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June 26, 2015 - Supreme Court Upholds Same-Sex Marriage In Case That Includes Kentuckians - WFPL

Just before a storm passed over Louisville on Friday evening, same-sex marriage supporters gathered at Jefferson Square downtown to celebrate. Meanwhile in the rest of the state, the Associated Press reports: Some clerks are having trouble printing the marriage licenses because they use a computer program that has not been updated yet with the new forms. The company that makes the computer program said it would be Tuesday at the latest before they could get the system updated. But the Kentucky County Clerk’s Association is telling clerks that shouldn’t be a problem. Simply print out the old form and scratch out the words “bride” and “groom” and replace them with “first party” and “second party.” Read more...

 

June 17, 2015 - This weekend, the Kentuckiana Pride Parade and Festival will celebrate 15 years of Pride - LEO Weekly

Hide, or they might out you. Pretend to be someone else, or they could fire you. Don’t speak up, or they will harm you. For many in the LGBTQ community, this is what life was like living in pre-fairness ordinance Louisville. There was no talk of equal rights, marriage equality or acceptance of transgender people. Businesses had the right to fire you because of your sexual orientation or gender identity, people were scared to be outed because it could ruin their lives. But some decided to be proud. Read more...

 

June 9, 2015 - In Midway, a vote for fairness - Herald-Leader

You don't have to be big to lead, as Midway showed by outlawing discrimination against people who are gay or transgender. The Woodford County town of about 1,700 is the eighth Kentucky city to enact a fairness ordinance. Mayor Grayson Vandegrift said he proposed the addition to the city's civil rights code after learning that people could be fired, evicted or denied public service because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. With its lively restaurant and picturesque downtown shopping scene dependent on visitors and tourists, it makes economic sense for Midway to throw out a welcome mat to all. Read more...

 

June 3, 2015 - Meetings set on LGBT elderly-related issues - Courier-Journal

The Louisville-based Fairness Campaign plans a series of public forums, or focus groups, intended to help establish an affiliate in Kentucky of the the national group called SAGE, or Services and Advocacy for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Elders. At each meeting — free and open to anyone interested — facilitators will lead conversations covering multiple topics related to the senior LGBT community, a Fairness Campaign release said. Such discussion issues are expected to include healthcare and long-term care, mental health and well being, discrimination and abuse, relationships, social networks and familial connections, housing and transportation. Read more...

 

June 1, 2015 - Midway becomes 8th Kentucky city with anti-bias ordinance - Herald-Leader

This Woodford County city on Monday became the eighth in the state to adopt an ordinance prohibiting discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodations based on sexual orientation or gender identity. With 4-2 passage of the ordinance by the city council, Midway joined Lexington, Louisville, Covington, Danville, Frankfort, Morehead and Vicco in Perry County as cities with similar ordinances. Midway, with a population of 1,656, is the second-smallest city in Kentucky to pass an anti-bias ordinance. (Vicco has 320 people, according to the latest census estimate.) Read more...

 

May 10, 2015 - 20 favor, five oppose 'fairness ordinance' at city's public forum; more than half of sign-ups weren't from Midway - Midway Messenger

Twenty people endorsed and five opposed the proposed “fairness ordinance” in a public forum at the Northside Elementary School gymnasium Thursday evening. The ordinance, awaiting first reading before the Midway City Council, would prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. About 75 people attended the forum, according to Assistant City Clerk Diane Shepard. She managed the sign-in sheets, which had the names of 57 people, a few of whom listed post office boxes or other uncertain addresses. About 25 were from Midway, 15 from elsewhere in Woodford County and about 10 from elsewhere in Kentucky. Midway would be the eighth Kentucky city with such an ordinance, and the second smallest. Read more...

 

April 28, 2015 - Outside Supreme Court, same-sex marriage is rallied for, prayed against - Kansas City Star

Scott Ackerman and Jamie Carpenter, from Lexington, Ky., stood among hundreds of people in front of the U.S. Supreme Court building Tuesday, Ackerman’s birthday, hoping that the nation’s highest justices can be convinced that the two men have a right to be married. “It’s a historic moment,” Ackerman said. “We’ll be glad we were here.” The scene in front of the Supreme Court on Tuesday was a mélange of carnival, protest and political rally, as the justices inside heard arguments on whether there’s a constitutional right to same-sex marriage. Beneath the marble columns of the high court, many in the crowd celebrated with rainbow flags and signs bearing messages such as “All Love is Equal” and “Don’t Like Gay Marriage, Don’t Get Gay Married.” The Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington, D.C., sang “We Shall Overcome” in the sunshine. Read more...

 

March 25, 2015 - Kentucky's Transphobic Legislation Dies After 'Last Ditch Effort' - Advocate.com

Kentucky's so-called 'Bathroom Bully Bill' died in the House, despite a last-minute scramble to tack it onto unrelated legislation. A proposed Kentucky law that trans advocates say would have empowered students to become "bathroom bullies" towards their transgender classmates failed on the last working day of the Senate's current session, Kentucky's Fairness Coalition announced in a Tuesday statement. If passed, Senate Bill 76, originally introduced by Republican Senator C.B. Embry, Jr., would have restricted trans students' access to bathrooms, locker rooms, and other gender-segreated facilities on school campuses. On February 23, SB 76 quietly passed through the Republican-controlled state Senate in a 27-9 vote, just days after it had passed the Senate Education Committee with only minutes of notice, on a vote taken when the only Democrat seated on the committee was out of the room. Read more...

 

March 14, 2015 - Gerth | 'Politician' as a four-letter word - Courier-Journal

There’s a reason that some people think the word “politician” actually has just four letters. A case in point is state Sen. C.B. Embry Jr., who has spent the entire 2015 session of the Kentucky General Assembly with laser focus on what must be the most important issue in Morgantown, Ky.: whether or not a transgender student can use the bathroom of the sex with which they identify. I didn’t realize it, but Morgantown must be known for this sort of thing. Read more...

 

March 13, 2015 - Op-ed: How a Gay Baptist Preacher in Kentucky Took His Marriage Fight to SCOTUS - Advocate.com

Dominique and I met each other 11 years ago here in Louisville, Ky.  I am from the Deep South, while Dominique is from Indiana. In G-d’s own divine and mysterious way, we crossed each other’s paths and fell in love. My father, an ordained Baptist minister, married us in a church ceremony June 3, 2006. Although we couldn’t receive a marriage license and still can’t due to Kentucky’s 2004 marriage equality ban, it was very important for us to be married in the church. Our commitment to each other before G-d is very sacred to us. Read more...

 

WHAS 11 - Bluegrass Poll on Gay Marriage

 

February 23, 2015 - In surprise vote, Kentucky Senate panel approves limits on transgender students' choices - Herald-Leader

Without providing much notice, the Senate Education Committee on Monday night revisited a bill that would require transgender students to use the bathroom that matches their biological sex or to seek special accommodations, such as a unisex bathroom. The bill failed to get out of committee Thursday because it did not have the necessary seven votes to be sent to the full Senate. But the panel approved Senate Bill 76 on an 8-1 vote on Monday night, minutes after Senate President Robert Stivers, R-Manchester, told reporters he didn't know whether the bill was on the committee's agenda. Read more...

 

February 19, 2015 - Kentucky Bill That Would Have Let Students Sue If They Saw Transgender Students In Certain Bathrooms Fails - Huffington Post

A bill that would have allowed students to sue their school if they saw a transgender student in a bathroom that did not correspond with the gender he or she or they were assigned at birth failed in the Kentucky state Senate on Thursday. The bill did not earn the seven votes needed to pass out of the Senate's education committee, Chris Hartman, the director of the Kentucky LGBT advocacy group Fairness Campaign, told The Huffington Post. Hartman added that both Democrats and Republicans had opposed the bill. "Once folks know someone who is lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, it's far more difficult to support legislation that affects them adversely," he said. Read more...

 

January 20, 2015 - Ky bill targets transgender school-bathroom use - Courier-Journal

In a rebuke to a Louisville high school, a Kentucky lawmaker is sponsoring a bill that would ban transgender students from using school restrooms that don't correspond to their anatomical sex. The "Kentucky Student Privacy Act," proposed by State Sen. C.B. Embry Jr., R-Morgantown, also would allow students to sue the school for $2,500 when they encounter a person of the opposite biological sex in a bathroom or locker room if staff have allowed it or failed to prohibit it. "Parents have a reasonable expectation that schools will not allow minor children to be viewed in various states of undress by members of the opposite biological sex," Embry wrote in Senate Bill 76, filed this month in the state's General Assembly. Read more...

