Friday, April 15, 2011

Today equality-minded people will remain silent; National Day of Silence

Lexington, KY -- Today, schools and universities across the Commonwealth will participate in the National Day of Silence. This is the first year Kentucky Equality Federation is openly encouraging students around the Commonwealth to participate in the national event.

"Things are spiraling out of control," stated Kentucky Equality Federation President Jordan Palmer. "This year we have received a record number of school bullying complaints, and it's only April. From Spirit Day, the day we wore purple in loving memory of all the teenage suicides being called a 'meaningless gesture,' to Kentucky Representative Mike Harmon's comments on school bullying, the Bible, proposed legislation to teach the Bible in Kentucky Schools to wasting Kentucky taxpayer dollars to enforce federal immigration laws, we have reached our boiling point."

The Day of Silence is the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network's (GLSEN) annual day of action to protest the bullying and harassment of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) students and their supporters. Students take a day-long vow of silence to symbolically represent the silencing of LGBT students and their supporters.

Palmer continued: "Citizens are not equal in Kentucky, equality is not the law of this land; LGBTI people are treated as second-class citizens. We are not protected under Kentucky law in employment, housing, accommodations, or credit and I submit to you that is the laws of this Commonwealth do not recognize and protect us as they do smokers, veteran status, age, sex, race, etc. then the laws of this Commonwealth should not apply to the LGBTI community either."

Palmer continued: "We love our Commonwealth; we love its beauty, and believe in the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag of the Commonwealth."

"I pledge allegiance to the Kentucky flag, and to the Sovereign State for which it stands, one Commonwealth, blessed with diversity, natural wealth, beauty, and grace from on High."

The National Bully Police gives the Commonwealth’s anti-bullying laws an A+ Rating. House Bill 91 was proposed in 2008 and passed by the Kentucky House of Representatives, the Kentucky Senate and signed into law by The Honorable Steve Beshear, Governor of the Commonwealth on April 15, 2008. The law is commonly referred to as "The Golden Rule Act."

Palmer continued: "Being verbally or physically assaulted is one of the primary reasons students turn to drugs, alcohol, and/or dropout of school altogether; they cannot cope with the constant verbal and physical assaults. The bottom line is that all students deserve the right to be able to be who they are, without having to face verbal or physical violence, having to lie about being lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or intersex, or having to lie about having LGBTI friends or family members."

Under currently Kentucky law, any act by a student to intimidate, harass, annoy, or alarm another person with intent is a criminal offense. Harassing communications with intent to intimidate, harass, annoy, or alarm another person is also a criminal offense.

Kentucky Equality Federation also warns students not to take the Day of Silence to extreme measures. If you are asked to speak by a teacher, do not be insubordinate. Kentucky Equality Federation calls on all equality-minded students around the Commonwealth to participate and stand united with us in the National Day of Silence.

Kentucky Equality Federation's Discrimination, Hate Crimes, and School Bullying Committee will remain on high alert today and we ask that any student who needs our help to call us toll-free at (877) KEF-5775 - Ext. 6 to reach the Discrimination, Hate Crimes, and School Bullying Committee.

If you are in immediate danger, please dial 911 and report the incident to us after notifying the police.

  • The Alphabet Center at Eastern Kentucky University asks that people participating in the National Day of Silence wear a black or white tee shirt. ALLYance at Morehead State University are also gearing up for an active day.  Other major universities include the University of Louisville, the University of Kentucky, and nearly 42 high schools around the Commonwealth

NOTE: Kentucky Equality Federation is a member of "ILGA," the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association, a non-government observer at the United Nations with consultive status. ILGA is the world's largest and oldest Federation with more than 600 affiliates worldwide. ILGA continues to be active in campaigning for LGBTI rights on the international human rights and civil rights scene and regularly petitions the United Nations and governments. ILGA is represented in around 110 countries across the world.

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