Kentucky Equality Federation Updates.  These are daily or weekly updates and are not emailed to our subscribers; to view archived email alerts, click here.

05/25/2012: A controversial billboard condemning homosexuality and abortion was posting on New Circle Road near Leestown Road in Lexington, KY. That same billboard was later stolen, defaced, and displayed in a local Lexington eatery. The billboard owner replaced the billboard shortly thereafter. The Kentucky Equality Federation, after receiving a complaint, took action. On July 31, 2012, the billboard was confirmed as removed citing complaints launched by Jordan Palmer, President, and Brandon Combs, Chairman of the Board.

04/14/2012:  Kentucky Equality Federation makes U.S. history again with the first federal gay hate crime convictions in U.S. history when two women, Mable Ashley Jenkins and Alexis LeeAnn Jenkins, both 19, became the first two individuals convicted under the 2009 Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act for a sexual orientation related offense. "I think the case's notoriety may have derived in large part from the Kentucky Equality Federation efforts," said Harvey, the U.S. attorney.  Kentucky Equality Federation President Jordan Palmer and Vice President of Policy & Public Relations Joshua Koch speak to reporters around the world!  Kentucky Equality Federation President Jordan Palmer gives Lex18 News his only "on-camera" exclusive.

03/14/2012: Kentucky Equality Federation makes United States history by pushing the federal government into federalizing hate crimes in Southeastern Kentucky. On this day four (4) people were arrested by the FBI and Kentucky State Police and charged in the Kevin Pennington hate crime.  Kentucky Equality Federation President Jordan Palmer lobbied the federal government to intervene after having no faith in the Harlan County Commonwealth's Attorney.

Kentucky Equality Federation met with Kentucky and federal prosecutors in December 2011 at an undisclosed location.

06/18/2011: Kentucky Equality Federation defends developmentally challenged men.  More than 100 people rally in Hazard, KY after two developmentally challenged men are thrown out of The Pavilion, a public facility because on of them say on the others knee.  Longtime Kentucky Equality Federation volunteer and former Kentucky House of Representative candidate Matthew Vanderpool also attends with his mother who use to work for the City of Hazard. 

01/12/2011:  Reader Letter | Kentucky should pass new civil rights act.  Letter to the Editor of the Courier-Journal from Kentucky Equality Federation President Jordan Palmer.

10/13/2010: Kentucky Equality Federation elects its first Chairman of the Board. (story) 

08/19/2010: Kentucky Equality Federation responds to the Whitley County Judge Executive's Resolution to pass a U.S. Constitutional Amendment to ban same-sex marriage. (more)

08/10/2010: Kentucky Equality Federation urges all citizens of the Commonwealth to boycott all Target and Best Buy stores this weekend. (more)

08/10/2010: Are you supporting a company that supports politicians or issues opposed to your values? (more)

07/23/2010: Kentucky Equality Federation's page on the International Lesbian and Gay Association. Click here.

07/09/2010: Federal judge strikes down the Defense of Marriage Act in Commonwealth of Massachusetts Vs. United States for infringing states' rights. We applaud this decision! Sign the Kentucky Marriage Declaration now!

06/03/2010: Kentucky Equality Federation is sponsoring the Alumni Event of the Kentucky Young Democrats on June 09, 2010 in Lexington. (more)

05/17/2010: Kentucky Equality Federation today agreed to allow one of the parents of the Crosby Middle School incident to be interviewed in WLKY-TV (Louisville) under the conditions that her face now be show and other security be taken to ensure her safety. (more)

05/11/2010: 12 year old Kentucky student called a "contradiction" for having lesbian parents. (more) 

04/30/2010: Jill Hall Rose, Kentucky Equality Federation's attorney respods to irregularities in the Jackson County case with Cheyenne Williams. (more)

04/23/2010: Media Update on the Jackson County alleged teenager assault. (more) For any additional information, visit the "In the News" section, or the Discrimination, Hate Crimes, and School Bullying Committee.

