Thursday, November 30, 2017

1 in 4 LGBTI people report discrimination in 2016 - SPECIAL REPORT

A disturbing report was issued by the Center for American Progress about LGBTI discrimination. 1 in 4 LGBT people report experiencing discrimination in 2016.

"This is clearly unacceptable and we must eliminate the Kentucky Religious Freedom Act. We call on the Kentucky Supreme Court to overturn this legislation which is effectively a license to discriminate," stated Jordan Palmer, secretary-general of Kentucky Equality Federation, Marriage Equality Kentucky, Southeastern Kentucky Stop Hate Group, Be Proud - Western Kentucky, Kentucky HIV Advocacy Campaign, Kentucky Equal Ballot Access, and others combined together in the Earth Equality Alliance.

Over the past decade, the nation has made unprecedented progress toward LGBTI equality. But to date, neither the federal government nor most states (including the Commonwealth of Kentucky - have explicit statutory nondiscrimination laws protecting people on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. LGBTI people still face widespread discrimination: Between 11 percent and 28 percent of LGBTI workers report losing a promotion simply because of their sexual orientation, and 27 percent of transgender workers report being fired, not hired, or denied a promotion in the past year. Discrimination also routinely affects LGBTI people beyond the workplace, sometimes costing them their homes, access to education, and even the ability to engage in public life.

Data from a nationally representative survey of LGBTI people conducted by CAP shows that 25.2 percent of LGBTI respondents has experienced discrimination because of their sexual orientation or gender identity in the past year. The January 2017 survey shows that, despite progress, in 2016 discrimination remained a widespread threat to LGBTI people’s well-being, health, and economic security.

Among people who experienced sexual orientation- or gender-identity-based discrimination in the past year:
  • 68.5 percent reported that discrimination at least somewhat negatively affected their psychological well-being. 
  • 43.7 percent reported that discrimination negatively impacted their physical well-being. 
  • 47.7 percent reported that discrimination negatively impacted their spiritual well-being. 
  • 38.5 percent reported discrimination negatively impacted their school environment. 
  • 52.8 percent reported that discrimination negatively impacted their work environment. 
  • 56.6 report it negatively impacted their neighborhood and community environment. 

Unseen harms
LGBTI people who don’t experience overt discrimination, such as being fired from a job, may still find that the threat of it shapes their lives in subtle but profound ways. David M., a gay man, works at a Fortune 500 company with a formal, written nondiscrimination policy. “I couldn’t be fired for being gay,” he said. But David went on to explain, “When partners at the firm invite straight men to squash or drinks, they don’t invite the women or gay men. I’m being passed over for opportunities that could lead to being promoted.”

“I’m trying to minimize the bias against me by changing my presentation in the corporate world,” he added. “I lower my voice in meetings to make it sound less feminine and avoid wearing anything but a black suit. … When you’re perceived as feminine—whether you’re a woman or a gay man—you get excluded from relationships that improve your career.”

David is not alone. Survey findings and related interviews show that LGBTI people hide personal relationships, delay health care, change the way they dress, and take other steps to alter their lives because they could be discriminated against.

Maria S., a lesbian who lives in North Carolina, described a long commute from her home in Durham to a different town where she works. She makes the drive every day so that she can live in a city that’s friendly to LGBTI people. She loves her job, but she’s not out to her boss. “I wonder whether I would be let go if the higher-ups knew about my sexuality,” she says.

CAP’s research shows that stories such as Maria’s and David’s are common. The below table shows the percentage of LGBTI people who report changing their lives in a variety of ways in order to avoid discrimination.

Click to make larger.
Click to make larger.

As Table 1 shows, LGBTI people who’ve experienced discrimination in the past year are significantly more likely to alter their lives for fear of discrimination, even deciding where to live and work because of it, suggesting that there are lasting consequences for victims of discrimination. Yet findings also support the contention that LGBTI people do not need to have experienced discrimination in order to act in ways that help them avoid it, which is in line with empirical evidence on a component of minority stress theory: expectations of rejection.

Not only can threatened discrimination bar LGBTI people from living authentically—it can also deny them material opportunities. Rafael J.,* a gay student in California, told CAP that he “decided to apply to law schools only in LGBTI-safe cities or states,” denying him the opportunity pursue his graduate education at schools he might otherwise have applied to. “I did not think I would be safe being an openly gay man,” he said. “Especially a gay man of color, in some places.”

