Commonwealth of Kentucky: 2013: Add Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity - Kentucky Civil Rights
  • Petitioned Senior Representative Jimmie Lee
  • Responded

This petition was delivered to:

Kentucky House of Representatives
Senior Representative Jimmie Lee
Kentucky Senate
Senator Kathy W. Stein
Kentucky House of Representatives
Representative Jim Stewart
Kentucky House of Representatives
Representative Lonnie Napier
Kentucky House of Representatives
Senior Representative Tom Burch
Kentucky House of Representatives
Representative Ron Crimm
Kentucky House of Representatives
Senior Representative Ruth Ann Palumbo
See response
Kentucky House of Representatives
Representative David Watkins
Kentucky Senate
Senator Alice Forgy Kerr
Kentucky House of Representatives
Representative Joni L. Jenkins
Kentucky House of Representatives
Representative Susan Westrom
Kentucky House of Representatives
Senior Representative Mary Lou Marzian
Speaker Pro Tem, Kentucky House of Representatives
Senior Representative Larry Clark
Kentucky House of Representatives
Representative Tommy Turner
Kentucky House of Representatives
Representative Kelly Flood
Former Speaker, Kentucky House of Representatives
Senior Representative Jody Richards
Kentucky House of Representatives
Senior Representative Jim Wayne
Kentucky House of Representatives
Representative Charles Miller
Board of Directors
Kentucky Equality Federation
Kentucky Governor
Kentucky State Senate
Kentucky State House

Commonwealth of Kentucky: 2013: Add Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity - Kentucky Civil Rights

    1. Kentucky Equality Federation
    2. Petition by

      Kentucky Equality Federation

      Somerset, KY

"The Commonwealth of Kentucky was the first state South of the Mason-Dixon line to pass a Civil Rights Act, the Kentucky Civil Rights Act of 1966," stated Kentucky Equality Federation President Jordan Palmer. "The Kentucky Civil Rights Act was signed into law by Governor Edward T. Breathitt, and prohibits discrimination and protects people from discrimination based on race, national origin, color, and religion.

The Kentucky Civil Rights Act has been amended many times to include protected groups based on familial status, disability, age, collective bargaining agreements, a protection from discrimination because a person does or does not smoke (KRS 344.040), to name a few. However, sexual orientation and gender identity have never been included as a protected group in Kentucky. Kentucky Equality Federation receives regular complaints from the Commonwealth’s citizens about employment discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

Kentucky, once the leader in civil rights, has fallen behind other states without question due to the lack of action by the Kentucky Legislature to add sexual orientation and gender identity to the Kentucky Civil Rights Act. Indeed, due to said lack of action, subdivisions of the Commonwealth have created their own civil rights agencies with less success, less funding, and fewer resources than the Commonwealth’s principal agency responsible for enforcing and ordering correction or remedial action in discrimination cases.

Though legislation is filed yearly to add these protections, the Kentucky House and Senate stall the proposed additions. It is both unethical and immoral to deny a targeted group of people protection under the law while giving special rights to others. However, the subject of adding sexual orientation and gender identity as a protected group has never even passed a Committee vote to go to the full floor of either Chamber.

The moral act of adding sexual orientation and gender identity as a protected class, not to mention repealing Kentucky’s 2004 Constitutional Amendment banning same-sex marriage, civil unions, and domestic partnerships does not pass Committee even though each respective Committee in the House have had enough votes for years to get this critical legislation to the full floor, bringing it closer to being passed into law.

The Governor has made his position clear by enacting an executive order 2008-0473, prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity in Kentucky’s Government. The U.S. President similarly made his position clear, with the U.S. Vice President going so far as to be the first, highest ranking elected federal official to be in favor of gender neutral marriage, and the position of the U.S. President mirroring the Vice President’s a few days later.

The Kentucky Democratic Party is both out of sync and out of touch with the national Democratic Party. The Democratic Platform states: “We support marriage equality and support the movement to secure equal treatment under law for same-sex couples. We also support the freedom of churches and religious entities to decide how to administer marriage as a religious sacrament without government interference.”

