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

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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:  http://kentuckyequality.org/file-discrimination-schoolbullying-hatecrime/