Unique vulnerabilities in the workplace
Within the LGBTI community, people who were vulnerable to discrimination across multiple identities reported uniquely high rates of avoidance behaviors.

In particular, LGBTI people of color were more likely to hide their sexual orientation and gender identity from employers, with 12 percent removing items from their resumes—in comparison to 8 percent of white LGBTI respondents—in the past year.

Similarly, 18.7 percent of 18- to 24-year-old LGBTI respondents reported removing items from their resumes—in comparison to 7.9 percent of 35- to 44-year-olds.

Meanwhile, 15.5 percent of disabled LGBTI respondents reported removing items from their resume—in comparison to 7.3 percent of nondisabled LGBTI people. This finding may reflect higher rates of unemployment among people of color, disabled people, and young adults; it may also reflect that LGBTI people who could also face discrimination on the basis of their race, youth, and disability feel uniquely vulnerable to being denied a job due to discrimination, or a combination of factors.

Unique vulnerabilities in the public square
Discrimination, harassment, and violence against LGBTI people—especially transgender people—has always been common in places of public accommodation, such as hotels, restaurants, or government offices. The 2015 United States Transgender Survey found that, among transgender people who visited a place of public accommodation where staff knew or believed they were transgender, nearly one in three experienced discrimination or harassment—including being denied equal services or even being physically attacked.

In March 2016, then North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory signed H.B. 2 into law, which mandated anti-transgender discrimination in single-sex facilities—and began an unprecedented attack on transgender people’s access to public accommodations and ability to participate in public life.

That year, more than 30 bills specifically targeting transgender people’s access to public accommodations were introduced in state legislatures across the country. This survey asked transgender respondents whether they had avoided places of public accommodation from January 2016 through January 2017, during a nationwide attack on transgender people’s rights.

Among transgender survey respondents:
  • 25.7 percent reported avoiding public places such as stores and restaurants, versus 9.9 percent of cisgender LGBTI respondents 
  • 10.9 percent reported avoiding public transportation, versus 4.1 percent of cisgender LGBTI respondents 
  • 11.9 percent avoided getting services they or their family needed, versus 4.4 percent of cisgender LGBTI respondents 
  • 26.7 percent made specific decisions about where to shop, versus 6.6 percent of cisgender LGBTI respondents These findings suggest that ongoing discrimination in public accommodations pushes transgender people out of public life, making it harder for them to access key services, use public transportation, or simply go to stores or restaurants without fear of discrimination. 

Disabled LGBTI people were also significantly more likely to avoid public places than their nondisabled LGBTI counterparts. Among disabled LGBTI survey respondents, in the past year:

  • 20.4 percent reported avoiding public places such as stores and restaurants, versus 9.1 percent of nondisabled LGBTI respondents
  • 8.8 percent reported avoiding public transportation, versus 3.6 percent of nondisabled LGBTI respondents
  • 14.7 percent avoided getting services they or their family needed, versus 2.9 percent of nondisabled LGBTI respondents
  • 25.7 percent made specific decisions about where to shop, versus 15.4 percent of nondisabled LGBTI respondents

This is likely because, in addition to the risk of anti-LGBTI harassment and discrimination, LGBTI people with disabilities contend with inaccessible public spaces. For example, many transit agencies fail to comply with Americans with Disabilities Act, or ADA, requirements that would make public transportation accessible to people with visual and cognitive disabilities.

Unique vulnerabilities in health care 
In 2010, more than half of LGBTI people reported being discriminated against by a health care providers and more than 25 percent of transgender respondents reported being refused medical care outright. Since then, LGBTI people have gained protections from health care discrimination—most notably, regulations stemming from the Affordable Care Act, or ACA, have prohibited federally funded hospitals, providers, and insurers from discriminating against LGBTI patients. Despite progress, LGBTI people, and transgender people in particular, remain vulnerable to healthcare discrimination: In 2015, one-third of transgender people who saw a health care provider reported “at least one negative experience related to being transgender.” These negative experiences included being refused treatment or even being physically assaulted. Transgender people of color and people with disabilities reported particularly high rates of discrimination from health care providers.