03/14/2010: Twelve (12) Kentucky organizations request the Kentucky AIDS Drugs Assistance program be fully restored and funded, including: Kentucky Equality Federation, Kentucky HIV/AIDS Advocacy Action Group, AVOL, Kentucky HIV/AIDS Planning and Advisory Council, COLAGE (Children Of Lesbians And Gays Everywhere), Northern Kentucky Chapter, United We Stand – Kentucky’s LGBTI News®, The Wings Clinic, House of Ruth, Moveable Feast, GLSO, University of Kentucky OUTsource, and the University of Kentucky Gay-Straight Alliance. (more)

02/16/2010: On Tuesday Kentucky Equality Federation President Jordan Palmer and a volunteer met with lawmakers in Frankfort about restoring the Kentucky AIDS Drug Assistance Program (KADAP).

Restoring the program received support from senior lawmakers; Kentucky Equality Federation remains optimistic about the program being restored before the end of the legislative session. Without KADAP, the lives of over 5,000 Kentuckians who cannot afford medications remain at risk!

02/10/2010: Kentucky Equality Federation and the Kentucky HIV/AIDS Advocacy Action Group Condemn House Bill 350. (more)

02/04/2010: Kentucky Equality Federation appeals to Senate President David L. Williams to pass House Bill 118 which is now in the Senate. (more)

01/23/2010: Kentucky Equality Federation's Discrimination, Hate Crimes, and School Bulling Committee begins publishing some reports online. (more) 

12/10/2009: Southern Kentucky article blasts homosexual benefits at the University of Kentucky; Kentucky Equality Federation and Louisville Fairness Campaign Respond. (more) 

11/17/2009: Kentucky Equality Federation applauds Representative Mary Lou Marzian for pre-filing legislation to overturn Kentucky's same-sex marriage ban. (more)

11/08/2009: Matthew Vanderpool (D-Lexington), a Kentucky Equality Federation member and supporter is running against anti-gay incumbent Stan Lee (R-Lexington). (story)

07/30/2009: Embrace Pet Insurance Company offers Federation members discounted rates

07/09/2009: University of the Cumberlands officials mum about turning choir away. (Times-Tribune)

07/08/2009: Federation condemns funding to the University of the Cumberlands. (Kentucky Post)

06/27/2009: Louisville Church has "Saturday Night Special" Service for Gun Owners. (The Christian Science Monitor)

02/25/2009: Kentucky Equality Federation assists in the preparation of Kentuckians Value Fairness III. Kentucky Equality Federation brings the Progressive Democrats of America, Libertarian Party of Kentucky, and various 'Young County Democrat' organizations around the Commonwealth to the annual event. (video)

12/12/2008: Already a member of the International Lesbian and Gay Association, Kentucky Equality Federation, and Marriage Equality Kentucky join Marriage Equality USA.

08/16/2008: Marriage Equality Kentucky is launched as a grassroots movement to bring general neutral marriage equality to the Commonwealth of Kentucky. For additional information, visit marriageequalityky.org.

06/08/2008: Organization of American States recognizes LGBT people. (more)

06/02/2008: Kentucky Equality Federation praises Governor Beshear's new Executive Order protecting LGBT people from discrimination in Kentucky Government. (more) 

05/06/2008: Kentucky Equality Federation donates $1,500.00 to pay remaining bills for 2008's Come Together Kentucky hosted by Northern Kentucky University 

03/18/2008: Officers from Kentucky Equality meet with Kentucky House Leadership to kill Senate Bill 112 (House Bill 118), a law passed by the Senate that would redefine domestic-partner to exclude same-sex couples. The bill later dies in a House Committee.

01/05/2008: Kentucky Equality and Bluegrass Fairness of Central Kentucky begin affiliation and form a strategic partnership.