 

January 16, 2015 - Supreme Court takes Kentucky gay marriage cases - Courier-Journal

Promising that Kentuckians will play a historic role in shaping the future of American marriage, the Supreme Court announced Friday it will determine the fate of gay marriage in cases from Kentucky and three other states. "No matter what happens, it will be a historic decision," said Louisville resident Greg Bourke, one of the plaintiffs who challenged Kentucky's ban on recognizing gay marriages performed in other states or allowing them to be performed in the commonwealth. "We are honored and elated." Promising to resolve the national debate over same-sex marriage once and for all, the court without comment Friday said it will decide whether gay and lesbian couples have a constitutional right to marry. Thirty-six states now allow such unions. Read more...

 

January 7, 2015 - Fairness groups express disdain with Human Rights - Sentinel-News

Members of the Fairness Campaign and the Shelby County chapter of the Kentuckians for the Commonwealth were in attendance Monday evening when the Shelby County Human Rights Commission met at Stratton Hall. As the brief meeting began to wrap up in prayer, frustrated attendees began vocalizing their disdain towards the commission for not addressing the matter of a Fairness Ordinance – an ordinance that would prevent the discrimination of members of the gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. Read more...

 

December 9, 2014 - Murray Residents Voice Comments on Updates to the Human Rights Ordinance - WKMS

Murray City residents voiced their comments on a new Human Rights Ordinance draft that would protect people of all gender identities and sexual orientations  at last night's Town Hall meeting. The Human Rights Commission postponed presenting the draft to the City Council mid-November after community outcry about a lack of public input. Many oppose on grounds of religion, fear of business impacts, and skepticism of the draft’s broadness. Gina Duncan Brown said she respects people of other sexual orientations and gender identities, but doesn’t think the government should step in. Read more...

 

November 6, 2014 - Gay marriage bans in four states upheld, Supreme Court review likely - USA Today

The same-sex marriage movement lost its first major case in a federal appeals court Thursday after a lengthy string of victories, creating a split among the nation's circuit courts that virtually guarantees Supreme Court review. The 2-1 ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit reversed district court rulings that had struck down gay marriage bans in Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee. More important, it gives Supreme Court justices an appellate ruling that runs counter to four others from the 4th, 7th, 9th and 10th circuits. Those rulings struck down same-sex marriage bans in Virginia, Indiana, Wisconsin, Oklahoma, Utah, Idaho and Nevada, leading to similar action in neighboring states. Read more...

 

October 7, 2014 - Berea Council rejects 'fairness' ordinance 5-3 - Richmond Register

A proposed ordinance that would have banned discrimination based on sexual orientation was rejected 5-3 Tuesday night by the Berea City Council. Council members Diane Kerby, Virgil Burnside and Billy Wagers voted in favor of the proposal, which would have prohibited discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodations based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Council members who voted against the measure included Jerry Little, Violet Farmer, Chester Powell, Chad Hembree and Ronnie Terrill. Before casting his vote, Little expressed regret that citizens could not directly vote on the ordinance by a ballot initiative. Read more...

 

September 5, 2014 - Fairness Over Louisville event planned - Courier-Journal

The Fairness Over Louisville celebration will feature a runway show, the premiere of a video project and honors for two outgoing Louisville metro councilwomen. Brown-Forman Corp. is sponsoring the sixth annual event, scheduled Saturday, Sept. 13, from 8 to 10 p.m. at PLAY Dance Bar, 1101 E. Washington St. in Butchertown. The schedule includes a runway show, a Fairness Campaign video/photo project premiere by Christopher Caswell Style, and a keynote address by former Miss Kentucky Djuan Trent, who came out earlier this year on her blog. Also at the event, Fairness Campaign leaders will honor outgoing Metro Councilwomen Attica Scott and Tina Ward-Pugh for their commitment to social justice and advocacy for “fairness” issues. Read more...

 

September 1, 2014 - Berea to Hold Public Meeting on Fairness Ordinance - WUKY

Berea has scheduled two meetings in September to discuss a proposed city law that bans discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. The proposal, modeled after several other so-called fairness ordinances that have passed around the state, would outlaw discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations. The Richmond Register reports the council will review the measure Sept. 2 and hold a public forum on Sept. 16. City Administrator Randy Stone says the ordinance could be up for a second reading as early as Oct. 2. Read more...

 

August 18, 2014 - Cities, Small Towns Across America Attempt to Fill Gaps in LGBT Rights - BuzzFeed.com

As marriage equality victories rapidly march the LGBT rights movement forward in many states, some local governments in cities and small towns across America are looking to fill in gaps where state and federal laws fall short of protecting LGBT people from discrimination. For many LGBT Americans, the threat of being fired, denied service at a business, or turned away for a new place to live because of their sexual orientation or gender identity is still very real as most states lack such protections in their nondiscrimination laws. But officials, sometimes pressed by local advocates and allies, in dozens of cities and towns — from Tempe, Ariz., to Billings, Mont. — have sought to change this by creating municipal nondiscrimination ordinances. Read more...

 

August 5, 2014 - Federal appeals courts in US taking up gay marriage in coming weeks on road to supreme court - U.S. News & World Report

Federal appeals courts soon will hear arguments in gay marriage fights from nine states, part of a slew of cases putting pressure on the U.S. Supreme Court to issue a final verdict. If the appeals judges continue the unbroken eight-month streak of rulings in favor of gay marriage, that could make it easier for the nation's highest court to come down on the side of supporters. If even one ruling goes against them in the four courts taking up the issue in the coming weeks, it would create a divide that the Supreme Court also could find difficult to resist settling. Read more...

 

July 2, 2014 - Judge rips apart Kentucky's gay marriage argument - Courier-Journal

In striking down Kentucky's ban on gay marriage, a federal judge Tuesday rejected Gov. Steve Beshear's argument that the ban is needed because only opposite sex couples can procreate and maintain the state's birth rate and economy. "These arguments are not those of serious people," wrote Senior U.S. District Court Judge John G. Heyburn II. "Even assuming the state has a legitimate interest in promoting procreation," Heyburn wrote in a 19-page opinion, its lawyers never explained how the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage has "any effect whatsoever on procreation among heterosexual spouses.'' Read more...

 

June 9, 2014 - Danville fairness ordinance voted into law - Central Kentucky News

Danville City Commission voted 4-1 to approve a second and final draft of a fairness ordinance, making it illegal to discriminate based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Despite lengthy and at times heated discussion, the ordinance voted into law Monday exempts all "faith-based institutions." A previous draft included a faith-based clause that did not include faith-based institutions which receive a majority of funding from government agencies. Following a threat of litigation by legal representation for Sunrise Children's Services, which receives upwards of 80 percent of its funding from government agencies, the commission changed the ordinance at the May 26 meeting. Read more...

 

March 6, 2014 - Dozens show up at first-ever hearing of Kentucky LGBT Law - WKYT

On Wednesday in Frankfort, a Kentucky House Judiciary Committee heard arguments for a statewide fairness law. The bill would be similar to ordinances in six Kentucky cities, including Lexington, making it illegal to discriminate against anyone based on their sexual preference. History was made in Frankfort at the Capitol with dozens of onlookers with supporters in blue t-shirts. "I can't really put it into words how important it is that if we're a nation that claims to be the land of the free and home of the brave, that we fight towards freedom and equality for all of our citizens day in and day out," said Sabrina Brown, who supports House Bill 171. Read more...

 

February 26, 2014 - Judge: Final order requiring Ky. to recognize same-sex marriages expected Thursday - Herald-Leader

A federal judge said Wednesday afternoon that he would issue a final order within 24 hours requiring Kentucky to immediately recognize same-sex marriages performed outside the state. In response, lawyers for the attorney general's office told U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn II at a hearing that the state would "very promptly" decide whether to appeal the order. Heyburn told lawyers that his final order will not include a stay postponing it from taking effect. "There could be some confusion" among Kentuckians who quickly seek legal benefits stemming from their same-sex marriages, such as joint tax-filing status, if the state appeals 30 days later and delays the implementation of the order or throws its future into question, Heyburn cautioned. Read more...