Unsurprisingly, people in these vulnerable groups are especially likely to avoid doctor’s offices, postponing both preventative and needed medical care:
  • 23.5 percent of transgender respondents avoided doctors’ offices in the past year, versus 4.4 percent of cisgender LGBTI respondents 
  • 13.7 percent of disabled LGBTI respondents avoided doctors’ offices in the past year, versus 4.2 percent of nondisabled LGBTI respondents 
  • 10.3 percent of LGBTI people of color avoided doctors’ offices in the past year, versus 4.2 percent of white LGBTI respondents 

These findings are consistent with research that has also identified patterns of health care discrimination against people of color and disabled people. For example, one survey of health care practices in five major cities found that more than one in five practices were inaccessible to patients who used wheelchairs.

A call to action 
To ensure that civil rights laws explicitly protect LGBTI people, Congress and all States should pass an Equality Act, a comprehensive bill banning discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in employment, public accommodations, housing, credit, and federal funding, among other provisions.

*Authors’ note:  All names have been changed out of respect for interviewees’ privacy.

To conduct this study, CAP commissioned and designed a survey, fielded by Knowledge Networks, which surveyed 1,864 individuals about their experiences with health insurance and health care. Among the respondents, 857 identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual, and/or transgender, while 1,007 identified as heterosexual and cisgender/nontransgender. Respondents came from all income ranges and are diverse across factors such as race, ethnicity, education, geography, disability status, and age. The survey was fielded online in English in January 2017 to coincide with the fourth open enrollment period through the health insurance marketplaces and the beginning of the first full year of federal rules that specifically protect LGBT people from discrimination in health insurance coverage and health care. The data are nationally representative and weighted according to U.S. population characteristics. All reported findings are statistically significant unless otherwise indicated. All comparisons presented are statistically significant at the p < .05 level.

Separate from the quantitative survey, the authors solicited stories exploring the impact of discrimination on LGBT people’s lives. Using social media platforms, the study authors requested volunteers to anonymously recount personal experiences of changing their behavior or making other adjustments to their daily lives to prevent experiencing discrimination. Interviews were conducted by one of the study authors and names were changed to protect the identity of the interviewee.

Additional information about study methods and materials are available from the authors.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Governor Bevin needs Education on Medical Marijuana

Governor Matt Bevin needs to be educated on medical marijuana. "The news article 'Marijuana Overdoses Kill 37 in Colorado On First Day of Legalization' was a hoax, but the Governor isn't well read enough to realize this. By the time the commonwealth legalizes medical marijuana, it will be too late for Kentuckians to benefit from it," stated Kentucky Equality Federation Secretary-General Jordan Palmer.

"'People will drive when they are stoned' some say, well, in Kentucky, it is illegal to #drive on high blood pressure medication, pain medication, etc. so they are already driving stoned. I am however pleased the Governor gave us a way to remedy the situation by stating 'as long as I am Governor' well, thankfully we will have an election soon enough."

"We are sick of big brother and government telling the unemployed what they can and cannot do to earn a living. Marijuana addiction is rare, the chances are greater to become an alcoholic. Marijuana cannot lead to a fatal overdose, and it is not a gateway drug. I hope the Kentucky House of Representatives and the Kentucky Senate will pass the legislation and should the Governor veto it, I pray they override his veto. The mentality of the Bevin Administration is to be last at everything, and unemployment isn't on their minds; thousands of unemployed coal miners could easier become marijuana farmers."

"Again we have an Administration in Frankfort, Kentucky that doesn't care about the Southern Region of the Commonwealth. I had much rather our youth use marijuana as a recreational drug than cocaine or crystal meth."

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

United States votes against LGBTI civil rights at the United Nations

The U.S. on voted against a United Nations Human Rights Council resolution that condemns the #death penalty for those found guilty of committing consensual same-sex sexual acts.

Still, the resolution — which Belgium, Benin, Costa Rica, France, Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia and Switzerland introduced — passed by a 27-13 vote margin.

This leaves nation-states that execute LGBTI people open for sanctions or refusal of aid from the United Nations at the discretion of Secretary-General of the United Nations.

Col. Jordan Palmer with Kentucky Equality Federation and Marriage Equality Kentucky, called the U.S. vote shameful, but not unlike similar resolutions the U.S. also sided with Russia, Iran, and Egypt in the past.

"America will never be “great” again until we deal with human rights," Palmer stated.

Kelly Currie, the U.S. representative to the U.N. Economic and Social Council, attended the event but did NOT speak.

