to operate as a separate group and movement.