End Labor Discrimination in Kentucky

As you celebrate Labor Day, you should know that Kentuckians are not protected from discrimination in employment because of sexual orientation or gender identity.  Labor Day became a federal holiday in 1894 following the deaths of a number of workers at the hands of the United States Government during the Pullman Strike.  Fearing further conflict, legislation making Labor Day a national holiday was rushed through Congress unanimously and signed into law a mere six days after the end of the strike.  Currently 49 states, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia also recognize Labor Day as a holiday.

More than 115 years later however, LGBTI people in the both the United States and the Commonwealth of Kentucky can be terminated because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.  You cannot be terminated for being a smoker in Kentucky, but you can be terminated for being yourself.

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. 

It is time to "drag" our Commonwealth into the 21st Century by insisting the Kentucky Legislature 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.

What happened to us? At what point did our great Commonwealth lose its leadership in the area of civil rights?

Along with religion, smoking, disability, race, sex, ancestry, veteran status, and disability, No ONE should be discriminated against because of their sexual orientation.

We urge you to sign to following action alerts from the site of our new partner, change.org to bring full equality to our great Commonwealth; it will only take a moment of your time to add your signature to bring change to Kentucky: 

  1. Add sexual orientation and gender identity to the Kentucky Civil Rights Act of 1966. 
  2. Repeal Kentucky's 2004 Constitutional Amendment banning same-sex marriage, civil unions, or domestic partnerships.
We request that you immediately take action on these critical issues. The discrimination and exclusion of people because of the sexual orientation or gender identity undermine the integrity and dignity of our great Commonwealth.

Kentucky Equality Federation Calls on Kentuckians to Join the National Boycott Against Target and Best Buy THIS Weekend!

Lexington, KY -- A nationwide boycott is being called for THIS weekend against a Political Action Committee (PAC) made up of several businesses, including Target and Best Buy, called MN Forward.

The boycott is being called nationwide because Target and Best Buy contributed a lot of money to Minnesota Republican Governor Candidate Tom Emmer. Emmer has aligned himself with radical anti-gay groups, including "You Can Run But You Cannot Hide International, Inc.," a Christian group whose head, Bradlee Dean, has said it is acceptable to execute homosexuals in a manner similar to that in Muslim nations.

Target Corporation made a significant donation of $150,000 to Minnesota political action committee MN Forward, which funds television ads for anti-gay Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer. Best Buy also donated $100,000 to Emmer's campaign.

A national "no shopping" day of protest is set for this weekend, August 14th and August 15th against Target and Best Buy.
Other statewide gay rights organizations are joining the boycott, and the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) has condemned the donations.

A Facebook group has also been created, which had nearly 55,000 members at press-time. 

"This is about corporate responsibility, and if these companies, which once claimed to be 'gay friendly' wish to continue having LGBTI consumers, they need to be careful about whom they support," stated Kentucky Equality Federation founder, public advocate, and Board member, Jordan Palmer. "The actions of Target and Best Buy impact every LGBTI person in the United States, and we urge all citizens of the Commonwealth to boycott these stores this weekend."

Dean Byrd, Kentucky Equality Federation's co-President and Treasurer stated: "It is a slap in the face to the LGBTI community; I also believe that AT&T, Verizon Wireless, Kroger, and Thornton's should have been included alongside Target and Best Buy. Kentucky is the ONLY state Verizon Wireless donated money to a statewide political party (Republican), which currently, is completely anti-gay and homophobic especially the Kentucky Senate under the leadership of President David L. Williams."

  Kentucky Equality Federation issued an alert about AT&T, Verizon Wireless, Kroger, and Thornton’s on their Facebook page earlier today: http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=142393382459414

NOTE: Kentucky Equality Federation is Kentucky's largest all-volunteer grassroots lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex ("LGBTI") civil rights and advocacy organization. Kentucky Equality Federation is a diverse organization consisting of several corporations and groups with a common cause for Peace, Liberty, and Equality for All.

Kentucky Equality Federation prepares to sue the Jefferson County Board of Education

UPDATE: Both the parents and the Discrimination, Hate Crimes, and School Bullying Committee of Kentucky Equality Federation are unsatisfied with Crosby Middle School's response. Kentucky Equality Federation has instructed its legal representation to prepare to sue the Jefferson County School District on behalf of the parents. (story and action alert)

NEW: In a discrimination case that is almost unbelievable, legal representation is also preparing to sue the Kentucky State Police for an incident in Richmond, KY which has not been made public. Details will follow once the lawsuit has been prepared and filed (by the middle or next month at the latest).

UPDATE: Federation management and volunteers will be present in McKee, KY (Jackson County) for the Cheyenne Williams trial on August 02, 2010. (more)

UPDATE: Hundreds with HIV/AIDS in Kentucky left to die and need your help! Kentucky has more than 1,500 people enrolled in its AIDS Drug Assistance Program (KADAP) for low-income HIV and AIDS patients. Today, more than 200 patients are on a waiting list to receive life saving medications. (action alert)

Three (3) action alerts await your urgent attention! (view)

View the Equality Center Home Page for additional updates and information!