Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Out of State Anti-Equality National Leader to be Keynote Speaker at Bluegrass Freedom Rally 2011

In 2007, a UCLA report reflected the attitudes of college freshmen nationwide. The acceptance of same-sex marriage grew even as far back as 2005 and 2006, when the national poll was conducted. The study found that 61% of incoming freshmen in 2006 agreed that same-sex couples should have the right to marriage, up 3.3 percentage points from 2005.

Last week, a Gallup poll showed that a majority of Americans support gay marriage. It was the third such survey this spring, and if you add in the number of Americans who support civil unions, public support for same-sex relationships has become the dominant opinion on the matter in the United States.

"These polls reflect the overall opinion of people actually polled," said Kentucky Equality Federation President Jordan Palmer. "The people polled typically change with each random poll, and not all polls agree. However, on a national level Kentucky Equality Federation and Marriage Equality Kentucky see the changing minds of the American people. Americans are showing their receptive nature, and, while the growth is slower than we would like, we are gratified to see that positive attitudes toward equality are trending positively."

"Unfortunately, the state which passed the first Civil Rights Act in 1966, the Commonwealth of Kentucky, does not seem to be leading in this trend; if they did, we would see changes in our elected lawmakers in Frankfort. We have only a handful of Representatives in the Kentucky House of Representatives who bravely support marriage equality. This shows that our concept of marriage must mature. Marriage is a contract between the State and two loving people, nothing more, nothing less."

"Once the contract is signed, couples are arbitrarily entitled to over 100 benefits offered by the Commonwealth of Kentucky, and over 1000 offered by the United States Government. The government is using these benefits to artificially determine what does or does not constitute a marriage. Oddly enough, when considered in this light, many so-called 'social conservatives' are actually arguing for bigger government and fewer rights for citizens."

Yesterday Jim Daly, the president of the massive religious-right organization Focus on the Family, conceded that his group had basically lost the argument on gay marriage in an interview with a Christian magazine. Daly, a significantly less odious character than his predecessor, Focus on the Family founder James Dobson, also says that Christians should perhaps work on their own marriages instead of trying to prevent others from having families to focus on. His new plan: Let the state go to the perverts and polygamists and have the church set much higher standards for marriage and divorce.

Palmer worries that some Republican operatives who are seeking to gain power within the Kentucky Tea Party culture are actively fighting equal rights, using the label of "liberty" as a cover for their anti-freedom and anti-equality rhetoric.

"What alarms us at Kentucky Equality Federation is that Matthew D. Staver, the Founder and Chairman of anti-equality Liberty Counsel will be visiting the Commonwealth on May 26, 2011 for an event titled 'Bluegrass Freedom Rally 2011,'" Palmer said. "Unfortunately for Liberty Counsel, which supported California's Prop 8, hundreds of tickets remain available because citizens in Lexington are not interested in hate speeches; we have all grown tired of it. Liberty Counsel, the Family Foundation of Kentucky, and the American Family Association of Kentucky should join Focus on the Family and focus on building stronger existing families instead of trying to use cheap mob rule tactics to create intrusive laws which destroy the loving families of tomorrow."

"We will repeal the Commonwealth's 2004 Constitutional Amendment banning same-sex marriage, domestic partnerships, and civil unions. It is only a question of when; just as gender-neural marriage is illegal in Kentucky, so was gender-neutral voting.  As with voting, marriage equality will be made gender neutral. This has been the sole goal of Marriage Equality Kentucky, a group funded by Kentucky Equality Federation since 2008. This will happen, whether radical reactionaries accept it or not. We, as Kentuckians, have a choice: Will we lead on this issue, as we did with the 1966 Civil Rights Act, or will we cede our tradition of leadership to other states? As citizens of this Commonwealth we must all rise up and challenge carpetbagging 'conservative' or 'traditional value' operatives from stopping our progress as a Commonwealth and as a nation toward equal rights."

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