Former U.S. Vice President Biden is among those who spoke at last year’s U.N. LGBT Core Group event.

U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley (former Governor of the State of South Carolina) in April said the U.S. remains “disturbed” by the ongoing crackdown against gay men and lesbians in Chechnya.

Friday, June 23, 2017

#KY #CA California extending travel ban to include Kentucky

The Earth Equality Alliance, Kentucky Equality Federation, and Marriage Equality Kentucky (an alliance of more than eight (8) organizations with a common spokesperson and unifying secretary-general) today commented on the California Attorney General adding the Commonwealth of Kentucky to its travel ban.

After the passage of Kentucky Senate Bill 17, Kentucky Equality Federation promised to sue should a student suffer from discrimination as a result of the law, as reported by the Lexington Herald-Leader.

# # #
Dillan Marsh, Executive Director
Secretary General Jordan Palmer's Office of Special Affairs
PH: (502) 219-2533
 # # #

"Fanatics are now trying to turn religious freedom into a license to discriminate and it will not be tolerated,” stated Secretary-General Jordan Palmer.

“Kentucky Equality Federation and its attorneys have never lost a lawsuit, from NKU, Hazard, to the Warren County Detention Center to striking down Kentucky’s same-sex marriage ban by a Kentucky judge. We are eager to sink our teeth into what fanatics are twisting as so-called religious freedom. Perhaps it is the religious belief of someone to sell they're first born female child into slavery, but that person would also be convicted of a criminal act and this is much the same.

The freedom of religion gives you permission to worship as you see fit as per the constitution of this Commonwealth. If someone believes that isn't the definition of religious freedom, then they do not understand the meaning of it. But, religious freedom is commonly understood.

No law may supersede the Constitution, even with a ballot outcome (see Kentucky Equality Federation v. Governor Steve Beshear)."

Section V of the Commonwealth's Constitution states (bold emphases added):

No preference shall ever be given by law to any religious sect, society or denomination; nor to any particular creed, mode of worship or system of ecclesiastical polity; nor shall any person be compelled to attend any place of worship, to contribute to the erection or maintenance of any such place, or to the salary or support of any minister of religion; nor shall any man be compelled to send his child to any school to which he may be conscientiously opposed; and the civil rights, privileges or capacities of no person shall be taken away, or in anywise diminished or enlarged, on account of his belief or disbelief of any religious tenet, dogma or teaching. No human authority shall, in any case whatever, control or interfere with the rights of conscience.

Palmer continued: “The Kentucky Constitution guarantees freedom of religion as intended, that neither the commonwealth nor any power shared with the federal government, shall ever force a religious belief on its citizens or force them to attend any particular religious services.”

The travel ban was first put into effect January 1 when state measure AB 1887 became law. The law says California is "a leader in protecting civil rights and preventing discrimination" and should not support or finance "discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people."

The California travel ban included Tennessee, North Carolina, Mississippi and Kansas, and now included Alabama, Kentucky, and Texas.

This will also have a great impact on sports.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Condemnation of Black Youth Project Statements: "Keep your white friends and partners away from Black Pride events," and "When white people enter a space, anti-Blackness always does too"


Condemnation of Black Youth Project Statements: "Keep your white friends and partners away from Black Pride events," and "When white people enter a space, anti-Blackness always does too"

LEXINGTON, KY -- #Pride #AllLivesMatter #DefendEquality The Kentucky Equality Federation, the American Federation of NGO’s, and their member organizations recognize the renewed energy of activists in the Trump era, but we must act with tact and skill and resist a relapse to what Trump represents, especially to the LGBTI, Black, Latino communities and Women. Additionally, we will not permit so-called Right Wing ‘Christian’ fundamentalism to conquer and divide us. We shall stand tall and walk tall, united in love and friendship, that is the biggest threat we represent to the current era, but we shall not falter, we will prevail. Love and friendship are stronger than hate and prejudice.

However, we must strongly condemn the recent Black Youth Project communication titled “Keep your white friends and partners away from Black Pride events,” and “When white people enter a space, anti-Blackness always does too,” and they call for segregationism and racism in the LGBTI community and the same between White and Black America.

The use of the word queer is also condemned and vehemently rejected, by the brain fart organization (credit to Bruce A. Dixon of the Black Agenda Report for the use of the name ‘Brain Fart’ when describing this organization) and its sub-units; I am not a queer nor a fag, but I am gay.

