Join us in Louisville on Saturday, November 10, 2012 for our 8th annual statewide fairness gala, Out & About! Get your ticket now.
KFA Launches Speaker Series
August 6, 2012
As a service to our community, Kentucky Fairness Alliance (KFA) is offering a speaker series on various topics in order to provide much needed education on the GLBT population.
These talks/presentations can be tailored to your event/organization. Please provide us with the details/audience of the event, what topic(s) you would like for us to cover, and several potential dates you would like to have the event. The speaker series is free (however, we always accept donations for KFA).
To learn about some of the topics available, click here.
Fayette County Public Schools: Adds "Sexual Orientation" and "Gender Identity"
July 26, 2012
Gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) employees and students of Fayette County Public Schools now have protection against harassment and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The Fayette County Public School board members voted to add “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” to the district’s non-discrimination policy during Monday night’s school board meeting.
“The school board members and the superintendent, Dr. Tom Shelton, are making a bold statement that harassment and discrimination will not be tolerated toward students or staff in regard to their sexual orientation and gender identity,” said Dennis Cornell, vice chair of the Kentucky Fairness Alliance (KFA). Cornell has been working with FCPS in drafting this change to the non-discrimination policy.
First Federal Hate Crimes Charge on Sexual Orientation
April 12, 2012
Earlier today, the U.S. Department of Justice indicted two men from Harlan County for their roles in assaulting a man based on his sexual orientation.
According to a release from the U.S. Department of Justice, “A federal grand jury in London, Ky., returned a three-count indictment charging David Jason Jenkins, 37, and Anthony Ray Jenkins, 20, for kidnapping and assaulting Kevin Pennington, and for conspiring with each other and with other unnamed individuals to commit the kidnapping. The indictment charges the men with committing a hate crime in violation of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which expanded federal jurisdiction to include certain assaults motivated by someone’s sexual orientation. This case marks the first federal hate crime charging a violation of the sexual orientation provision of the statute.”
Hundreds of Fairness-minded Kentuckians will make the trip to Frankfort to educate our legislators on the need for Fairness legislation on Wednesday, February 22, 2012. KFA members from across the state will join forces with other Fairness Coalition members to make our combined voices heard!
Next year promises to be a year of activity! The list of objectives for KFA in 2012 includes:
• Maintaining your presence in Frankfort with both KFA’s paid, part-time lobbyist as well as volunteers from across Kentucky during the legislative session
• Building upon the successful passage of a strengthened Anti-Bulling Bill that specifically includes both “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” in the Kentucky House Education Committee in 2011 by seeking passage of this bill into law by both Houses of the Legislature
• Achieving historic developments on the Statewide Fairness Law in the Legislature as this bill builds unprecedented momentum
• Educating Kentuckians about the needs of the LGBT community through a variety of means, including the annual LGBT Film Festival
• Reaching LGBT Kentuckians through a variety of means, including various Pride Festivals/Fairs
• Organizing Fair-minded Kentuckians in additional parts of the state through part-time, paid organizers funded in partnership with the Statewide Fairness Coalition
• Updating KFA’s online Resource Library to list Fair-minded individuals and organizations in all 120 Kentucky counties (this project was generously funded by a Cliff Todd Endowment Grant from JustFundKy)
• Awarding again our 3 college scholarships to deserving LGBT students attending school in Kentucky
• Continuing our work in the Statewide Fairness Coalition by implementing a media/education campaign on the need for fairness protections
President Obama and Secretary Clinton Make History
December 8, 2011
Today, President Obama issued a Presidential Memorandum directing all federal agencies engaged abroad to ensure the promotion and protection of human rights for LGBT people. This marks the first-ever U.S. government strategy dedicated to combating abuses against LGBT people abroad.
The Presidential Memorandum directs federal agencies to:
* Combat the criminalization of LGBT status or conduct abroad.
* Protect vulnerable LGBT refugees and asylum seekers.
* Leverage foreign assistance to protect human rights and advance nondiscrimination.
* Ensure swift and meaningful U.S. responses to human rights abuses of LGBT persons abroad.
* Engage International Organizations in the fight against LGBT discrimination.
* Report on progress.
To coincide with this, Secretary of State Hilary Clinton delivered remarks commemorating International Human Rights Day in Geneva at a United Nations gathering. This speech is already being coined as one for the history books! Watch Secretary Clinton's speech now.
Out & About 2011
November 10, 2011
Join us in Louisville on November 12 for the 7th annual Out & About gala! This event is a signature event for the LGBT/allied community in Kentucky. At the event, special awards will be presented and the 2011 KFA Foundation scholarship recipients will be recognized.
KFA Foundation Recognizes Leaders of Tomorrow
September 28, 2011
Each year, the Kentucky Fairness Alliance Foundation awards scholarships that the Kentucky Fairness Alliance (KFA) then recognizes at the annual statewide fairness gala, Out & About. Below is information regarding the 2011 recipients of the Foundation's scholarships that KFA has invited and will honor on November 12.
Jason Johnson Scholarship
Alex Meadows - Northern Kentucky University
Mark England Scholarship
Dustin Hall - Spalding University
"Erika's Hope" Memorial Scholarship
Sean Allen - University of Kentucky
"Today marks the end of "Don't Ask Don't Tell." The law is repealed. From this day forward, gay and lesbian soldiers may serve in our Army with the dignity and respect they deserve." - Army Chief of Staff, Gen. Ray Odierno, et al.
With all of the celebration around DADT falling (and we hope you do celebrate!), there is still much work to be done. In Berea, KY, the fight advances to pass a local ordinance prohibiting discrimination against our community. Join other fair-minded Kentuckians in Berea this evening for a Rally and March to City Hall!
Put Your Faith into Action! If you are clergy or a person of faith and have a passion for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) equality, we need you. It doesn’t matter if your congregation is overtly welcoming to the LGBT community, discerning its position on equality, or ambivalent on the issue, there are many paths and many locations from which to be an advocate. Please join a group of diverse religious leaders for a robust conversation about how as clergy and lay leaders we can create a powerful voice for fairness and inclusion in Louisville.
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 23, 2011
9:30 A.M. – 12 P.M.
HIGHLAND BAPTIST CHURCH
1101 CHEROKEE ROAD, LOUISVILLE, KY
This event is a collaboration, inclusive of Kentucky Fairness Alliance.
Passion for Fairness
August 15, 2011
On Saturday, the Equality Federation Board of Directors re-elected Kentuckian Jody Cofer as co-chair.
“Jody’s re-election to the leadership of a national civil rights organization speaks strongly of how his peers across the country view his work. His passion to ensure that our nation continues to live out the true meaning of our creed-that all are created equal, continues a long legacy of Kentuckians who have fought for equality and make him uniquely qualified to continue in this leadership post,” said Governor Steve Beshear.
The Equality Federation and Equality Federation Institute is a national alliance of statewide LGBT organizations working to build a more skilled and effective state-based equality movement. Kentucky Fairness Alliance is a member.
Read more about it here.
Evening with Bishop Gene Robinson
July 14, 2011
All are invited to attend a free event with Bishop Gene Robinson who is widely known for being the first openly gay, non-celibate priest to be ordained a bishop in a major Christian denomination.
The evening will begin with Evensong, followed immediately by a conversation by Bishop Robinson on faith and sexual orientation.
Date: Saturday, July 16, 2011 at 6:00pm Place: Episcopal Church of St. Michael
2025 Bellefonte Dr. Lexington, KY
There will be an opportunity to participate in a free will offering to support KFA and the Episcopal Church of St. Michael.
KFA Congratulates New York!
June 24, 2011
This evening the New York Senate finished what has been a long process towards marriage equality. By a vote of 33 to 29, the New York Senate approved the measure. The New York Assembly had already acted on the measure and it has the support of the New York Governor.
"This is another historic step for the LGBT community and our country as a whole. New York has a history of moving forward on fairness towards the LGBT community and tonight underscored that," said Travis Myles, KFA Board Chairperson. "We congratulate everyone that worked to make this happen and we send special recognition to our friends at New York's statewide LGBT advocacy organization - Empire State Pride Agenda - great work!"
When signed into law by the Governor, New York will join the District of Columbia and five states (Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont, and New Hampshire) in offering marriage equality.
Join KFA on Saturday as we continue to celebrate LGBT pride in the Bluegrass State at the Lexington Pride Festival!
Celebrate Pride in Louisville, Nat'l Leader Joins
June 12, 2011
This weekend, the LGBT community will converge on Louisville for the Kentuckiana Pride Festival. The festival kicksoff Friday evening with a parade at 8:00 p.m. and runs all day Saturday at Louisville's Belvedere (5th and Main Streets on the river). KFA will be participating in Friday evening's parade and will have a booth on Saturday from 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM.
To commemorate our Pride participation, we are bringing to town Rebecca Isaacs, Executive Director of the national Equality Federation and she will be with us in the parade! The Equality Federation is the alliance of statewide LGBT organizations around the nation of which KFA is a part.
Rebecca Isaacs, Executive Director of the Equality Federation, is an attorney and leading advocate for social justice and equality for the LGBT community. Isaacs first worked with Federation organizations like Kentucky Fairness Alliance in 1997 in her capacity as Political Director at the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force. Her leadership skills have been reflected over the course of her professional career in roles as founding director of the Coalition for LGBT Health, Commissioner on the Los Angeles County Human Relations Commission, and Executive Committee member of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights in Washington, D.C. Isaacs has been quoted extensively in the press, including the LA Times, the Washington Post, the New York Times, and CNN.
Buy KFA's new "It Gets Better... With Experience" t-shirt in celebration of our 18th birthday and the progress the LGBT community is making in our online store or at our booth this weekend!
Happy 18th Birthday!
June 2, 2011
KFA was founded in 1993, making this our 18th birthday. Since we are an all-volunteer organization, you are KFA—so it is your birthday too.
Today, President Obama issued his 2011 Proclamation for LGBT Pride Month. View it here. This marks the third year President Obama has issued his proclamation.
Federal Transgender Employee Protection
May 28, 2011
This week the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) issued guidance for managers of federal employees on transgender issues. This comes in response to President’s Obama’s 2009 memorandum that clarified the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978 does cover transgender employees in the workplace. Read the OPM guidance here.
Out for Marriage
May 17, 2011
Yesterday, well-known Kentucky politician Jonathan Miller came out for fair relationship recognition for same-sex couples. Read about it here.
Faith and Sexual Orientation
May 9, 2011
Join KFA and the Episcopal Church of St. Michael the Archangel on Saturday, July 16 in Lexington as Bishop Gene Robinson speaks and takes questions on faith and sexual orientation.
Bishop Robinson is widely known as the first openly gay non-celibate priest to be ordained a bishop in a major Christian denomination.
What: Faith and Sexual Orientation with Bishop Gene Robinson
When: Saturday, July 16, 2011 at 6:00 p.m.
Where: Episcopal Church of St. Michael the Archangel, 2025 Bellefonte Dr., Lexington, KY 40503
Public Forum in Berea
May 9 , 2011
Members of the Berea City Council will again be holding a public forum to consider the establishment of a Berea City Human Rights Commission as well as an amendment to the local ordinance to extend protections against discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations to individuals based upon sexual orientation and gender identity. We want to ask you to join KFA, and supporters of Fairness to attend this historic meeting where Berea has the potential to join other cities like Louisville, Lexington, and Covington in protecting people from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. The City Council needs to hear that these matters are important to Berea residents. Bring your family, friends, and pro-Fairness allies with you to show support. Public comments will be heard by members of the City Council.
What: Berea City Council Public Forum
When: Tuesday, May 10th 6:30 PM
Where: 1st floor of the Police and Municipal Building, 304 Chestnut Street, Berea, KY
Church Takes a Stand for Marriage Equality
April 24, 2011
Travis Myles, KFA Board Chairperson, discusses Douglass Boulevard Church and their position on marriage equality. Read it here!
President Obama's Administration Will No Longer Defend DOMA
Today, we are pleased to announce that a statewide survey commissioned by the Fairness Coalition shows that Kentuckians continue to believe that everyone should be afforded the opportunity to earn a living, put a roof over their heads, and have dinner at their favorite restaurant without being turned away just because someone doesn’t like who they are.
83% of registered Kentucky voters agree that gay and transgender people should be protected from discrimination in the workplace, in housing, and in restaurants or other forms of public accommodations.
Public opinion has come a long way since the last available data in 2004, when only 65% of voters supported these same non-discrimination protections. And while providing the same legal protections for gay couples as straight couples lags in the polls – currently 70% support compared to 63% in 2004 – Kentuckians believe in fairness for hardworking gay and transgender employees who simply want to earn a living and provide for their families, just like everybody else.
Message from President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hilary Clinton to LGBT Youth Following Recent Actions:
October 22, 2010
KFA Recognized in State-Based LGBT Movement
August 9, 2010
Leading up to the annual gathering of state LGBT organizations this year, Equality Federation member organizations submitted nominations and voted for annual “Feddie” awards recognizing outstanding work taking place in the movement. This year, KFA brought hometwo of five awards joining Equality Maine and Equality Utah in being recognized during the closing brunch held on Sunday where Maryland State Delegate Ben Barnes addressed the group.
The Gallup Organization is perhaps the country's best known polling firm. Gallup's annual Values and Beliefs survey, conducted each May, documents a gradual increase in public acceptance of gay and lesbian relations since about 2006. Prior to that time, acceptance had been relatively stable at around 44%.
This May, for the first time ever, a majority of Americans (52%) say they find gay and lesbian relationships "morally acceptable". Interestingly, this increase in acceptance was driven by males, since a near majority of females had previously viewed our relationships as "moral".
Read more about Gallup's new survey results from our Pride in Our Progress communication here.
Pressure to Pass ENDA
May 23, 2010
Pressure is building to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA). During this past week, KFA participated in the National Week of Action for ENDA and continues to encourage Kentuckians to educate others - including public policy makers - on the importance of workplace protections on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity by sending Letters to the Editor to their hometown papers.
The Paducah Sun, Letter to the Edit, May 23, Jody Cofer
If you submitted a letter or op-ed piece and got it printed by your local newspaper, please let us know.
KY Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Fairness
April 22, 2010
The Supreme Court of Kentucky issued their ruling today in University of the Cumberlands v. Rev. Penneybacker, et al. the appellate case following Rev. Penneybacker, et al v. Steven L. Beshear (formerly Ernie L. Fletcher) in his official capacity as Governor of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
“The Supreme Court’s decision today reaffirms what Ret. Franklin Circuit Judge Crittenden stated in 2008 when he ruled against state-subsidized discrimination,” said Travis Myles, KFA Board Chairperson. “Kentucky taxpayers aren’t expected to fund private, religion-based institutions. This is a timely and important victory for Kentucky benefiting our state’s commitment to excellence in public education and the struggle for inclusive public policy for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community. Finally, we want to thank David Tachau for representing our interests so passionately and professionally throughout the duration of this case.”
Each year, the Equality Federation produces a national on the state of the LGBT movement within the states. It is a critical resources to statewide LGBT organizations like Kentucky Fairness Alliance in making plans for the future in comparison to work and growth our sister organizations are seeing. KFA is a member of the Equality Federation.
Presidential Memorandum on Designated Hospital Visitation
April 15, 2010
This afternoon President Obama issued a Presidential Memorandum directing the Secretary of Health and Human Services to develop policies for all hospitals receiving Medicare or Medicaid funding to allow patients to receive visitors and designate surrogate decision makers for medical emergencies.
"This is significant progress for the LGBT community," said Travis Myles, KFA Board Chairperson. "KFA has advocated for designated hospital visitation legislation here in Kentucky for several years. It passed our House of Representatives again this year with bipartisan support yet received no consideration in the Senate. We are thankful for President Obama for taking this step for our community today and not waiting any longer."
Western Kentucky University Approves Partner Benefits
April 2, 2010
At a suprise meeting of the University's Benefits Committee, offering same and opposite sex partner benefits was approved. This follows a failed attempt at passage recently. President Ransdell approved the measure following the vote and individuals may start receiving benefits effective January 1, 2011.
KFA congratulates all involved, including the Benefits Committee and President Ransdell, in this step towards fairness at Western!
Community Challenge to Support Fairness
February 15, 2010
On Monday, leaders of the fairness community, including KFA Board Chairperson Travis Myles, called upon the community to support the Statewide Fairness Bill. Read their Op-Ed in The Courier-Journal.
KFA Religious Advisor Speaks Faith To Fairness
February 4, 2010
The Catholic Archbishop of Louisville has been heard from quite frequently on his staunch opposition to recognizing relationships of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Kentuckians. It seems to have become the Archbishop's task as of late to draw attention to his position. In response, the following OpEd, which ran in Tuesday's Courier-Journal, was penned by Rev. Albert Pennybacker of Lexington to shed light on another religious perspective:
"With the current court challenge to California's Proposition 8 forbidding same-sex marriages, religious views are again surfacing. Some are blessed with insight, some with only clamor, bias and stridency. It is critical that religion's positive voice be heard.
"Why? It appears that the California case could be headed to the United States Supreme Court. A definitive federal judgment upholding the legality of same-sex marriage would result in striking down state prohibitions including here in Kentucky. Now is the time to sort out what we really believe."
KY Supreme Court Reverses Appellate Ruling in Custody Case
January 22, 2010
Ruling in a custody case between two women, Arminta Jane Mullins and Phyllis Dianne Picklesimer, the Supreme Court of Kentucky reversed a lower court's ruling and granted joint custody to Mullins. It stated Mullins, while not being the biological mother of the child, did serve as a "de facto parent." The couple had the child in 2005, later filed joint custody, only to split up in 2006.
Read more about this from the Associated Press, via the Herald-Leaderhere.
The Tides Foundation’s State Equality Fund, a philanthropic partnership that includes the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund, the Gill Foundation, and anonymous donors, has awarded the Kentucky Statewide Fairness Coalition $30,000 to promote lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) equality. The Fund is programmatically staffed on behalf of the donors by the Gill Foundation’s Movement Building Center.
The Kentucky Statewide Fairness Coalition consists of the following organizations: Kentucky Commission on Human Rights; Fairness Campaign; Lexington Fairness; Kentucky Fairness Alliance Foundation; and the American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky Foundation.
The Time Tribune in Corbin, KY included Kentucky Fairness Alliance in their Top 10 Stories of 2009 for our pending legal case before the Supreme Court of Kentucky. The case involves state funding being allocated to the University of the Cumberlands, a private, religion-based institution. See the story here.
The Movement Advancement Project (MAP) and the Haas, Jr. Fund have completed a great report showing the progress made nationally the past 10 years for LGBT fairness. Read it here.
“Kentucky Fairness Alliance is a key member of our national network of state advocacy groups who are critical leaders in the movement for fairness across this country," said Travis Myles, KFA Board Chairperson. "This report shows that we must continue to invest in state and local work to bring about significant change for our community. We hope this report encourages fair-minded Kentuckians to continue the good work across the Commonwealth.
Inclusive Hate Crimes Legislation
October 23, 2009
Today, the U.S. Senate passed inclusive hate crimes legislation marking a historic day in our nation’s struggle for fairness in public policy and practice.
“The passage of an inclusive hate crimes bill by the U.S. Congress is a great step for fairness across our country. President Obama should move quickly to sign this historic legislation and make it the law of the land,” said Jody Cofer, Kentucky Fairness Alliance Board member. “While Kentucky hate crimes law references orientation, a portion of the LGBT community is passed over. This federal legislation brings our transgender brothers and sisters into the tent. Sadly, prejudices still sometimes lead to awful criminal acts - it’s time for federal statute to acknowledge and curb that.
HUD to Ensure Fairness in Federal Housing Matters
October 22, 2009
According to a press release from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) on Wednesday, HUD is working to ensure fairness on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
"The evidence is clear that some are denied the opportunity to make housing choices in our nation based on who they are and that must end," said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. "President Obama and I are determined that a qualified individual and family will not be denied housing choice based on sexual orientation or gender identity."
The proposed changes to HUD rules will include, among other things, 1) clarify the term "family" and 2) ensure that any FHA-insured mortgage loans be based on credit-related factors on not linked to orientation or gender identity.
Kentucky Hate Crimes
July 22, 2009
The Kentucky Statistical Analysis Center released today their 2007 Hate Crimes Report. It found that sexual orientation was the 2nd highest category for such activities in our state. Read the report here.
NEA Supports LGBT Fairness
July 13, 2009
Last week, the National Education Association (NEA) passed a resolution through their General Assembly opposing discrimination of same-sex couples and supporting "obtaining, preserving, and strengthening basic civil and human rights under law."
Further, the resolution states, "NEA will support its affiliates seeking to enact state legislation that guarantees to same-sex couples the right to enter into a legally recognized relationship pursuant to which they have the same rights and benefits as similarly-situated heterosexual couples, including, without limitation, rights and benefits with regard to medical decisions, taxes, inheritance, adoption, and immigration."
KFA applauds NEA's leadership on these issues in the education community and we call on Kentucky's educators to do see same (read here).
KY Commission Hosts Public Hearing
June 9, 2009
On June 17 , the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights (KCHR) will host the first ever educational program by a Kentucky government agency on sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination. This public hearing will be held in Richmond where local efforts are underway to pass Kentucky’s fourth local fairness ordinance. Ordinances are already on the books in Lexington/Fayette County, Louisville/Jefferson County, and the City of Covington.
A Fair Future For Kentucky:
A Call For An End To Discrimination on the Basis of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity June 17, 2009 – 6:00 p.m. (EST) City Hall Commission Chamber - Richmond, KY
The KCHR is conducting a series of advocacy hearings across the state. Each hearing focuses on a particular group that is protected under the Kentucky Civil Rights Act. While the Act has not yet been amended to include protection from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, KCHR unanimously endorsed the passage of a statewide fairness law through formal resolution last year.
The hearing will include invited panelists/speakers Jody Cofer of Murray, Jennifer Crossen of Lexington, Rev. Don Smith of Covington, and Carla Wallace of Louisville. The program will also include brief remarks by KCHR Executive Director John Johnson.
The program will be filmed and broadcast on local access television in Richmond.
Please make plans to join us and other fair-minded Kentuckians for this historic program.
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.