Restore the Kentucky AIDS Drug Assistance Program!

To all members and subscribers,

HIV and AIDS healthcare in Kentucky stopped in 2007 when the Commonwealth failed to renew the
Kentucky AIDS Drug Assistance Program.  The health of low-income Kentuckians living with HIV, as well as the lives of those at risk of infection are in grave danger; we need your help to restore the program!

Kentucky has more than 1,200 people enrolled in its program for low-income HIV and AIDS patients.  But the Lexington Herald-Leader reports nearly 100 patients are on a waiting list that started in June for the Kentucky AIDS Drug Assistance Program (a Kentucky program, different from the Ryan White Programs)

"The fact that the Commonwealth stopped funding the low-income program in 2007 is inhumane, shortsighted, and threatens individual and public health," stated Kentucky Equality Federation President Jordan Palmer.

According to the Lexington Herald-Leader:



State lawmakers acknowledge they have overlooked the program. They think it deserves state money again, but nobody is sure where that money would come from in the 2010 General Assembly, where the talk will be about cuts. Economic forecasters predict a possible state budget shortfall of more than $1 billion over the next two years.

"Frankly, with some of these programs, the legislature just loses track of them because at any given moment there's 1,500 issues in front of us," said House Health and Welfare Chairman Tom Burch (D-Louisville). (story)


You can help people with HIV/AIDS healthcare in Kentucky. Use the same letter below (or write your own) to contact the House Committee on Health and Welfare Members.

Click HERE to sign the action alert!




Others News

The events calendar has also been updated with many new events being held by various organizations across the Commonwealth, including Equality Northern Kentucky, and the Imperial Court of Kentucky!

The United We Stand news blog has officially changed its format and is no longer under the control of Kentucky Equality Federation.  Though it remains the "official" endorsed news blog of the Federation, United We Stand now has five contributors with journalistic freedom and independence from any organization.  We urge you to subscribe to LGBTI related news!  United We Stand's new internet address is www.UnitedWeStandKY.com.


According to their new website:


United We Stand is Kentucky's Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, and Intersex news blog. United We Stand maintains objective journalistic independence from any endorsed organization. United We Stand is currently officially endorsed by Kentucky Equality Federation, Marriage Equality Kentucky, and Kentucky Equality PAC.


Due to the health problems currently facing our president, the October 03, 2009 event Equality....Don't Stop Believin' was canceled. None of our other volunteers had the experience to manage such an event without direct involvement from President Palmer which currently, simply isn't possible. Everyone who purchased tickets for the event will receive a refund no later than 11/30/2009 by check or electronic deposit back to your account.

Have you signed Marriage Equality Kentucky's Marriage Declaration yet?  The Marriage Declaration is a proclamation that marriage is a basic constitutional right that should be extended to all people. For additional information.

June Newsletter


YOUTH SUMMIT:
Registration is now open for the 2009 Greater Cincinnati GLBTQ Youth Summit on September 26th, 2009.

The Summit will be held at Northern Kentucky University and will feature a full day of educational workshops, a socializing lunch hour, expansive community resource center, and an entertaining dinner show. This event is free, and open to people of all ages.

NEW GROUPS:
A number of new groups have been created by Regional Directors and Outreach Directors. Please visit the Community Outreach Page for additional information and join us!

SPECIAL EVENT:
As a reminder, the Equality......Don't Stop Believin' event has been rescheduled for October 03, 2009 in a special area of Adonis. Tickets remain available for purchase; don't miss your chance to see Ryan Hill and Brian Kent live!

Proceeds benefit Kentucky Equality Federation, Marriage Equality Kentucky, and GLSEN Greater Cincinnati.

RECENT NEWS:

Kentucky Equality Federation and Marriage Equality Kentucky present: Equality - Don't Stop Believin'

Kentucky Equality Federation will be sponsoring or co-sponsoring events around the Commonwealth this year to raise money to fight attacks against the LGBTI community when the Kentucky General Assembly reconvenes in January.

For a complete listing of events, visit the calendar at http://www.kylgbt.org/.

Western Kentucky Pride Luau
Kentucky Equality Federation is co-sponsoring the Western Kentucky Pride Luau on May 16, 2009 with the Western Kentucky Pride Association.

Stonewall Pageant
Kentucky Equality Federation is co-sponsoring the Stonewall Pageant in Western Kentucky on June 06, 2009 with the Western Kentucky Pride Association at the Old Opera House in Guthrie, KY.