The statements of Hari Zared and the parent, Black Youth Project 100 (BYP100) a non-government organization (NGO) identified as being part of, or the power behind, #BlackLivesMatter.

In the published articles, the Black Youth Project dismisses #jurisprudence, coalition building with other communities, and is constantly bombarding our Black youth with anti-Black articles, pictures, and opinions attempting to ‘conquer and divide.’

The true mentality of these articles is pure racism, bigotry, and hate.

Additionally, I will attend whatever events I so desire. The information these organizations are bombarding our youth with is an offense to individual rights, with delusions of being politically correct or remotely accurate.

LGBTI pride belongs to all members of the community, including our Black family. We must continue to pursue acceptance within our efforts, rather than seeking to segregate them. It is unthinkable that this brain fart organization and its subunits would seek to divide the community, down to individual partners and relationships, using racism as a weapon.

This year, the broader LGBTI community finds itself under more pressure and attacks than it has been since the dawn of the marriage equality struggle, nearly two decades ago. Now is a time for us to all stand firmly together. When we divide due to pettiness and prejudice, the forces of inequality and intolerance gain an advantage against all of us.

We will not be shoved back in the closet, and we will most certainly never allow it to be done because of neo-segregationism in our midst. We can overcome with love, but we must do so together and reject the offensive rhetoric of brain fart organizations who teach hatred and racism.

People from all walks of life are welcome at LGBTI pride events, united in love and friendship.

#GayLivesMatter, #AllLivesMatter, #WhiteLivesMatter, #BlackLivesMatter, and to use the Flag of the Races (also called the Flag of the Human Race) #RedLivesMatter, #WhiteLivesMatter, #BrownLivesMatter, #YellowLivesMatter, #BlackLivesMatter. The Flag of the Human Race has five horizontal stripes (from top to bottom they were red, white, brown, yellow, and black). This is said to be the inspiration behind #TheFreedomFlag, also called #NewGlory, and #PrideFlag, created by #GilbertBaker who passed away earlier this year.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

#KY #KYJudge #JudgeNance #KY43District Kentucky Judge Nance does the right thing in recusing himself


Dillan Marsh, Executive Director
Secretary General’s Office of Special Affairs
PH: (502) 219-2533

# # #

"I wish every judge in the Commonwealth would have the moral decency and stateliness to recuse themselves with they are biased. As the judge cited a Kentucky ethical rule that says judges must disqualify themselves when they have a personal bias or prejudice." - Jordan Palmer, secretary-general

"In practice, however, Kentucky has too many biased judges sitting on the bench without the moral imperative to declare it and recuse themselves. In the past, this Federation has had commonwealth's attorneys' override district judges decisions not to prosecute, rule against LGBTI couples, and show complete contempt for LGBTI people because of their own prejudice. They remained on the bench without the required ability to separate personal beliefs or prejudice from the rule of law or have the dignity to recuse themselves."


Tuesday, April 4, 2017

#MachesterKY #KY #Gay Manchester is no place for justice for gay married couple assaulted and illegally evicted

Twice a trial or hearing has been scheduled and in both cases (one scheduled for today), none of the witnesses the special prosecutor requested be subpoenaed ever got served. Without witnesses and those required to attend not served for the second time by the sheriff, you can have no trial. Kentucky Equality Federation reports Judge Allen Roberts to the U.S. Department of Justice, the Kentucky Office of Attorney General, the Kentucky Judicial Conduct Commission, the Kentucky Bar Association and the American Bar Association. (original press release)

This is a follow-up press release for an ongoing story of new actions taken. This story was originally covered by WYMT-TV, a CBS affiliate.

Secretary-General Jordan Palmer
Managing Director Joshua Koch
Eastern Regional Director Matt Berry
Southern Director William Taylor

Dillan Marsh, Executive Director
Secretary General’s Office of Special Affairs
PH: (502) 219-2533

# # #

Joshua Melton and James Raymond Feltner, a married couple, were unlawfully evicted, assaulted, and sued in Manchester, KY. During the illegal eviction, the landlord stated she "should not have rented to faggots."