 

February 17, 2014 - House Speaker Greg Stumbo Joins as Co-sponsor of Fairness Bill - State Journal

Proponents of an anti-discrimination bill hope support from the House’s top Democrat can help lead to its first committee hearing after at least 15 years without one. House Speaker Greg Stumbo became the 17th co-sponsor of House Bill 171 Monday. The legislation would protect individuals statewide from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in the areas of housing, employment and public accommodations. Chris Hartman — director of the Louisville-based Fairness Campaign, part of the larger Fairness Coalition — in a press release Monday said the bill’s supporters “now await word” from House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Tilley, D-Hopkinsville. Read more...

 

February 17, 2014 - Group calls on archbishop to support civil rights for LGBT community - WLKY

Once again, the Fairness Campaign is taking aim at Archbishop Joseph Kurtz. People with the group Catholics For Fairness held a demonstration outside of the Cathedral of the Assumption in downtown Louisville. They marched together, then attended Mass for what they called a peaceful pilgrimage. Their purpose was to get Catholics on board with the idea of statewide civil rights for lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender people. Catholics marched in numbers Sunday to the Cathedral of the Assumption, toting signs with the words of Pope Francis on them -- "Who am I to judge?" Read more...

 

February 14, 2014 - 2 couples want to join lawsuit, get married in Commonwealth - WHAS 11

It’s another big legal move for marriage equality in Kentucky. Attorneys are asking for a federal judge in Louisville to allow two additional couples to join a recent lawsuit so they can get married in the Commonwealth. This comes after that judge ruled Kentucky has to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states. "We just want to take time to get married and be productive citizens," Larry Ysunza, the plaintiff, said. Larry Ysunza, along with three others is asking Judge John Heyburn to join a lawsuit that has already broke marriage equality barriers. Read more...

 

February 12, 2014 - Kentucky must recognize same-sex marriages granted in other states: federal judge - NY Daily News

Kentucky must recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states, according to a ruling Wednesday by a federal judge, who struck down part of the state ban that he wrote treated “gay and lesbian persons differently in a way that demeans them.” In 23-page a ruling issued Wednesday, U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn II concluded that the government may define marriage and attach benefits to it, but cannot “impose a traditional or faith-based limitation” without a sufficient justification for it.” “Assigning a religious or traditional rationale for a law does not make it constitutional when that law discriminates against a class of people without other reasons,” wrote Heyburn, an appointee of President George H.W. Bush. Read more...

 

February 12, 2014 - Join Catholics for Fairness Pilgrimage for LGBT Rights on Sunday - Courier-Journal

Who am I to judge?” With those five words, Pope Francis shifted the Catholic Church’s dialogue on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights, opening the door for broader acceptance and understanding. This Sunday, Feb. 16, Catholics for Fairness invite all LGBT civil rights supporters to join us at 4 p.m. at the Volunteers of America of Kentucky headquarters, located at 570 S. Fourth St., for our annual Pilgrimage to the Cathedral of the Assumption, where we will call on Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, our church leader and current president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, to acknowledge the inherent dignity of all human beings, including LGBT people. Read more...

 

February 12, 2014 - McGarvey To File Statewide Fairness Bill - 91.3 fm WKMS

A Louisville state senator says he will file a bill that would make it illegal for employers in Kentucky to discriminate against employees on the basis of sexual orientation. In a speech on the issue, Sen. Morgan McGarvey began by discussing the plight of University of Missouri tight end and NFL draft prospect Michael Sam, who recently came out as gay. “We need to rally around our teammates, and stand up for the thousands of people in this commonwealth who also fear discrimination simply because of their orientation," says McGarvey, a Democrat. Read more...

 

January 27, 2013 - Danville Fairness Ordinance Dividing The City - LEX 18

A new ordinance is in the works in Danville, after the city council voted to move forward with the proposal on Monday. In the close knit community, there is a shared passion and pride. Still, the people of Danville are divided. The fairness ordinance would make it illegal for anyone to discriminate based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Monday afternoon people on both sides of the issue voiced their opinions about the controversial ordinance at City Hall. Read more...

 

January 10, 2014 - Frankfort Rep. Derrick Graham supporting bill similar to local 'Fairness Ordinance' - The State Journal

State Rep. Derrick Graham, D-Frankfort, has signed on as a co-sponsor to a bill that would protect individuals statewide from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in the areas of housing, employment and public accommodations. The move comes after the City of Frankfort enacted in August similar protections locally through its own “Fairness Ordinance.” “Discrimination is discrimination,” Graham told The State Journal Thursday. “And I’m opposed to any discrimination.” Graham said public officials take an oath to uphold the state and federal constitutions, and he said opposing discrimination meant protecting constitutional rights. Read more...

 

January 9, 2014 - Statewide Fairness Bill has record number of 16 co-sponsors; Capitol rally being planned - KyForward.com

As of today, 16 co-sponsors – a record, according to the Louisville-based Fairness Campaign – have signed on to Kentucky’s House Bill 171, known as the Statewide Fairness Bill. The bill was initially filed in the General Assembly yesterday by Rep. Mary Lou Marzian (D-Louisville). The Fairness Campaign said six new representatives – Rep. Denver Butler (D-Louisville), Rep. Jesse Crenshaw (D-Lexington), Rep. Jeffrey Donahue (D-Louisville), Rep. Derrick Graham (D-Frankfort), Rep. Rita Smart (D-Richmond) and Rep. David Watkins (D-Henderson) – joined the original 10 bill sponsors. The Campaign said, in a press release, the increase in sponsorship illustrates “the rapid growth of support across the Commonwealth for anti-discrimination protections in employment, housing and public accommodation including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people.” Read more...

 

December 22, 2013 - Group eyes fairness ordinance - Bowling Green Daily News

Diane Lewis said living in a city where her son could easily face discrimination without consequences encouraged her to take action. Lewis, acting president of the local chapter of Parents, Families & Friends of Lesbians and Gays, said she joined the Bowling Green Fairness Coalition because of her son, who is gay. Lewis’ son is a Foreign Service officer whose next posting will be in Afghanistan. But if he moved back to Bowling Green and got a job here, he could be fired because of his sexuality, she said. “It makes me so frustrated to live in a city where this is possible in 2013,” Lewis said. Read more...

 

December 17, 2013 - Fairness ordinance is legal, right - The Advocate Messenger: Opinion

Dear Editor,

Danville should enact a fairness ordinance. As I understand the current situation, the mayor is interpreting the city attorney’s statements as meaning the city either lacks authority to enact the fairness ordinance or that the ordinance is “illegal.” Either interpretation is erroneous. This ordinance has been enacted in Louisville, Lexington, Frankfort, Covington and Morehead. The legalities are well settled in favor of enactment. It offends me as a lawyer to have “the law” raised as a barrier to Danville’s passage of this ordinance. Read more...

 

December 9, 2013 - Morehead City Council votes unanimously to adopt fairness ordinance - WYMT 57

The City of Morehead is now one of six Kentucky cities to adopt a fairness ordinance. The Morehead City Council unanimously voted to adopt a fairness ordinance on Monday. This extends discrimination protections to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. Morehead joins Vicco, Frankfort, Covington, Lexington, and Louisville on the list. Read more...

 

November 19, 2013 - Report on LGBT Equality Shows Improvement in Commonweatlth - WEKU

A new report measuring the level of equality afforded lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans shows substantial improvements in the Kentucky cities measured, said Fairness Campaign director Chris Hartman.  The Human Rights Campaign on Tuesday released its second annual Municipal Equality Index, examining laws and policies that foster LGBT equality in nearly 300 American cities and awarded them points on a scale of 0-100. Read more...

 

November 12, 2013 - Fairness ordinance has first reading - The Independent

Morehead’s City Council met before a full crowd Monday where they had the first reading of an anti-discriminatory ordinance advocating equal work and housing opportunities for homosexual and transgender citizens. The ordinance was previously a topic of heated discussion among the Morehead community, drawing large crowds to the meetings at the Morehead Conference Center since first being discussed in September. Three audience members spoke out in favor of the ordinance, including Morehead State University President Dr. Wayne Andrews. “I’m proud of you for considering this ordinance,” he said to the council. “Some communities wouldn’t touch this, but this is the right thing to do, and it’s right because in the United States of America we believe everybody should have the opportunity for equality on everything.” Read more...

