October 24, 2006

HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, KY October 24, 2006 -- Kentucky Equality Federation condemns comments by Representative Joseph Fischer (R-Fort Thomas)related to people being able to “change their sexuality” in an on-going debate with his opponent Linda Klembara (D-Fort Thomas).

Kentucky Equality Federation President Jordan Palmer stated “Representative Fischer stating “It's OK to fire someone if they're gay,” reminds me of something you’d read that someone said in a previous century; forced segregation, unequal pay for women, elitism, and sexism was also said to be “OK.” We live in a republic founded on tolerance and the embracement of diversity; the comments made by Representative Fischer are a slap in the face to the people who lay their lives on the line everyday to protect the ideals the founders of our nation had.”

Representative Fischer also stated "Historically, homosexuals haven't been discriminated against like women and blacks. They haven't suffered.”

During World War II the deaths of 15,000 gay men in concentration camps are officially documented, though unofficial numbers reach as high as 600,000. German soldiers were known to use gay men for target practice, aiming their weapons at the pink triangles their human targets were forced to wear.

“Representative Fischer obviously has no clue what he’s talking about,” stated Palmer. “Does Representative Fischer know who Timothy Blair, Charles Poynter, Blaine Thackery, Jesse James Valencia, Guinn Phillips, or Barry Winchell are? They are native Kentuckians or people who where in Kentucky and murdered for their born sexual orientation. I’d really like to know Representative Fisher’s definition of ‘suffer,’” stated Palmer. “By Representative Fisher stating the gay community hasn’t suffered he is in fact stating the gay community hasn’t suffered enough; I’d like Representative Fisher to provide us with a number of exactly how many people need to suffer before he will acknowledge it.”

Representative Fischer also stated “Obviously, people can change their sexual orientation, some psychologists have said so." In response, Kentucky Equality Federation challenges Representative Fischer to change his sexual orientation to homosexual for the next 48 hours.

The American Psychological Association in its Resolution on Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation, which is also endorsed by the National Association of School Psychologists, states: That the American Psychological Association opposes portrayals of lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth and adults as mentally ill due to their sexual orientation and supports the dissemination of accurate information about sexual orientation, and mental health, and appropriate interventions in order to counteract bias that is based in ignorance or unfounded beliefs about sexual orientation.

“Gay and lesbian people have families, and their families should have legal protection, whether by marriage or civil union. I still hear people say that I should not be talking about the rights of lesbian and gay people and I should stick to the issue of racial justice. But I hasten to remind them that Martin Luther King Jr. said, 'Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.' I appeal to everyone who believes in Martin Luther King Jr.'s dream to make room at the table of brother- and sisterhood for lesbian and gay people. Homophobia is like racism and anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry in that it seeks to dehumanize a large group of people, to deny their humanity, their dignity and personhood. This sets the stage for further repression and violence that spread all too easily to victimize the next minority group. I've always felt that homophobic attitudes and policies were unjust and unworthy of a free society and must be opposed by all Americans who believe in democracy." - Coretta Scott King (1927 - 2006), Activist and Widow of Dr.
Martin Luther King Jr.

“You know, gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender - people are people.” - Judith Light

“As anyone who is gay will confirm, being that way is not something you become, it is a set of emotional and physical responses that just are.” - Lance Loud

“The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts.” - Bertrand Russell (1872 - 1970)

“The marvel of all history is the patience with which men and women submit to burdens unnecessarily laid upon them by their governments.” - William H. Borah