Equality - Don't Stop Believin'
Kentucky Equality Federation and Marriage Equality Kentucky present: Equality - Don't Stop Believin'.

Several stars will be lending their talent to the Equality - Don't Stop Believin' Event:

Comedian Ryan Hill: Though best known as a stand-up comedian, Ryan is also famous for his television commercials, especially freecreditreport.com, Pepsi, Dr. Pepper, and Doritos. Ryan has made numerous TV appearances: Girls Club (Fox), Earth 2 America (HBO and TBS), Carson Daly Bash (MTV), and the Dogeball Movie Special (MTV).

Singer Brian Kent: After releasing his first full length debut album in 2008 "Breathe Life," Brian has been a sensation in the music industry; his high-energy, emotional voyage in music expressed in radio-ready and club-friendly tracks. His current single, "Whatcha' Doin To Me" already hitting the Billboard Charts at # 35 (as of April 23, 2009) and is his second #1 on Sirius Satellite Radio's Hot 20 Charts.

Equality - Don't Stop Believin' will take place on June 20, 2009 at Adonis in Cincinnati, with after party events taking place at Yadda Club in Covington, KY.

"We are very grateful to Adonis and Yadda Club for donating space for this big event," stated Kentucky Equality Federation Treasurer Nick Herweck. "We have great establishments and stars contributing to our grassroots efforts to bring tolerance and diversity to Kentucky; the success of this event will significantly increase the money we have available for public education and community outreach."

Click here to purchase tickets, watch one of Brian Kent's music videos, or watch Ryan Hill doing stand-up live! Sponsor information is also available from this page!

BENEFIT:
All proceeds will benefit our affiliate, Kentucky Equality Coalition, Inc. for income tax purposes.

Call Congress - Help Pass the Hate Crimes Bill

Call Congress - Help Pass the Hate Crimes Bill

PLEASE help the LGBTI community by making a 45-second call to your U.S. Representative's office - even if you've already called. Call 202-224-3121 and tell your member of Congress to vote YES on the hate crimes bill.





This action alert is in cooperation with the Human Rights Campaign.

Giving back to our Youth - Art Sale Benefit

Kentucky Equality Federation Gives Back
Kentucky Equality Federation is proud to announce its collaboration with We Care Child and Family Services.

We Care is a child-placing agency offering services to children in need of substitute care. An all inclusive agency, We Care proudly serves a variety of cultures to include LGBTI teenagers and at risk youth.

On Easter Sunday, April 12, 2009, Kentucky Equality Federation is giving back to an organization that gives so much to youth and the community. Kentucky Equality Federation is donating thirty (30) 'survival kits' to the children of We Care, containing everyday necessities such as shampoo, conditioner, soap, deodorant, body spray, toothbrushes and toothpaste, mouthwash, etc.

"After a failed attack on the LGBTI community's ability to adopt children and serve as foster parents with Senate Bill 68, we thought this was a wonderful thing to do for our youth." - Laura Reed, Kentucky Equality Federation's Managing Director.

Artwork Sale
During the month of April, the artwork of artist Kimball Roy will be displayed at The Bar Complex in Lexington. Roy, a local Lexington artist is also Kentucky Equality Federation's Assistant Treasurer
and a member of the Board of Directors. A portion of every piece sold will benefit our affiliate, Kentucky Equality Coalition, Inc.

Organizational News and Senate Bill 68

SENATE BILL 68 IS OFFICIALLY DEAD
As promised on March 05, 2009 with a blog post (United We Stand), Senate Bill 68 is officially dead. (more) Thank you for all of your support! As we move forward, we realize similar bills will likely be filed in the future, and we will be ready to fight them.

SPECIAL EVENT
On Sunday, May 03, 2009, a national equality rally will take place at Independence Hall, the birthplace of our entire republic. So far, over 60 co-organizers have registered to March for Equality on Independence Mall, including Kentucky Equality Federation. (Miami-Herald News)

MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT
I am extremely proud of the organization we have built. Today, Kentucky Equality Federation is a powerful, permanent grassroots advocacy organization working to promote equality here in Kentucky and beyond. Our grassroots movement has taken on many new people, and I'd like to introduce them as they become new faces in our movement:
  • Laura Reed, Managing Director (more)
  • Julie Harris-Smith, Government & Legislative Liaison
  • Rick Wolfe, Western Kentucky Regional Director
  • Jessika Engle, Western Kentucky Administrative Coordinator
  • Matt Berry, Eastern Kentucky Regional Director
  • Christopher Perry, Special Events Coordinator
Joining William Anderson and Tara Morrison in Community Outreach is:
  • John "JJ" Bentley, Latino/a Outreach Director
  • Nikki McIntosh, Transgender Outreach Director
For a complete list of all Board members, officers, and statewide management, click here.

As we look to the future we cannot let previous setbacks deter us from fighting for what is right; likewise, we cannot rest on the laurels of the small victories we have made such as stopping the domestic-partner ban at Kentucky's public institutions, and stopping Representative Stan Lee (R - Lexington) and Representative Joseph M. Fischer (R - Covington) from removing 'home rule' by preventing cities and counties from adopting additional civil rights protections, and removing the ones currently active in Covington, Lexington, and Louisville.

In order to change our Commonwealth we need your help in holding lawmakers accountable for the legislation they propose. Especially, when legislation is proposed for the sole purpose of alienating a specific group of people, and making us feel like second-class citizens.

It continues to be my privilege and honor to serve as your President for Equality.


Sincerely,


Jordan Palmer, President
Kentucky Equality Federation

Updates, News, and Important Events - Kentuckians Value Fairness III

This is a time in Kentucky's history that every organization and individual must put differences aside and work together to finally secure the 1st Step of Equality for Kentucky (see below). At the end of the day, we are all the same: one community fighting for our civil rights.

Kentucky Equality Federation has significantly increased its reach around the Commonwealth with grassroots organizing, and we will not stop until we secure the 1st Step of Equality for Kentucky. Eventually, we will also overturn the 2004 discriminatory marriage amendment which blocks same-sex marriage, civil unions, and domestic partnerships.

Our community and our volunteers continue to be our inspiration to drive forward. At Kentucky Equality Federation, no individual, no group, and no organization shall be turned away in our struggle; we welcome everyone with open arms.

We must bring change to our Commonwealth; it is our generation's obligation and opportunity to bring equality to the LGBTI community; we stand on the shoulders of those who have come before us – the time is here, and we need your support:

Kentuckians Value Fairness

On Wednesday, February 25th, Kentucky Equality Federation, Kentucky Fairness Alliance, Fairness Campaign, Lexington Fairness, and other allies will gather in Frankfort for Kentuckians Value Fairness III.

Click here and register to join us!

While we know the climb to secure equality in Kentucky is very steep, the magnitude of the issues at stake requires that every LGBTI person and straight ally act and stand for the 1st Step of Equality in Kentucky: a statewide law to protect LGBTI people from discrimination in housing, credit, accommodations, and employment!

Senate Bill 68
On February 5th, Kentucky Senator Gary Tapp (R) filed Senate Bill 68 to make it illegal for any 'unmarried couple' to adopt a child or serve as foster parents in Kentucky. Senate Bill 68 isn't about protecting children, it is about harming a specific group of people, the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and intersex community of the Commonwealth. Thousands of adoptable children are currently languishing in foster care, many bouncing from home to home or from institution to institution. This bill would also prevent all single people (including our straight allies) from serving as foster parents or adopting a child.

Kentucky Equality Federation responded by posting an action alert on the Equality Center, but no email was sent to our members.
"We try to keep emails to a minimum, and truth is that this bill will have no problem passing the Kentucky Senate if Senate President David L. Williams decides to push it," stated Michael Hollingsworth, Kentucky Equality Federation Board Member and Treasurer. "As of this morning, over 575 people have signed our action alert which is emailed to Senate leadership."

Click here to email the Kentucky Senate and tell them our children are not political pawns!

Senate Bill 68 remains in the Senate Judiciary Committee (since February 9th) without action. "Should Senate Bill 68 make it to the House of Representatives, Kentucky Equality Federation will take a more aggressive approach." -
Nick Herweck, Kentucky Equality Federation Board Member, and Northern Kentucky Regional Director

National Freedom to Marry Day
Kentucky Equality Federation and Marriage Equality KentuckyTM coordinated (with many allies in Louisville), the Marriage Counter ActionsTM in Kentucky; the Herald-Leader covered the story with the Family Foundation of Kentucky calling our initial attempts to raise awareness of the harm the current same-sex marriage ban has on couples in Kentucky "cheating." In addition, they announced that they support Senate Bill 68.