Judicial Misconduct Complaint:

At Kentucky Equality Federation, we assist and act as a public advocate for people who have been bullied, discriminated against, or victimized in addition to assisting them with legal remedies. When the laws have not caught up to the moral needs of society, we will seek their modification, pursuant to the creation of a just society. However, laws cease to have meaning when the courts are not capable of or refuse to enforce equal justice before those laws. (original press release, also covered by WYMT-TV, a CBS affiliate).

"It is my belief that homophobia in a close-knit political community has resulted in Judge Allen B. Roberts ruling contrary to Kentucky law and advancing his own personal beliefs, presiding over a self-serving court of deceit, hypocrisy, and belligerence," stated Secretary-General Jordan Palmer.
"In 16 years of activism, I have never heard a judge be so demeaning, unprofessional, and completely hostile. As with everything in life, eventually, we must take sides, and I do so diligently. Remaining uninvolved encourages the bully. Failure to raise your hand in protest and remain silent not only makes you part of the problem, but it encourages the discriminating person, agency, or government. When basic fundamental civil rights are denied, suppressed, or persecuted, we all have an obligation and a duty to create a hindrance or an obstacle.

When you are given a ticket for something or arrested, the standard police response is “ignorance of the law if no excuse, nor is it a defense."

Conversely, anyone ignorant of the law is also doomed to have their civil rights trodden on, so it behooves the Commonwealth’s citizens to be fluent in the law and we encourage all citizens to read the Kentucky Constitution and to know their rights for no law made can supersede the Kentucky Constitution, not even a constitutional amendment if said amendment violates the Kentucky Constitution, regardless of the ballot outcome, as with an amendment (Kentucky Equality Federation v. Commonwealth of Kentucky)."

"Officials in Clay County have tried to silence Secretary-General Palmer several times without success for being the personal advocate of the victims, after the initial court hearing for the counterclaim of the victims," stated Eastern Kentucky Regional Director Matt Berry. "It is indeed a sad day in our commonwealth with the Office of County Attorney, attempts to keep any victim from filing charges or seeking justice when they have been wronged. Equal housing rights are human rights." Ms. Thompson reportedly told the Victims "she should have never rented to faggots."

"History has shown that neither Jordan Palmer nor this Federation will be silenced by self-serving, egotistical want to be tyrants with delusions of adequacy or power. On multiple occasions, the FBI has directed other victims to contact the Federation so that we could initially review the complaint (Milam v. Warren County Regional Jail – Kentucky Equality Federation’s legal representation at the time filed the case and won)," stated Southern Kentucky Regional Director William Taylor.

Palmer continued: "Any licensed attorney or an ordinary citizen knowing the law could argue that the presence of police, at the request of a city commissioner, was intimidating and any statement made by a uniformed law enforcement officer and communicated to the Victims to be the actual law in fact. (i.e. A uniformed police officer tells a citizen they could not walk on a public road, the citizen will comply and not walk on it, even though they would have every legal right to). How Judge Roberts could not make this connection is beyond our sphere of comprehension in an unbiased court of law.

One police officer reportedly told them, “they must leave by the time given to them by Esther Thompson,” their landlord and community manager (who at the time was also a City Commissioner). The notice to vacate immediately was verbally ordered by Thompson and reinforced by Manchester Police Department Officer Couch. This was all the notice the Victims needed as the order to vacate as well as the time frame was reinforced by uniformed law enforcement.

Prior to this, Thompson illegally entered their apartment by forcing her way inside. Had the Victims chosen to defend their home, the Victims could have wounded the intruder under the U.S. Castle Doctrine, in Kentucky law known as KRS 503.055, something Judge Roberts completely dismissed."

When the victims notified her they would call the police if she did not leave, she reportedly stated, 'I own the police.'

The husband of Esther Thompson is the person that was responsible for installing carpet and other repairs inside the apartment they vacated. Judge Roberts did ask to see multiple bids or quotes. This is a major conflict because Esther Thompson stood to further profit by inflating damage and repairs and Judge Roberts did not bother hearing testimony from all the witnesses that showed up to testify in support of the Victims including witnesses present when Esther Thompson illegally forced herself into their home.

Kentucky Equality Federation Managing Director Joshua Koch stated: "The presence of police, at the personal request of a city commissioner, was a use of public office for intimidation. There are numerous other possible issues involved here, as well. They include fiscal conflict of interest, residence invasion by force, assault, and use of public office for personal for personal gain. To have these concerns dismissed is the antithesis of justice. Additional witnesses are prepared to testify on behalf of the victims.

