History and Accomplishments
- The Kentucky Fairness Alliance is a coalition of people working for progressive change at the local and state level, uniting community concerns and activism with the broader vision and resources of a statewide organization.
- 1993: the Kentucky Fairness Alliance was founded to protect Kentucky’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender citizens from right-wing efforts to re-establish the state’s sodomy statute, which the Kentucky Supreme Court declared unconstitutional earlier that year. Volunteer citizen lobbyists blocked the new sodomy law, and 18 other discriminatory bills aimed at LGBT people.
- Since that time the Kentucky Fairness Alliance has been instrumental in stopping over 50 anti-LGBT bills and amendments, such as prohibitions against LGBT people becominging adoptive or foster parents.
- 1995: founders of the Kentucky Fairness Alliance expanded our mission from being a presence in the state legislature to “building a fair Kentucky from the ground up.”
- 1999: The Henderson chapter organized in a town of just 10,000 for the passage of a local ordinance banning discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Though the ordinance was repealed 18 months later, the educational impact on the community remains.
- The Kentucky Fairness Alliance has been instrumental in passing local non-discrimination ordinances in Lexington-Fayette County, Covington, and Metro Louisville.
- The current campaign for a Fairness ordinance in Richmond, Kentucky seeks to repeat this success through coalition-building and person-to-person communication.
- The Kentucky Fairness Alliance has successfully defended the Fairness ordinances in Louisville, Lexington and Northern Kentucky from attempts to repeal them by the General Assembly, and has worked to block legislation that would prohibit future local ordinances or restrict them to popular votes.
- 2004: experienced volunteers from the Kentucky Fairness Alliance formed the base of Kentucky's largest LGBT grassroots effort to date during the Constitutional amendment campaign.
- 2004: the "No On The Amendment" campaign built a list of over 10,000 pro-Fairness voters.
- 2004: In large part thanks to volunteer door knocking and phone banking in cities across the Commonwealth, 417,097 Kentucky voters said "No" to the discriminatory marriage amendment.
- 2005: the Kentucky Fairness Alliance engaged in in-district lobbying for the first time, matching constituents to their lawmakers and encouraging personal contact in each Kentucky legislator's local office.
- 2006: the Kentucky Fairness Alliance had one of its most successful citizen lobbying efforts to date:
- The Statewide Fairness Bill, which would protect LGBT Kentuckians from discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodations, and credit, picked up a record number of sponsors.
- The Anti-Bullying Bill designed to protect all Kentucky's children from intimidation and violence passed the House unanimously.
- Two separate anti-Fairness bills died in committee.
- Two constitutional amendments targeting LGBT people failed to pass the legislature.
- 2007: KFA and its allies were instrumental in preserving domestic partner benefits at the University of Louisville and the University of Kentucky from legislative threats to prohibit them (after this victory, Northern Kentucky University also extended these benefits) KFA became the lead plaintiff in a suit objecting to the University of the Cumberlands (a private college) receiving state funds; weeks earlier the University had expelled an honor student for being openly gay.
The KFA Foundation awarded its first college scholarship, named for the student expelled from the University of the Cumberlands; recognizing worthy LGBT youth who receive these college scholarships becomes an integral part of our annual Out & About Gala
- 2008: KFA launched the inaugural Kentucky LGBT Film Festival in Louisville. FAIR PAC, the political action committee of KFA, was launched and remains the only PAC with a statewide LGBT mission in Kentucky. KFA was instrumental in forming the Kentucky Statewide Fairness Coalition and joined the Coalition’s Steering Committee; the Coalition has the goal of obtaining a Fairness ordinance at the state level and is attracting national attention as a model for advancing LGBT rights.
- 2009: KFA and its allies successfully defeated Senate Bill 68, an attempt to prohibit LGBT Kentuckians from adopting children or serving as foster parents. After losing at the lower level, the University of the Cumberlands appealed KFA’s lawsuit to the Kentucky Supreme Court, which heard the case in the fall and KFA was successful. KFA held its fifth annual Out & About Gala in Elizabethtown, the first time the event was not in Louisville or Lexington; the number of college scholarships awarded by the KFA Foundation and recognized at the gala was expanded to three for the first time in our history.
- 2010: KFA, and other members of the Statewide Fairness Coalition, work with local communities on local ordinances in Richmond and Berea.
- 2011: KFA, and other members of the Statewide Fairness Coalition, procured a record number of sponsors on the Statewide Fairness law and received a House committee hearing on a stronger anti-bullying bill.
The Ampersand symbolizes the solidarity we are building through Friends & Family, and suggests the inclusiveness we are working toward. It reflects the idea that no one individual, legislator, organization, or city can carry all the water for equality. Our success lies in our solidarity.