 

November 7, 2013 - Group pushes 'fairness' after historic vote - WAVE 3

wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather

On the same day the U.S. Senate voted to ban workplace discrimination against gay and transgender workers, a local group made the same push with less certain results. Members of the Fairness Campaign asked the Shelbyville City Council to consider a similar ordinance Thursday, although no members voiced support for the idea publicly. "Everyone has the right to their opinion, I'll give them that," said Cynthia Dare of Shelby County, who recently married her partner in Iowa. "I don't want to infringe on them, but I want protection when their beliefs would infringe on me and my friends." Read more...

 

November 7, 2013 - Fairness Campaign hires Western Kentucky Organizer - Courier-Journal

The Fairness Campaign has hired Dora James of Bowling Green as its Western Kentucky regional organizer in its first act since merging with the former Kentucky Fairness Alliance, according to a campaign release. James, from Hartford, Ky., has worked on LGBT Fairness issues since she began Ohio County High School's first Gay/Straight Alliance in 2008, for which she won a national American Civil Liberties Union Youth Activism Scholarship, according to the release. She has worked closely with the ACLU of Kentucky on human rights issues, including immigration reform, abolition of capital punishment and voting rights restoration. She is a 2013 undergraduate of Western Kentucky University. Read more...

 

November 5, 2013 - Sen. Reid Highlights Louisville Discrimination Case for ENDA Vote - Huffington Post

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) predicted on Tuesday that if the House voted on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, it would pass. The problem, however, is that House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) won't let it come up for a vote. "I was also stunned when the speaker said today he wasn't even going to bring it up for a vote," said Reid in a speech on the Senate floor Tuesday morning. "Yesterday he said he just didn't like it. Today he said he's not even going to bring it up for a vote. If it came up for a vote in the House, it would pass." Read more...

 

November 5, 2012 - Sen. Reid's Speech Text on ENDA Highlighting Louisville Case - United States Senate Democrats

Nevada Senator Harry Reid spoke on the Senate floor today regarding the importance of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.  Below are his remarks as prepared for delivery: I was surprised to read yesterday that Speaker John Boehner opposes the Employment Non-Discrimination Act because he believes it will result in frivolous lawsuits. Coming from the man whose caucus spent $3 million in taxpayer dollars defending the unconstitutional Defense of Marriage law in court, that’s rich. Still, I thought it was important to investigate the Speaker’s claim that protecting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans from being denied job opportunities, fired or harassed because of their sexual orientation or gender identity would risk American jobs. Read more...

 

October 26, 2013 - Chris Hartman | Make your voice heard to legislators on LGBT Fairness - Courier-Journal

A few years ago, our Fairness Coalition penned a piece that began, “Kentucky — it’s a state of Fairness!” We’d just received polling that proved the vast majority of Kentucky voters support simple discrimination protections in employment, housing, and public accommodations for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people — 83 percent of voters, to be exact. At that time, however, only three cities in our commonwealth had adopted anti-discrimination Fairness ordinances — Covington, Lexington, and Louisville — and there was little movement afoot for change. Read more...

 

October 18, 2013 - City fairness ordinance coming up next month - Morehead News

An ordinance ensuring fairness in Morehead, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, will be presented to City Council at the November meeting, Morehead Mayor David Perkins told Council members Monday. Last month, the Rowan County chapter of Kentuckians for the Commonwealth, in conjunction with Morehead residents and MSU student organizations, asked the city to consider enacting a fairness ordinance. State law currently ensures that no person can be discriminated against based on age, gender, race, nationality or religion. A fairness ordinance is designed to safeguard the rights of gay, lesbian, transgender and bisexual individuals by ensuring no person is discriminated against in hiring or housing practices based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Read more...

 

October 17, 2013 - Morehead Working Out Details of 'Fairness Ordinance' - WFPL

Morehead could soon become the sixth Kentucky city to adopt a “fairness ordinance,” which protects people from discrimination based on sexual preference or gender identity. Mayor David Perkins says the Morehead City Council will likely hear the first reading of a proposed fairness ordinance next month. The city’s attorney has been working with the Kentucky Human Rights Commission to finalize details of the law, he says. But Perkins says he doesn’t expect too many challenges in crafting the ordinance. Read more...

 

October 16, 2013 - Morehead Fairness Ordinance - WMKY 90.3 FM

Even though it wasn’t on the agenda for this week’s Morehead city council meeting…Mayor David Perkins says the panel will likely hear the first reading of a proposed “Fairness Ordinance” next month. Perkins says the city’s attorney has been working with the Kentucky Human Rights Commission to finalize the wording and details of the legislation. He believes that crafting the proposed ordinance should not be that difficult… The "Fairness Ordinance" would prohibit discrimination based on sexual preference or gender identity in such things as restaurants, employment and housing. Read more...

 

October 16, 2013 - The Fairness Campaign and Kentucky Fairness Alliance Merge - Equality Federation

We are pleased to welcome our newest member organization, the Fairness Campaign in Kentucky! The Fairness Campaign has recently merged with Kentucky Fairness Alliance to create a more unified, stable, and successful LGBT equality movement in the Bluegrass State! We connected with Chris Hartman, the Director of the Fairness Campaign, to learn more about Kentucky’s new joint organization and how it plans to better serve the state’s LGBT community. Equality Federation: Please tell us about the Fairness Campaign and its mission. Chris Hartman from the Fairness Campaign: Since 1991, the Fairness Campaign has been working in Louisville, Kentucky, to build a community with a broad, inclusive vision of the work for social justice. Read more...

 

October 16, 2013 - Berea HRC recommends fairness ordinance - Richmond Register

As part of its annual report to the Berea City Council on Tuesday, the Berea human rights commission recommended the city’s nondiscrimination ordinance be amended to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Commission Chair Lisa Vaughn said members of the group had received a complaint about discrimination based on sexual orientation, but it was unable to investigate or take action because no local ordinance, state or federal law authorizes the panel to do so. “Current law permits, and in effect legalizes, discrimination based on the perception of sexual orientation or gender identity by not extending nondiscrimination protections to all citizens,” Vaughn said. Read more...

 

October 10, 2013 - Fired gay cop details allegations of Audubon Park harassment - Courier-Journal

Former Audubon Park police Sgt. Kile Nave said the discrimination against him began even before he joined the department in April 2009. A background investigation found out he was gay, and Deputy Chief Ron Jones tried to talk the chief out of hiring him, Nave said. He got on the force, only to face a constant stream of harassment from Jones, Nave and other officers said. Nave said Jones called him a “queer” and a “fag,” told a derogatory gay joke in front of him on the firing range, and even told other officers — falsely — that he went on medical leave because of injuries he suffered during sex with his partner, according to court records. Read more...

 

October 9, 2013 - Gay ex-Audubon Plice Officer feels vindicated - WHAS 11

A former Audubon Park Police Sergeant feels vindicated after the Metro Louisville Human Relations Commission found that he was indeed discriminated against for his sexual orientation. Kile Nave is openly gay and started working for Audubon Park Police in 2009. He said he was fired for complaining about being harassed for his sexual orientation and the commission stood by him. "The bigoted and bullying behavior must stop and it must stop now," Nave said. He said he feels somewhat vindicated now that the Metro Human Relations Commission agrees his firing based on his sexual orientation violated the city's Fairness Ordinance. Read more...

 

October 9, 2013 - Audubon Park Improperly Fired a Police Sergeant Who Complained About Gay Slurs, Commission says - WFPL

A suburban Louisville police department  improperly fired a police sergeant after he complained about derogatory statements made by his supervisor about his being gay, the Louisville Metro Human Relations Commission said in finding presented to attorneys. Former Audubon Park Police Sgt. Kile Nave claims that his supervisor, Ronald W. Jones, repeatedly made disparaging remarks about  Nave's sexual orientation from the time he joined Audubon Park Police in 2009 to his firing in August 2012. Read more...

 

October 9, 2013 - P'ville to go fair? - Henry County Local

The City of Pleasureville could become the first city in Henry County to pass a fairness ordinance. Introduced during Monday night’s city commission meeting, the ordinance would bar discrimination in real estate rental or sale, or in employment, based on race, color or national origin; sex and/or gender, including gender identity; religion; age; and/or sexual orientation, either real or perceived. Under the ordinance, residents who feel they have been discriminated against for any of those reasons would go to a designated fairness officer — in this case, the ordinance outlines that officer as a member of the city commission — to resolve the dispute. Read more...