12/12/2007: Kentucky Equality Federation condems legislation to ban same-sex domestic-partner benefits at Kentucky universities. (more) 

03/27/2007: Kentucky Equality Federation holds a reception for the 2007 Soulforce Equality Ride. (more)

02/22/2007: Hundreds stormed the commonwealth's Capitol on February 22, 2007 to support domestic-partner benefits for heterosexual and homosexual couples. (more) 

12/22/2006: Anti-gay Christians miss message; anti-gay protests in Richmond, KY. (more) 

10/25/2006: Representative Fischer's (R) statement upsets gays; Kentucky Equality Federation members protest. (more) 

09/27/2006: Northern Kentucky University responds to Kentucky Equality Federation's concerns regarding a hate crime/act of intolerance involving a gay student. (more)

2006: A gay male couple in Louisville is stabbed to death. Charles Poynter, 43, died of multiple stab wounds, and his house was set on fire; his partner, Blaine Thackery, was also killed.

09/12/2006: Police in Covington believe two apparent homophobic attacks - one in which a man was stabbed - are not related. The victim in the stabbing was attacked following an encounter in a local restaurant. Police say that he was in the bar of La Tradicion restaurant when a man approached him and asked "if he was really a female." The victim said he was not and walked away. According to the police report, "Suspect then approached victim from rear, stabbing him twice. Suspect stated to victim, 'I got you.'"

Vandals also spray painted hate messages on a local home. The owner, a white woman who says she is not gay, found the graffiti about 2:30 in the morning. KKK and fag were painted on the exterior of the home, along with a swastika.

09/05/2006: Kentucky Equality Federation expands community services to include reporting hate crimes, discrimination, and school bullying; Federation now acts as a buffer between the victim and local officials, ensuring immediate action is taken to correct the situation. You can now complete a report online and submit it to Kentucky Equality Federation. We will do everything possible and necessary to protect your privacy, and we will ensure your constitutional freedoms, rights, and liberties are protected.

08/22/2006: Kentucky Equality Federation demands an immediate apology and investigation from Steak n' Shake after the Manager on Duty at a location in Louisville, KY asks the "fags" to leave.

08/18/2006: Kentucky Equality Federation is accepted as a member of the International Lesbian and Gay Association.

07/21/2006: Boone County High School in Northern Kentucky ended months of stonewalling and avoided a federal lawsuit by finally approving the formation of its first Gay-Straight Alliance. After working with the school for months, Kentucky Equality Federation notified the Board of Education of its intention to sue to school Board if it failed to approve the club immediately. (more)

06/20/2006: Kentucky Equality Federation condemns the Pentagon's "Instruction Document" which lists homosexuality as a "mental defeat" along with mental retardation, impulse control disorders and personality disorders. The document is later changed because of enormous national pressure.

05/06/2006: Kentucky Equality Federation makes headlines across the commonwealth as its members assemble near the Governor's Mansion to protest funding to the University of the Cumberlands and other policies of the Fletcher Administration during the Governor's Annual Derby Breakfast Celebration.

03/18/2006: Members of Kentucky Equality Federation lobby (for the first time) at the Kentucky Capital to prevent a bill to remove protections provided by the cities of Covington, Lexington, and Louisville against discrimination based on sexual orientation becoming law; the legislation had been introduced to the House of Representatives in January.

12/06/2005: Members of Kentucky Equality Federation thank Wells Fargo Bank, and Ford Motor Co. for not caving to pressure from anti-gay groups for their gay-friendly policies.

2005: Timothy Blair, 19, was gunned down as he walked near 28th and Magazine in Louisville, KY. Timothy was a gay man who did drag; the night he was killed he was in women's clothing.

2005: Joshua Cottrell, 23, is found guilty of manslaughter after he admitted beating and strangling to death a gay man and then stuffing his body into a suitcase and dumping it in a lake. Throughout the trial Cottrell's defense painted the accused as being a victim who killed Richie Phillips, 36, in Cottrell's Elizabethtown motel room after Phillips made an unwanted sexual advance on him.

During the trial Cottrell's adoptive aunt, Wendy Cottrell McAnly testified that Cottrell confessed to her that he had planned Phillips' murder. The suitcase containing Phillips' was found floating on Rough River Lake last June by two fishermen.

The Commonwealth's Attorneys Office had sought a murder conviction which would carry the death penalty under Kentucky law. The jury gave Cottrell the lightest verdict it could however by using the "gay panic defense."