Per the U.S. Bill of Rights which the Commonwealth of Kentucky ratified, the federal government and the states share joint, parallel sovereignty. People can scream federal overreach until they turn blue, but when our Frankfort lawmakers continue to fail us; we are left with no other option but to appeal to our lawmakers in the District of Columbia, the Kentucky Supreme Court, and the U.S. Supreme Court.

People in Frankfort tout Kentucky sovereignty against an oversized and intrusive federal government in circumstances hardly believable because the reliability of the Kentucky Legislative to do what is best for the Commonwealth and protect all of her citizens has been stretched beyond belief."

Palmer concluded: "I urge the Commonwealth's lawmakers to willfully place Kentucky back in the forefront of civil rights; without adding sexual orientation and gender identity you have effectively given "special rights" to other protected classes including national origin, religious beliefs, family status, age, and race, amongst others. If our lawmakers want to show Kentucky sovereignty and freedom, do it now before the order to do so is handed down by the courts."

"The fact that our Kentucky lawmakers continue to refuse to act is an unacceptable failing on the part of our allies," stated Kentucky Equality Federation Chairman Brandon Combs. “At this juncture we must seriously evaluate our position, and take the next step, for the betterment of our Commonwealth. Priority legislation has sat idly in committees for far too long. The Board supports President Jordan Palmer in taking every step necessary to move these legislative priorities from their pigeonhole in committees, including reactivating our political action committees to both fund and endorse candidates who support our Mission Statement. We will get these legislative priorities from their pigeonhole in House committees."

Kentucky Equality Federation's Vice President of Legal, Attorney Jillian Hall added: "As part of the Office of the President and head of the legal department it saddens me that the people in Frankfort will not act. As a member of the straight community I fervently believe all people are entitled to equality and to be treated the same under Kentucky laws. The Kentucky Legislature should not have to wait for the federal government to do it for us, and given the lack of progress by our legislature to protect its citizens, every Kentucky citizen should be outraged."

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Reached 600 signatures
    2. Nearly 300 Signatures!

      Kentucky Equality Federation
      Petition Organizer

      Nearly 300 signatures in less than 48 hours! Wow! Keep it up!

    3. Reached 250 signatures
    4. Over 150 Signatures!

      Kentucky Equality Federation
      Petition Organizer

      We have reached nearly 200 signatures and haven't even included this critical legislation to our Newsletter yet! Remember, WE (you, the people) ARE KENTUCKY! Please continue to share with your friends, co-workers, family, etc. on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or email! We could not have come this far without YOU!

    5. Decision-maker Senior Representative Ruth Ann Palumbo responds:

      Senior Representative Ruth Ann Palumbo

      Thank you for contacting the Office of Representative Palumbo. Representative Palumbo reads all of her messages personally. Thank you for contacting Senior Representative Palumbo about this critical issue facing the commonwealth of Kentuc...


    6. Decision-maker Senior Representative Ruth Ann Palumbo responds:

      Senior Representative Ruth Ann Palumbo

      Thank you for contacting me regarding this important issue our commonwealth is faced with.


    7. Reached 100 signatures
    8. Great! Keep-up the excellent work!

      Kentucky Equality Federation
      Petition Organizer

      Nearly 70 signatures reached in less than 6 hours! Please continue to share with your friends, co-workers, family, etc. on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or email!

    9. Reached 50 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • marli boticelli LOUISVILLE, KY
      • 10 months ago

      So my wife and I can legally be married after being together 8 years.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Leslie B sizemore MANCHESTER, KY
      • 12 months ago

      I am a social work student from eku I find that it is my ethical obligation to be a part of the fight for equality.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Gary Rose LEXINGTON, KY
      • about 1 year ago

      I want to one day marry the man I love and it be LEGAL

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Karla Rodriguez DOWNEY, CA
      • about 1 year ago

      EQUALITY FOR ALL

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Jennifer Boyken MURRAY, KY
      • about 1 year ago

      As a gay woman in a relationship for the past 15 years with the same woman, our rights are important to me.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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