We feel the gravity of this case and its egregious handling by local court warrant review by the U.S. Department of Justice, the Kentucky Office of Attorney General, the Kentucky Bar Association, and the Kentucky Judicial Conduct Commission.  The initial offense is a violation of individual rights, but having a further denial of justice or a fair hearing demands a level of professional accountability from Judge Roberts that warrants further review, as it is an offense against all Kentuckians who must rely on these courts to provide impartial justice."

2:00 PM EST UPDATE:  Today the Sheriff's Office still had not served all witnesses resulting in another delay. The Special Prosecutor demanded by the Kentucky Equality Federation continues to subpoena them but they are never served.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

#SB17 #KYGA17 Kentucky Equality Federation to sue over Senate Bill 17

From: Secretary-General Jordan Palmer

Dillan Marsh, Executive Director
Secretary General’s Office of Special Affairs
PH:  (502) 219-2533

# # #

Governor Bevin signing Senate Bill 17 into law is hardly shocking and is nothing new. Discrimination under the guise of religion is also nothing new. Senate Bill 17 jeopardizes non-discrimination policies at high schools, colleges, and universities.  Though the struggle for LGBTI equality continues to this day, the right wing has been pushing religious freedom to discriminate against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex people in addition to pregnant and unmarried women under the inhumane calling of religious freedom.

With the push for "local ordinances," which provide no legal protection to LGBTI citizens since the passage of the Kentucky Religious Freedom Act of 2013, along with legalizing same-sex marriage in Kentucky Equality Federation v Commonwealth of Kentucky (based on Jordan Palmer's legal theory) and the U.S. Supreme Court ruling, religious groups continue to push back with great avidity, filled with rage, intolerance, judgement, and fear.

At no time in the history of our Union has religious freedom been in danger. Indeed, Section IV of the Kentucky Constitution specifically addresses this issue.

Today, Kentuckians and Americans seem more bent on tearing each other apart and separating ourselves into groups or classes of people instead of uniting as we did in the Revolutionary War. For the past 14 years, another war has been brewing,  the separation of states from our Union because of the complete inability of political parties to compromise and elected officials being loyal to political parties over constituents. This problem is further fueled by "commentary" from media networks who are not reporting news, instead, they recycle it by picking apart every statement, word, eye movement, down to the manner someone stands to separate and divide us.

Dividing us into groups and classes is a direct violation of the Federation's Mission Statement, which I have sworn to uphold and fight for.  As we had so many times in the past, we will continue to overcome obstacles placed in our path and engage them as they present themselves. Kentucky Equality Federation, in all of our lawsuits, cease and dissect orders, and other legal filings has never been defeated in court.  We will not be silenced, and we will not accept whatever legislative agendas our elected officials attempt to force upon us should they violate anyone’s civil liberties.

LEGAL ACTION:  Discrimination and hate sanctioned by the state, be it one of the several states or the federal state will not be tolerated. As the unifying figure for all member organizations, I have warned and advised the managing directors, regional directors, and other management of member organizations and our legal department of the Federation and the United Kentucky Alliance to sue the Commonwealth posthaste. Both case law and the Kentucky Constitution are on our side. First, however, we will likely need a victim who has been discriminated against.

  • In 1997, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the U.S. Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 President Bill Clinton. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Congress acted above their authority and could not force the legislation on the states. Though it remains federal law, it does not apply to the several states of our Union.

OUR future. OUR commonwealth! #WeAreKY

Sunday, March 12, 2017

#UN #Rape #Refugees UN chief's strategy to protect from sexual exploitation and abuse

After a long and humiliating period for member states, the new head of the United Nations, defender of peace and the Declaration of Human Rights is acting to prevent rape and abuse from member states around the World.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, underscoring that the United Nations should not be, in any way, associated with the crimes of rape, sexual violence, exploitation, and abuse, has outlined a new victim-centred approach to prevent and respond to such abuses committed by those serving under the United Nations flag.

"Such acts of cruelty should never take place. Certainly, no person serving with the United Nations in any capacity should be associated with such vile and vicious crimes," said Guterres in a message announcing his report released Thursday on the issue. Let us declare in one voice: We will not tolerate anyone committing or condoning sexual exploitation and abuse. We will not let anyone cover up these crimes with the UN flag."