Kentucky Equality Federation President Jordan Palmer, and Board Member Kimball Roy responded with this upcoming letter to the editor (to be published in the Herald-Leader): With national divorce rates rising due to layoffs, increases in daycare, and an economy in the tank, one would think a 'family oriented organization' would be focused on economic solutions to help take the stress off couples (such as using their money to provide free daycare instead of lobbying Frankfort against domestic partner benefits, and using children as political pawns). But, instead, they continue to focus on keeping a minority group of families from having the same civil liberties and protections as the majority. (more)

Volunteers
"If the continued election setbacks across the nation have taught us anything, it is that nothing can replace volunteering, grassroots organizing, and the perseverance of an all - volunteer organization." - Kentucky Equality Federation President Jordan Palmer in an interview with change.org.

Along those lines, Kentucky Equality Federation has confirmed volunteers in the positions of Latino Outreach Director, Government Outreach Director, Youth Outreach Director, and University Outreach Director.

For additional information, or to visit their new support groups, visit the Community Outreach Section in the Equality Center.

Yes, we still need volunteers! The struggle for equality is not over!

http://www.kentuckylgbt.org/ht/d/Contribute/pid/1122379

New Outreach Directors; Kentucky Equality Federation today announced additional outreach programs to reach Kentucky's Youth

Kentucky Equality Federation today announced additional outreach programs to target 'tomorrow's leaders.'

"In order to bring equality to our Commonwealth we must continue to recognize that people in middle school, high school, colleges, and universities will be instrumental to our success. In 2005, a young man names Nick Herweck became involved in Kentucky Equality Federation; he was 16 years old. Kentucky Equality Federation assisted him in setting up a gay-straight alliance at Boone County High School by threatening to sue school administration who had been successfully blocking its creation," stated Kentucky Equality Federation President Jordan Palmer."Today, Mr. Herweck is our Northern Kentucky Regional Coordinator, and sits on our Board of Directors."

Kentucky Equality Federation's Outreach Directors will focus on educating the public about lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) issues within specific communities – providing information and sharing our message in specific ways, as well as contributing information regarding each community to our statewide organization. Outreach Directors will also reach out to members of the LGBTI community that too often have not been included, either in positions of leadership or in public education.

With candidates for additional outreach directors to target other communities (Black, Latino, Transgender, Intersex, Immigration, Asian, Seniors, Medical, Faith, and LGBTI Parents), still under review, Palmer appointed the following people to target the Commonwealth’s future leaders:
  • William Anderson, University Outreach Director: Mr. Anderson is currently a student at the University of Kentucky pursuing a Bachelor's Degree in Vocal Performance. He is very active in the music and theatre world, and played several leading roles in operas and musicals.
  • Tara Morrison, Youth Outreach Director: A teenager herself, Ms. Morrison is passionate about giving Kentucky's LGBTI teenagers a voice in their community. Though she graduated high school in 2008, she is determined to see current and future students have a voice in their own communities, as well as support from their local school officials. While in high school, Ms. Morrison attempted to start a gay-straight alliance, but no teacher would sponsor the group.
Anderson and Morrison will be in contact with school administrations across the Commonwealth in addition to reaching out to any gay-straight alliances currently in place at each middle school, high school, college, and university.

Students and people across the Commonwealth already have the ability to report discrimination and school bullying to Kentucky Equality Federation from its online website, www.kyequality.org.

To launch its new outreach programs, Kentucky Equality Federation has taken the initial steps of ordering business cards, brochures, and pamphlets; in addition to setting up special groups for each outreach director to facilitate communication, cooperation, and support between the Commonwealth's students and educational institutions.


Palmer also noted that reaching out to specific communities was necessary and critical in order to overturn Kentucky's same-sex marriage ban. In a recent interview with change.org for Marriage Equality USA, Palmer stated, "No amount of money can replace volunteering, grassroots organizing, and the perseverance of an all - volunteer organization."

For addition information, visit the Community Outreach section of Kentucky Equality Federation's Equality Center at www.kyLGBT.org.

>> Kentucky Equality Federation is still looking for Outreach Directors for the following communities:
Black, Latino, Transgender, Intersex, Immigration, Asian, Seniors, Medical, Faith, and LGBTI Parents. If you would like to volunteer for one of these positions, visit our website, or click here.

http://www.kentuckylgbt.org/ht/d/Contribute/pid/1122379

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