 

October 7, 2013 - Author has different take on Matthew Shepard case - Courier-Journal

The author of a controversial book investigating the case of Matthew Shepard — the 21-year-old gay man whose murder in 1998 eventually led to the passage of federal hate crime legislation that bears his name — comes to Louisville Thursday for a talk and Q&A. Stephen Jimenez, the author of “The Book of Matt,” said he was surprised by the information he uncovered about Shepard during more than 10 years of investigating the story. He alleges that he found evidence that Shepard both took and sold crystal meth, and that one of the men convicted of his murder, Aaron McKinney, had a sexual relationship with Shepard. Read more...

 

September 24, 2013 - Fairness Campaign returns to Elizabethtown City Council - News-Enterprise

Local advocates of implementing a fairness ordinance designed to protect residents from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity approached the Elizabethtown City Council Monday with information about such discrimination. When the Fairness Campaign, a statewide organization seeking an upgrade of the state’s discrimination laws, submitted earlier this year a fairness ordinance draft, council members said they have no interest in voting on a fairness ordinance because current laws prohibiting discrimination are sufficient. Most said then they didn’t think discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is a problem in Elizabethtown. Read more...

 

September 17, 2013 - re: Laura Reece, coordinator for the Fairness Campaign - Courier-Journal

Laura Reece is the administrative coordinator for the Fairness Campaign, 2263 Frankfort Ave., (502) 893-0788 or www.fairness.org. She moved to Louisville in 2001 from northern California and is a native of Huddersfield, England.

Background: “I graduated high school in 2001 and went to University of Louisville for a few semesters. Before Fairness, I worked in retail and customer service. I also spent some time volunteering with an ally organization of ours, Women in Transition, doing finances and tech support. I’d always thought working for a nonprofit would be very rewarding and enjoyed my time volunteering at Women in Transition, so when I heard of the job opening at Fairness, it seemed like a perfect fit.” Read more...

 

September 16, 2013 - Berea group renews call for fairness ordinance - Herald-Leader

Bereans for Fairness will renew its call for an anti-discrimination ordinance that protects gay, lesbian, bisxual and transgender people at Tuesday's meeting of the Berea City Council. The council will meet at 6:30 p.m. at the Police and Municipal Building. Supporters also will share responses from a local survey, asking residents, "What would it mean for you to live in a community with a fairness ordinance?" The grass-roots Bereans for Fairness movement has advocated for a local fairness ordinance prohibiting discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations for LGBT people since early 2011. Read more...

 

September 13, 2013 - Morehead asked to adopt fairness ordinance - The Morehead News

It was standing room only on Monday night when Morehead City Council was asked to become the sixth Kentucky city to adopt a fairness ordinance. That request came from the Rowan County chapter of Kentuckians for the Commonwealth, Morehead residents and MSU students in conjunction with the Kentucky Fairness Coalition. In short, they asked Council to pass an ordinance that would ensure individual fairness in Morehead, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. State law currently ensures that no person can be discriminated against based on age, gender, race, nationality or religion. A fairness ordinance is designed to safeguard the rights of gay, lesbian, transgender and bisexual individuals in hiring and housing practices. Read more...

 

September 10, 2013 - Listen to Morehead, KY Mayor Perkins Discuss LGBT Fairness - WMKY

September 6, 2013 - A tale of two cities - Courier-Journal

August 31, 2013 - Fairness Ordinances on Eastern Standard (audio available) - WEKU 88.9

A number of Kentucky communities have enacted so-called "fairness ordinances," prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation or perceived gender identity, the most recent of which is Frankfort.   The capital city has become the fifth in the state to do so among Lexington, Louisville, Covington and the eastern Kentucky city of Vicco. Read more...

 

August 30, 2013 - Frankfort fairness law welcome; small changes create big movements - Herald-Leader

With the rhetoric of the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington still ringing in our ears, this is a good time to talk about how change happens. Change happens incrementally, until it reaches a certain point and then there is no going back. That's why it matters far beyond their boundaries when cities recognize basic human rights. Frankfort on Wednesday became the fifth city in Kentucky (including tiny Vicco in Perry County) to adopt a fairness ordinance. And in Lexington, the council has begun at long last to consider partner benefits for city employees. Read more...

 

August 29, 2013 - Frankfort becomes 5th Kentucky city to pass fairness ordinance - WHAS 11

Frankfort is the fifth city in Kentucky to pass a law protecting people against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in the workplace and other areas. The vote was delayed twice and placed on hold for many months, surrounded by heated debate. It took eight months of going back and forth for the city of Frankfort to pass the ordinance Thursday morning. "If they want to do it that's fine but don't endorse it," an opponent said. You could cut tension with a knife at city hall. The Frankfort Board of Commissioners voted 3 to 2 in favor of a new city law banning discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, but not without a fight. Read more...

 

August 26, 2013 - Frankfort Fairness Ordinance Delayed - WTVQ 36

The Frankfort city commission chambers was packed beyond capacity Monday night for what many thought would be a vote over the city's proposed fairness ordinance. Instead, after more than two hours of public comments, an amendment was made to the ordinance, meaning the vote will be pushed back to Thursday morning. Commissioner Katie Flynn-Hedden proposed the addition of the term 'legal guardianship' to the the definition of 'family' within the ordinance. Read more...

 

August 20, 2013 - Lexington council to consider offering domestic-partner benefits to city employees - Herald-Leader

The Lexington-Fayette Urban County Council is poised to consider offering domestic-partner benefits to city employees. Vice Mayor Linda Gorton made a motion at Tuesday's council work session to refer the issue to a council committee, and the council voted unanimously to do so. "This is the right thing to do, as our best companies including Toyota, LexMark, the University of Kentucky and dozens of others also believe," Mayor Jim Gray said at the meeting. "I'm glad the council is examining it. Jobs are so important, and it is essential that we leverage every competitive advantage." Read more...

 

August 19, 2013 - Gay mayor promotes LGBT fairness in small-town Kentucky - The Washington Post

In its latest “People Who Are Destroying America” segment, the Colbert Report shined a spotlight last week on Johnny Cummings, the openly gay mayor of the tiny Appalachian haven of Vicco, Ky., (pop. 334). The town bears the distinction of being the smallest city in America to adopt an ordinance banning discrimination based on a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity. Read more...

 

August 14, 2013 - People Who Are Destroying America - Johnny Cummings - The Colbert Report

 

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August 8, 2013 - Shelbyville City Council host LGBT Fairness meeting - WHAS 11

 

August 7, 2013 - Shelbyville City Council to hear new pitch for fairness - Sentinel-News

Members of Kentuckians for the Commonwealth in Shelby County are planning to attend Thursday’s meeting of the Shelbyville City Council to try to generate support once again for the adoption of a Fairness Ordinance. The group attended a council meeting last November and made a plea for an ordinance that would expand antidiscrimination code in the city to include sexual orientation. Similar ordinances have been passed in Louisville, Lexington, Covington and Vicco, a small town in Eastern Kentucky. But organizer Leslie McBride of Shelbyville said in an E-mail that members of KFTC would return because they have been buoyed recently by the passage on first reading of a similar ordinance by the Frankfort City Commission and supportive comments by Shelbyville City Council member Mike Zoeller. Read more...

 

August 7, 2013 - Frankfort (the city) ponders a fairness law - Courier-Journal

By the end of the month, Kentucky’s capital could become the fifth city in the state to adopt a fairness ordinance barring discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The Frankfort City Commission on Monday gave a first reading to the ordinance, which would bar discrimination in such areas as housing, finance and employment. It would add to existing anti-discrimination provisions based on  race, color, religion, national origin, familial status, age, disability or sex. Read more...

 

August 7, 2013 - The state of fairness - LEO Weekly

On an unseasonably cool afternoon in late July, a group of 75 people gather at Memorial Park on the edge of Berea, Ky.’s quaint, old-town area. Around the shelter house, painted in glossy shades of hunter green and cream, children are playing, running back and forth across the grass. Rows of plump hot dogs and juicy hamburgers sizzle on the grill. At the corner of the shelter house, rustling in the light breeze, is a rainbow flag, the international symbol of gay pride. The blue stripe in the flag is a shade that is mirrored by the T-shirts many in the crowd are wearing. Kentucky blue, they bear the statement “Another Kentuckian for Fairness” across the chest, a reminder of why they have gathered here — to raise awareness about a fairness ordinance in Berea, which would ban discrimination in housing and public accommodations based on perceived sexuality and/or gender identity. Read more...