The secretary-general’s report outlines special measures for protection from sexual exploitation and abuse, and the new approach aims to be victim-centred strategy and is rooted in transparency, accountability and ensuring justice.

Noting that exploitation was also deeply rooted in gender inequality and discrimination, Guterres said that promoting gender equality throughout the UN system, including its missions and peacekeeping forces, would help advance parity and at the same time decrease incidents of abuse.

Based on four tracks, the approach documented in the report focuses on the rights and dignity of victims; ending impunity for those guilty of crimes and abuses; drawing on the wisdom and guidance of all those who have been affected, civil society, local communities and others to strengthen and improve UN's efforts; and to raise awareness and share best practices to end the scourge.

"Privatized U.S. companies who provide security and peacekeeping operations have immunity from prosecution as has been reported many times in addition to multiple reports, books, and movies being made on the subject. No privatized security company or active soldier from the United States, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, or any other UN state should have immunity from prosecution for such barbaric acts," stated Kentucky Equality Federation and United Kentucky Alliance Secretary-General Jordan Palmer for ILGA. "All peacekeeping operations ultimately report to the Office of the Secretary-General, and the Secretary-General along with the United Nations General Assembly should deny immunity to privatized soldiers committing such acts, they should be prosecuted by the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the primary judicial branch of the United Nations, or their home, member state."

Palmer continued, we hope UN Secretary-General Guterres will continue to protect and defend the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which as former Secretary-General Ban-Ki Moon stated: “To those who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender, let me say — you are not alone. Your struggle for an end to violence and discrimination is a shared struggle. Any attack on you is an attack on the universal values the United Nations and I have sworn to uphold."

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres included a detailed list of actions, along with the relevant UN entity, that would be responsible for consultation with relevant stakeholders, as well as provides data on allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse across the UN system and by non-UN international forces authorized by a Security Council mandate.

Kentucky Equality Federation Ambassador of Goodwill Melanie Nathan, the executive director of the African Human Rights Coalition added: "LGBTI people aren't protected adequately or in some instances at all by the UN and the states who continue to criminalize people based on sexual orientation and gender identity. We have LGBTI asylum seekers and refugees languishing and suffering violence where host countries continue to allow persecution and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees is unable to provide adequate security. Hopefully, change will come for all and this is not mere lip service."

#resist, #UN, #rage, #LGBTI, #gay, #refugees

Thursday, March 9, 2017

#KY #KYGA17 - Trans Rights in Kentucky - Protecting Kentucky Students

From: Secretary-General Jordan Palmer

Dillan Marsh, Executive Director
Secretary General’s Office of Special Affairs


"There’s a new, raw reality in the District of Columbia, the seat of government for the federal state.

From executive orders already issued, to rumors of executive orders yet to come, to the appointment of dangerous and unqualified people in powerful positions in our government, the new administration is already wreaking havoc on our communities and our political system. In that respect are new developments every day, and things are proceeding so rapidly that it can be difficult to keep up.

As we move forward together in this new reality, we will do our best to keep you apprised of our continuous efforts to defend and advance equality for our community.

Last month, the Trump administration announced it was reversing federal guidance that protected transgender students. After claiming he would be a friend to the LGBT community, it took Trump just over a month to break his word, which is nothing new.

The guidance protecting transgender students, issued in May 2016, served as a beacon for public school administrators and educators across the country. Without it, schools will face confusion, and transgender young person, who already face exponentially more bullying from their peers, will be seen in the center.

This activity commits a frightening message to some of the most vulnerable young people in the country that this administration will not protect them from discrimination.

Withdrawing the guidance does not change the law, however. Most U.S. district courts have agreed that Title IX under federal law protects transgender students, and schools have a legal and a moral duty to support all students. Additionally, Kentucky courts have issued similar rulings based on Kentucky law.

Thankfully, each state in our Union holds jurisdiction over its borders and delegates limited sovereignty to the federal government, itself, a state. As sovereign entities, each of the 50 states, including the Commonwealth of Kentucky, reserves the right to organize its individual government in any way deemed appropriate by its people. This is why we must continue, on a united front, to change Kentucky law.

Be assured that Kentucky Equality Federation, the United Kentucky Alliance, and its member organizations will continue to monitor developments and challenge illegal or immoral laws as they present themselves as we have throughout our history."

📬 Report Discrimination, Hate Crime, and School Bullying: