Kentucky Equality Federation supports and continues to push Kentucky House Bill 106, and Senate Bill 138 to add sexual orientation and gender identity to the Kentucky Civil Rights Act of 1966 as a protected class along with religion, smoking, disability, race, sex, ancestry, veteran status, and disability.
In 1966, Kentucky became the 1st state in the South to pass a civil rights law. The Commonwealth also became the first in the south to establish enforcement powers over civil rights violations on a state level. The Kentucky Commission on Human Rights becomes the state enforcement authority of the Act.
Kentucky Equality Federation plans to give “Equality Awards” to senior lawmakers who “make a difference” including Representative Ruth Ann Palumbo, Representative Tom Burch, Representative Susan Westrom, Representative Mary Lou Marzian, and other selected lawmakers next week at the Kentucky Capitol. No freshman or junior Representatives are included.
“Though we applaud and support the efforts of Louisville Fairness Campaign, Lexington Fairness, Kentucky Fairness Alliance, and the ACLU of Kentucky, I do not believe you can properly gauge the attitude of over 4.5 million citizens by polling 600 people,” stated Kentucky Equality Federation Chairman of the Board Richard T. Jones. “Though we continue to push for equality, we do not believe any pro-gay legislation will ever be passed in Kentucky so long as David L. Williams is President of the Kentucky Senate. Williams has made his position clear through his public comments and disagreements with Kentucky Equality Federation President Jordan Palmer from equality to school bullying; all have been reported by WKYT-TV, WYMT-TV, and the Lexington Herald-Leader. In addition, Palmer issued a personal appeal to Senate President Williams last year and the entire Kentucky Senate.”
Kentucky Equality Federation and the Kentucky HIV/AIDS Advocacy Action Group (KHAAG), and many other groups were successful, thanks to Senior Representative Tom Burch and Senior Representative Jimmie Lee in restoring the Kentucky AIDS Drug Assistance Program (KADAP).
Jones continued: “If Kentuckians truly want protections extended to the gay and lesbian community in Kentucky, they must get involved and hold their elected representation accountable and sign our Legislative Alerts online at http://community.kyequality.org/p/action-alerts.html.”
The LGBTI community makes a significant contribution to the economic welfare of the Commonwealth and our entire Union. This year, Kentucky Equality Federation has invested significant resources representing people across the Commonwealth who filed complaints with our Discrimination, Hate Crimes, and School Bullying Committee for being terminated because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
More than 8 cases remain open and on-going with Kentucky Equality Federation’s legal representation, Jill Hall Rose.