 

August 5, 2013 - Frankfort Residents Disagree About What's Fair for LGBT Community - WTVQ 36

The Frankfort Board of Commissioners re-did the first reading of a fairness ordinance.  If it eventually passes, the city attorney doesn't want the law challenged on a procedural issue.  Because of some prior changes, the Commissioners heard the ordinance again. Gay rights advocates say they're one step closer to getting the ordinance passed.  Opponents say it would hurt Frankfort. John Gantley wants the right to deny a person housing, because of his, or her sexual orientation. "If I owned an apartment building, and I have couples, families living in my apartment building, and a gay couple comes in there proclaiming their gayness and hugging and kissing on each other, with those other families in my apartment building, and their children watching this?  Yes, I absolutely would," said Gantley. Read more...

 

August 5, 2013 - Frankfort commission again gives first reading to fairness ordinance - Herald-Leader

For the second time, the Frankfort Board of Commissioners approved the first reading of a fairness ordinance Monday that prohibits discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation. The revised ordinance is expected to get a second reading and final vote on August 26, following a months-long community debate regarding civil rights protections for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people. "This has been a five-month process," said Chris Hartman, director of the Fairness Campaign, a Louisville-based advocacy organization. "There hasn't been anything done hastily or without transparency." Read more...

 

August 5, 2013 - Anti-Discrimination Ordinance Gets First Reading, Again - State-Journal

The Frankfort City Commission had the first reading — again — of the proposed sexual orientation and gender identity anti-discrimination ordinance Monday. The ordinance received a first reading July 22, but City Solicitor Rob Moore suggested it be redone after commissioners asked for several amendments to the proposal at that meeting. “There were a lot of motions, a lot of seconds, a lot of amended motions, and because of that I just wanted to make sure everything was done exactly according to the statutes,” Moore told the commission. “I know this has been somewhat of a controversial ordinance,” he said.  Read more...

 

July 28, 2013 - Fairness Campaign Focuses on Discrimination Issues: Supports Ky. Same-Sex Marriage Lawsuit - WFPL

The head of Louisville's Fairness Campaign says a recent challenge to Kentucky's ban on same-sex marriage may bring more attention to the disparity in rights that exists in the state. The Fairness Campaign has long fought to pass city and state-level laws banning discrimination based on sexual orientation in housing and employment. Now, Louisville residents Michael De Leon and Greg Bourke have filed suit on Friday challenging Kentucky's same-sex marriage ban. Fairness Campaign Director Chris Hartman says he's supportive of the lawsuit, but his organization wants basic rights to be granted as well. “Talking about the marriage issue does afford the opportunity, as it grows in popularity, to display the disparity in rights in places like Kentucky where married couples from other states can get their federal marriage benefits, but they may be legally fired from their jobs, ejected from a restaurant or park or denied a place to live," Hartman says. Read more...

 

July 28, 2013 - Louisville TV Stations Missed Real Story Behind HIV-Positive Inmate - WFPL

In the early days of the AIDS epidemic, most people had no idea how AIDS was transmitted. Even as late as 1999, many people believed that they could get AIDS from public toilets or sharing drinking glasses with an HIV-positive person. These erroneous beliefs were at least partially attributable to homophobia, but misinformation from irresponsible news reporting was likely also to blame. One would think that in 2013 this type of reporting would be long gone, but three Louisville TV stations are uncritically repeating assertions from authorities about the dangers of HIV and urine. Read more...

 

July 28, 2013 - Bereans Celebrate Strides Toward Equality - WTVQ 36

 

July 28, 2013 - Fairness picnic rallies support for non-discrimination ordinance - Richmond Register

Community group Bereans for Fairness hosted its first Fairness Picnic at Memorial Park on Saturday. The group is in support of the city passing a fairness ordinance that would extend protections against discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations to individuals based upon sexual orientation and gender identity. “We haven’t had a big event like this to show that this (ordinance) is supported,” said Kate Grigg, Eastern Kentucky regional organizer for the Fairness Coalition. Read more...

 

July 24, 2013 - Fairness to get new push in Shelbyville - Sentinel-News

Fairness will be once again making its way to the Shelbyville City Council after the Kentuckians for the Commonwealth have caught wind of recent comments made by council member Mike Zoeller. “I didn’t necessarily think Shelbyville was entirely in play,” Fairness campaign director Chris Hartman said Thursday at a meeting of the Shelby County chapter of KFTC. “We have great grassroots support here, but we didn’t have any support on the city council.” But comments made by Zoeller at a meeting June 20, while passing the Fair Housing Resolution have renewed hope for KFTC that a Fairness Ordinance could yet pass in Shelbyville. Read more...

 

July 23, 2013 - Anti-bias ordinance headed for vote - State Journal

The Fair Housing, Public Accommodations and Employment Ordinance is one reading closer to a vote, but the likelihood it will pass has wavered. The ordinance is an extensive amendment of the city’s fair housing laws, adding entirely new sections banning discrimination in public accommodations and employment. It also adds sexual orientation and gender identity to the list of protected classes already protected under state and federal law, including race and age. After three hours of discussion — including both failed motions and successful amendments — the City Commission heard a first reading of the controversial ordinance, which would also create a seven-member human rights commission. Read more...

 

July 22, 2013 - Frankfort fairness ordinance gets first reading: final vote will be Aug. 26 - Herald-Leader

Frankfort moved one step closer Monday night to becoming the fifth city in Kentucky to adopt a fairness ordinance. The city's board of commissioners gave first reading to an ordinance that would prohibit discrimination in housing, public accommodation or employment based on actual or perceived gender identity or sexual orientation. The ordinance also resurrects a Human Rights Commission, which the city had but later repealed. Karen Hatter, a member of the steering committee for Frankfort Fairness, said the human rights commission would help with "mediation, education and conciliation." "It's just a good feeling now to know our community has taken this step," she said of the ordinance. "We'd like to think that this will set an example" for other cities considering one. Read more...

 

July 15, 2013 - Frankfort tweaks proposal to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation - Herald-Leader

Frankfort city commissioners said they anticipate eventual passage of a fairness ordinance, but they spent two hours Monday discussing and tweaking a draft. The first reading of and vote on the revised ordinance could occur Monday, with final passage Aug. 26, City Attorney Rob Moore said. However, further revisions could alter that time line. Four Kentucky cities — Lexington, Louisville, Covington and Vicco in Perry County — have ordinances banning discrimination based on sexual orientation. Chris Hartman, director of the Fairness Campaign, a Louisville-based advocacy organization, did not speak against the changes made to the ordinance Monday. "It sounds like a lot of things got cleaned up, and the ordinance seems to suit the City of Frankfort now, and it looks like it will be moving forward," Hartman said. "I didn't hear any consensus on any provisions that would weaken the ordinance at all." Read more...

 

July 14, 2013 - Louisville rally held after verdict in Trayvon Martin death - Courier-Journal

The 16-year-old admitted he was nervous talking in front of more than 100 people, especially while struggling to keep his emotions from overtaking him, but Khalil Collins may have best captured what many were feeling during a rally in honor of Trayvon Martin in Louisville on Sunday. “I’m not sure if it makes me more mad or sad,” the Central High teen told the crowd gathered outside the Braden Center at 3208 W. Broadway about his reaction to a Florida jury acquitting George Zimmerman in Martin’s killing. “To the people, I don’t matter.” Read more...

 

July 2, 2013 - History Reminds Us - State-Journal

We found it interesting that last week, when the Frankfort City Commission pushed forward with drafting a Fairness Ordinance and the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, it also marked an important anniversary in the state of Kentucky. It was June 26, 1963, when Kentucky Gov. Bert Combs created the commonwealth’s first Human Rights Commission and ordered the desegregation of all public accommodations in the state. Combs took this action, of issuing an executive order for a Governor’s Code of Fair Practice, to ban segregation in state government and in state contracts. He also issued an executive order to discourage discrimination in public accommodations, though that order was later suspended. Read more...

 

June 29, 2013 - Your Letters - State-Journal

Moving forward

June 24, 2013, marked an important day for Frankfort. Our mayor and two city commissioners signaled their approval to move forward with an ordinance that will protect our LGBT sisters and brothers against discrimination. While those who oppose this ordinance would like to make this a moral or religious argument, the fact is the ordinance is legal recourse and remedy for discriminatory acts against those who are not currently protected under law. This matter should not be sidetracked by the hateful homophobic arguments murmured under false assertions of “lifestyle choice.” This is a matter of civil rights and protections for those who, by birth, want to enjoy the same liberties and protections as anyone else. Read more...

Creating equality

Built into Israel’s legislation were laws that encouraged compassion to strangers and generosity to the poor: “You shall not strip your vineyard bare, or gather the fallen grapes of your vineyard; you shall leave them for the poor and the alien; I am the Lord your God” (Lev. 19:10). Citizens of the “holy nation” were required by law to leave fruit for the poor to glean. The land was not totally their own. They had a responsibility to their fellow citizens. Read more...

 

June 27, 2013 - Rand Paul suggest gay-marriage ruling a step closer to legalizing human-animal unions - Courier-Journal

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul suggested Wednesday that the U.S. Supreme Court ruling striking down the federal Defense of Marriage Act moves the country toward accepting marriages between people and animals. Paul’s spokeswoman, however, said the senator was being sarcastic. The comment came after radio talk show host Glenn Beck raised questions about whether the law could prohibit polygamous marriages following the ruling that requires the federal government to treat legally married gay couples the same as heterosexual couples. Read more...

 

June 26, 2013 - Fairness Campaign, LGBT community reacts to SCOTUS ruling - WHAS 11

 

June 26, 2013 - Let's Celebrate! - Voice-Tribune

Gay rights supporters held a rally at noon today, June 26, in the plaza at the corner of Sixth and Jefferson streets. Around 100 people turned out to celebrate two Supreme Court rulings that had been announced in the morning. While attendees rejoiced, they made it clear they are still unsatisfied. The rulings advance the gay-marriage cause, but same-sex couples still cannot legally marry in Kentucky. The Supreme Court declared the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act to be unconstitutional, meaning the federal government must now recognize gay marriages. The Supreme Court also refused, on technical grounds, to rule on California’s Proposition 8, thus legalizing gay marriage there. Read more...

 

June 25, 2013 - Commissioners Switch Sides in Debate Over Anti-Discrimination Ordinance - State-Journal

The Frankfort City Commission is placing a gay antidiscrimination ordinance on its July 8 work session agenda after two commissioners traded stances on allowing the issue to progress. On May 13, Commissioner Lynn Bowers’ change of mind after a brief board recess, after more than an hour of public comment, tipped the split commission toward moving forward with creating an ordinance. On Monday, after more public comments from supporters and opponents in the packed City Hall council chambers, she finally publicly traded her ambivalence on the issue for opposition. “You cannot legislate fairness. You just can’t do it,” Bowers said. Read more...

 

June 24, 2013 - Divided Frankfort city commission advances fairness ordinance - Herald-Leader

Frankfort city commissioners are moving forward with a fairness ordinance. Based on suggestions at a Board of Commissioners meeting Monday night, City Attorney Rob Moore said he would have a new draft ordinance ready for the July 8 work session. The ordinance could get a first reading at the July 22 commission meeting. Commissioners Katie Flynn Hedden and Tommy Haynes said during Monday's meeting that they were in favor of an ordinance, which Mayor Bill May also supports. "I want to do what I think Jesus would do," Haynes said. "I just think it would be the best thing for Frankfort at this time." Read more...

 

June 11, 2013 - Lots of talk, but no action - The State Journal

If you’re trying to make history, the Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History is an apt venue. It also works if you just can’t fit about 175 people in City Hall. Supporters and opponents of proposed rules that would ban discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations based on real or perceived sexual orientation and gender identity came out in force for Monday’s City Commission work session. They were buoyed by both social and traditional media campaigns that have pushed an under-the-radar local issue into greater prominence over the last month. Read more...

 

June 11, 2013 - Hundreds Show Up for Fairness Ordinance Meeting - WTVQ 36

 

June 10, 2013 - Frankfort discussion about possible fairness ordinance draws big crowd - Herald-Leader

A crowd of about 200 people gathered before the Frankfort Board of Commissioners on Monday night to comment on whether the city needs a fairness ordinance. City Attorney Rob Moore said he had created two drafts of a fairness ordinance at the direction of the board, plus a "resolution in favor of nondiscrimination." Moore said one draft ordinance was a new document, while the other was a revision of the city's housing ordinance. Either version would prohibit discrimination in housing, public accommodation or employment based on gender identity or sexual orientation. Read more...

 

June 9, 2013 - Local Group Partners With Businesses In Effort to Form Fairness Law - WBKO

A local group launched their campaign to fight for the rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered individuals. The Bowling Green Fairness Coalition partnered with several businesses to start Fairness on Fountain Square. Participating merchants will display the campaign logo on their door to show support for a local fairness law. The coalition says many people are unaware there is no law preventing discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in Kentucky. Read more...

 

June 8, 2013 - Local Gay Rights Advocates Push for City Changes - The State Journal

About 25 gay rights advocates showed up at the May 13 City Commission meeting individually, but they left united by a cause: to push for a city ordinance protecting lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people from discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodations. Following the work session, supporters of the ordinance formed Frankfort Fairness, a grassroots movement that has garnered nearly 100 members and more than 700 “likes” on Facebook. Read more...

 

June 7, 2013 - Mayor Wins Honor From Human Rights Commission - LEX 18

A small-town mayor in southeastern Kentucky has won special recognition from the state's Commission on Human Rights. The commission said Thursday it honored Vicco Mayor Johnny Cummings for his efforts to create local civil-rights protections in his community. The town of 335 people in Perry County gained national attention for adopting a gay-rights ordinance last January. Cummings received the Kentucky Unbridled Spirit for Justice Award at a recent Vicco City Council meeting. The award was presented by Juan Pena, who is an outreach field supervisor with the state human rights commission. Read more...

 

June 6, 2013 - Group pushing for anti-discrimination ordinance in Shelby County - WAVE 3

Several Shelby County residents gathered to show support for an anti-discrimination ordinance, despite the date for the meeting being changed. Thursday, a meeting involving the Shelbyville Fairness City Council was scheduled to take place at Shelbyville City Hall, but the meeting date had been moved up to the previous Tuesday. A representative from the Lexington Fair Housing Council was slated to be in attendance at the meeting to offer financial, training and investigative assistance to the city should the city pass a Fairness ordinance. Read more...

 

June 2, 2013 - Your Letters - The State Journal

See good in all

Compassion is always right, even when it’s not popular Compassion is a basic tenet of all faiths; a human virtue that we all cherish and expect out of our fellow human beings. It’s a force that drives us to seek enlightenment about characteristics and experiences of others that we may not understand. It encourages us to empathize. Read more...

Religion and fairness

Our city commissioners have the opportunity to do some very good work for the common good and to distinguish Frankfort as a community of equality, fairness and compassion by passing a Fairness Ordinance. Why do we need such an ordinance? Because there currently are no state and federal laws that prohibit LGBT discrimination. Without the same protections as the rest of us, our LGBT sisters and brothers can be legally fired from a job, denied an apartment or kicked out of a restaurant or park. Read more...

 

May 29, 2013 - Boy Scouts Decision on Gay Members Apparently Pleases No One - WFPL

The Boy Scouts of America's decision to accept openly gay members— but not leaders—has made neither Kentucky's Christian conservative leaders or LGBT activists happy. Chris Hartman, director of the Kentucky Fairness Campaign, was disappointed by the caveat leaving gay Scout leaders unwelcome. "We find this decision a half-hearted acknowledgement of LGBT acceptance that unfortunately deepens stereotypes and prejudice, along with raising serious concerns of the message it sends to scouting youth, particularly those who are gay and bisexual," Hartman said in an e-mail. "Will they be ferreted out by local troops to ensure their membership is revoked at age 18? Read more...