2004: Matthew Ashcraft, 19, was attacked for coming to the defense of a gay man who was being beaten outside a Newport bar. Ashcraft, who is not gay, was with two gay friends on their way to Woolly's, an LGBT friendly bar. As they approached the club they saw Leon Hughes being harassed outside. When Ashcraft intervened, the man who was assaulting Hughes left, then returned with a baseball bat and beat Ashcraft unconscious prosecutors said.

1999: Private First Class Barry Winchell is beaten to death with a baseball bat at Fort Campbell, KY as he slept for dating a transgender performer. Winchell died of massive internal injuries. One of his attackers was released from prison in August 2006 to a halfway house, and released from all custody on October 12, 2006. *This story was the subject of Showtime movie "Soldier's Girl."

Some of the following historical events have been copied from Jeff Jones. Thank you Jeff, for all the hard work you did!

1994: Responding to a resolution by the University of Kentucky Student Government Association, the UK Board of Trustees make two actions: a) they vote to explicitly prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in admissions and financial aid, and b) pass a resolution that UK should not discriminate in any of its policies based on sexual orientation.

09/24/1992: Kentucky Supreme Court overturns the commonwealth's same-sex only, consensual sodomy law in a 5-4 decision in a ruling on Wasson v. the Commonwealth of Kentucky. The justices in the majority subsequently receive death threats.

1990: The Letter, a Louisville-based gay newspaper, begins publication.

1990: The Kentucky HIV Care Coordinator Program is established.

1986: Jeffrey Wasson arrested on 4th degree (consensual) sodomy outside of The Bar Complex after being entrapped by an undercover policeman who engaged him in conversation. The arrest following this sting operation eventually leads to Wasson challenging the law in Wasson v. the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

1986: Meeting at The Cafe LMNOP, a gay bar and drag theater on Main St., Liz Turpin recruits lesbian female-to-male drag performer Karen Brown to be her girlfriend and to join Turpin in murdering her husband. The two hire a man who kills the husband. All three are arrested and found guilty after a sensational courtroom trial (read Rena Vicini's true murder novel "Fatal Seductions").

1986: GALUS, a gay student group, is active at UK as the first officially recognized gay student group. GALUS members successfully lobby UK to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation in grading (only area covered).

1982: Having learned of the International Imperial Court System, an international charity organization founded by gay pioneer Jose Sarria that primarily relies on drag shows to raise funds for other charities, while living in Alaska, native Lexingtonians Greg Butler and Marlon Austin (aka Blanche Pinke) returned to Lexington and found the Royal Sovereign Imperial Court of the Bluegrass Empire (later R.S. Imperial Court of all Kentucky). The Kentucky court becomes the first east of the Mississippi River.

08/08/1978: The International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA) was founded during the conference of the Campaign for Homosexual Equality in Coventry, England, at a meeting attended by 30 men representing 17 organizations from 14 countries.

ILGA was instrumental in getting the United Nations World Health Organization to drop homosexuality from its list of mental illnesses.

Today, the ILGA is an international organization bringing together more than 400 lesbian and gay groups from around the world. It continues to be active in campaigning for gay rights on the international human rights and civil rights scene and regularly petitions the United Nations and governments. ILGA is represented in around 90 countries across the world.

1971: Gay Liberation Front (GLF) formed at the University of Kentucky throught the Open University Program. Bruce Kraus is GLF's first president. GLF and subsequent groups (until the 1980s) are not recognized officially by the University of Kentucky as student groups. When GLF goes to court to seek official recognition as a student organization from UK, GLF loses the case.

1880: The U.S. Census Bureau includes listings for prison inmates and lists two individuals imprisoned in Kentucky for "crimes against nature." Blacks disproportionately are imprisoned for such offenses than whites in 1880 probably as a mechanism for punishing African-Americans who oppose racial inequalities or who lack the status to fend off homosexual accusations.

1863: The Louisville Daily Democrat reports the suicide of a Civil War soldier who was a woman passing as a man.