2010 Legislative Update - Personal Message from the President

Dear members, allies, and supporters: 

During the 2010 Kentucky Legislative Session, we have fought. Our fight was brave, confident, and relentless; we stood before a majority, raised our hand and said....I do not agree.  Though setbacks will test our resolve, in the end we shall be victorious in the fight not only for marriage equality in Kentucky, but complete equality under law across the Commonwealth.

I challenged Senate President David L. Williams to pass the hospital visitation bill, an invitation he declined.  By declining my invitation, I believe Senate President Williams has signaled that the Kentucky Senate will in no way work with the LGBTI community, further indicating that no measure of equality will pass the Kentucky Senate so long as Republican's maintain a majority. (view press release)

Kentucky Equality Federation successfully killed House Bill 350 which would have stopped ongoing training and education requirements related to HIV/AIDS for licensed service providers such as physicians, registered nurses, social workers, etc. (view press release)   However,
Kentucky Equality Federation yesterday condemned Senate Bill 127 after Representative's attached House Bill 350 to the bill because the House Health and Welfare Committee refused to post it. 

The Kentucky House Health and Welfare Committee knew House Bill 350 was dangerous, refused to post it, and no one voted on it.  The Committee was wise enough to realize the requirements for licensed care providers must remain in place.  This is an underhanded technique used at the end of sessions to move pieces of legislation that haven't moved before by hiding them in other places.

The most stunning setback however was the refusal of the Appropriations and Revenue Committee of the Kentucky House of Representatives to allocate funds to the Kentucky AIDS Drug Assistance Program (KADAP).   As president of Kentucky Equality Federation, I, along with different volunteers visited the Kentucky Capitol on six different occasions to beg for funding.   

The AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) Budget (federal and state combined) for 2008 was $6,872,876 according to the Kaiser Family Foundation at www.statehealthfacts.org.  In 2007, the total payout for the Kentucky AIDS Drug Assistance Program was $6,102,693.00, with all states contributing a total of $1,260,541,721.00. 

http://www.kentuckylgbt.org/ht/d/Contribute/pid/112237912 other brave organizations, individuals, and groups joined Kentucky Equality Federation in declaring KADAP a crucial and necessary program for Kentuckians living with HIV/AIDS.  (view press release)
The Kentucky Legislature funded over 3 billion in new road projects, but refused to allocate a dime to KADAP.  Though HIV/AIDS has not been a "gay only" disease for over a decade, I believe many lawmakers didn't fund KADAP in part due to House Resolution 232, also known as the Manhattan Declaration.

By adopting the Manhattan Declaration lawmakers slighted their constitutional oath, violating Article V of the Commonwealth's Constitution.
This right wing Declaration was an attack on religious freedom across the Commonwealth, and a direct threat to the separation of church and state. If you read the text of the "Manhattan Declaration," you will quickly realize their true values are homophobic, and just like all other dogma throughout history, they claim to do it in the name of righteousness; this time however they brought the fight to our Statehouse

If, in the fight to restore KADAP I have hurt feeling or strained political alliances, I shall lose no sleep over it.  As a public political figure I have many lives, yet as a person, I have but one, as do the people who depended on KADAP.  The Kentucky House of Representatives, or more appropriately, the Appropriations and Revenue Committee, terminated their lifeline.

A Call to Action:I urge you to vote this election year; no change will come to Kentucky so long as we allow elected officials to remain in office who violate their oath of office, condemn citizens to death (by not funding KADAP), or working to further their own political agenda instead of their constituents.

For too long people have only focused on federal elections, but what you fail to realize is that the state has more control over your daily lives than the federal government.   The
very idea of a democracy is that you personally know your local Constable, County Court Clerk, County Attorney, Sheriff, Jailer, Coroner, Surveyor, District Judge, Circuit Judge, Commonwealth's Attorney, City Councilmember, Mayor, Judge/Executive, and further along the ladder until you reach your state Representatives, state Senators, the Commonwealth's Congressional Delegation, the Governor and the President.

Neither the President nor the Governor can make public laws. Lawmakers are the ones who fund programs and create public laws; with this in mind, how many of you even know the name of your state Representative or state Senator in Frankfort?

"Change" will never come, equality never achieved, nor the quality of your life enhanced unless you know these individuals and vote for or against them.  I ask you to forward this message to your friends and family and ask them to sign-up for urgent communication and action alerts.  Kentucky Equality Federation is extremely selective about the emails we send to our members. 

  Kentucky Equality Action Center - Voter Resources: http://www.kyequalitypac.org

Together, we can and will bring equality to Kentucky. We stand on the shoulders of those who came before us, and we will prevail.

ACTION ALERTS (a new window will open for each action alert)

Please sign the remaining action alerts for the 2010 Legislative Session:
  1. Health Facility Patient's Visitation Right (Hospital Designee Bill) 2nd Alert; this one is for the Senate. It passed the House of Representatives!
  2. Equality Bill - No Discrimination because of Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity.
  3. Restore the Kentucky AIDS Drug Assistance Program!
  4. Declaration for Marriage Equality in Kentucky.
In service,

Jordan Palmer, President

Richard Jones, Special Assistant to the President for Administration & Comm
Rick Wolfe, Special Adviser to the President for Youth & Communi
ty Outreach