 

May 27, 2013 - Chris Hartman | Boy Scouts' decision isn't fair for LGBT families - Courier-Journal

On my honor, I will do my best … until I turn 18 and automatically become a moral pariah to my peers,” pledged no Boy Scout ever — until last week. There is no sugarcoating the bitter, burnt s’mores served up by the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) with their vote allowing membership for openly gay and bisexual youth (likely still excluding transgender youth), but continuing to close its doors to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) adult leaders. Whichever way you whittle this one, it is a misshapen, halfhearted, irresponsible totem of tolerance. Read more...

 

May 23, 2013 - Louisville leaders speak out about Boy Scout vote - WDRB

The Boy Scouts of America's National Council votes to allow openly gay Scouts but the ban on openly gay scout leaders still stands. The reaction is mixed but despite the vote, most believe the debate will continue. Director of the Fairness Campaign in Louisville Chris Hartman says allowing openly gay Boy Scouts is a step in the right direction but it's just a start. "It raises far more questions than it does answers," Hartman said. He calls it a half hearted acceptance because under the proposal drafted by the Scouts' governing board, gay adults will remain barred from serving as Scout leaders. Read more...

 

May 18, 2013 - Your Letters - The State Journal

Seek tolerance

As members of the Unitarian Universalist Community of Frankfort, we wish to express our concern at the intolerance expressed in an ad from a Frankfort church that seeks to speak for all Christians. The ad declares that anyone who does not share its views in opposition to gay marriage cannot be a Christian. Read more...

Community division

At Monday’s City Commission meeting, Pastor Hershael York of Buck Run Baptist Church was invited by Commissioner Bob Roach to speak in opposition to the fairness ordinance under consideration. York said several times that this ordinance is “unnecessarily dividing our community.” He is wrong on two counts. Read more...

 

May 14, 2013 - Ordinance to protect gays is in the works - The State Journal

The City of Frankfort is drafting an ordinance that would seek to protect lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people from discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodations. But if you were among the more than 40 residents who left after the first two-and-a-half hours of Monday night’s City Commission meeting, you probably missed that. That’s because Commissioner Lynn Bowers changed her mind on the issue after the board took a brief break. Federal and state law does not recognize sexual orientation and gender identity among protected classes, such as race. A local anti-discrimination ordinance, like ones enacted in a handful of other Kentucky cities, could add such protections. Read more...

 

May 14, 2013 - Fairness Ordinance proposed for Frankfort - WEKU

The City of Frankfort is drafting an ordinance that would seek to protect lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people from discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodations. But if you were among the more than 40 residents who left after the first two-and-a-half hours of Monday night’s City Commission meeting, you probably missed that. That’s because Commissioner Lynn Bowers changed her mind on the issue after the board took a brief break. Federal and state law does not recognize sexual orientation and gender identity among protected classes, such as race. A local anti-discrimination ordinance, like ones enacted in a handful of other Kentucky cities, could add such protections.  Read more...

 

May 12, 2013 - Louisville police, Fairness Campaign will offer free workshops on several issues - Courier Journal

The Fairness Campaign is partnering with Louisville Metro Police to present a four-week workshop series focusing on local lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues and crime prevention. The series, which begins Wednesday, is free to the public, and participants who complete it will get a certificate from Mayor Greg Fischer and Police Chief Steve Conrad. “The fairness community and LMPD have not always had the best relationship,” said Chris Hartman, the Fairness Campaign director. “But things have been getting much better in recent years. We see this workshop series as a great opportunity to build stronger bridges and understanding between our ... allied community and those charged with protecting us.” Read more...

 

May 1, 2013 - Nightlife Guide 2013: Gay bar no more - LEO Weekly

I’ve said it in these pages before — new bars are like new babies to me, and I welcome them with open arms, whatever they turn out to be. Some grow into brawny sports bars, like the new Diamond on Barret. I watched most of the NFL season there on Sunday afternoons. However, my label of a “sports bar” might not be the same for the 21-year-old frat boy who visits Diamond for late-night concerts. His view of Diamond is completely different. The same can be applied to most labels we assign to people, places and things — we give labels to fit things into neat little compartments. But labels are limiting, segregating and subjective.  Read more...

 

April 29, 2013 - Kentuckiana reacts to Jason Collins announcing his sexuality - WHAS11

He's the first male player, in four major American pro-sports to publicly announce he's gay on Monday, April 29. Jason Collins announced to the world his sexuality on the Sports Illustrated website. Since that time, Collins has been supported by the sports world, President Obama, Bill Clinton, and people right here in Kentuckiana. NBA veteran center Jason Collins has become the first active male professional athlete to come out as gay. Collins wrote a first person account posted on Monday, April 29, on Sports Illustrated website. Read more...

 

April 26, 2013 - Rally at Georgetown College asks trustees to expand non-discrimination policy - Herald-Leader

About 85 people rallied Friday to encourage the Georgetown College Board of Trustees to include lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender faculty and staff in the school's non-discrimination policy. For the past five years, the college has had a written policy to protect gay students against discrimination. The college recently hired its first openly gay faculty members, mathematics professor Homer White said. But the college's current no-discrimination policy for faculty and staff does not mention sexual orientation or gender identity. Those who rallied Friday said that stance conflicts with the college's public commitment to diversity and excludes LGBT faculty from workplace benefits, such as health insurance for their partners and families. Read more...

 

April 24, 2013 - Lessons from Bruising Passage of Kentucky Religious-Freedom Bill - National Catholic Register

In early 2013, Kentucky state Rep. Bob Damron, D-Nicholasville, stepped up to sponsor a religious-freedom bill after the state Supreme Court issued a 2012 ruling that required Amish residents to put bright safety triangles on their buggies. A veteran legislator in a Bible-belt state, Damron has sponsored more than 100 bills, and he expected this one to win easy passage. But it didn’t turn out that way. Last month, when the proposed legislation, backed by the Catholic Conference of Kentucky, finally came to the floor of the Democrat-controlled House, Damron and other supporters of the bill encountered an unexpected wave of opposition that led Kentucky’s Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear to veto the bill. Read more...

 

April 10, 2013 - Company will build Cove Spring Pavilion - The State Journal

The Frankfort City Commission discussed numerous issues other than the Pay-As-You-Throw trash system at its work session Monday night. Parks and Recreation Co-director Jim Parrish announced that Audia Group, an international corporation that owns Washington Penn Plastic Co., would build a pavilion free of charge near the archery range at the upland area of Cove Spring Park. The wooden pavilion with a concrete foundation will be 180 feet long and 30 feet wide, or 5,400 square feet, Parrish said. The company will also build 30 picnic tables for the pavilion. Read more...

 

April 9, 2013 - Team of Louisville non-profits gets $100,000 for civic engagement plan - Business First

A team of five Louisville non-profits has received $100,000 to work on a plan for improving civic engagement and equity in Louisville. WFPL-FM reports that Open Society Foundations will provide money to eight cities or regions, which will then compete for a chance to win longer-term investment to implement their plans. Read more...

 

April 8, 2013 - Louisville Non-Profit Team Receives $100,000 to Develop Civic Engagement Plan - WFPL

The ACLU of Kentucky is leading a group of non-profit organizations to develop a plan to improve civic engagement and equity in Louisville. Open Society Foundations is giving $100,000 to eight cities or regions, which will all compete for a chance to win longer-term investment to implement their plans. The teams must develop a unique proposal for their area that demonstrates how they would improve disparities in their communities. ACLU of Kentucky executive director Michael Alridge says all five of the local groups included in Louisville's team--including Network Center for Community Change, Fairness Campaign, the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy, Kentuckians For The Commonwealth--contribute something unique. Read more...

 

March 28, 2013 - Gay marriage issue may be blocked in Louisville trespassing case - Courier-Journal

As the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments Wednesday on gay marriage, Jefferson County Attorney Mike O’Connell’s office disclosed that it will seek to ban any mention of that subject in the trial of two men charged with trespassing after they were denied a marriage license at the county clerk’s office. An attorney for the Rev. Maurice “Bojangles” Blanchard said in a Jefferson District Court hearing that the county attorney’s office has indicated it will file a motion to prohibit the defense from mentioning that Blanchard and his gay partner were protesting Kentucky’s ban on gay marriage. Read more...

 

March 26, 2013 - General Assembly Overrides Gov. Steve Beshear's Veto of 'Religious Freedom' Bill - WFPL

In a sweeping bipartisan vote, both chambers of the General Assembly overturned Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear’s veto of the controversial religious freedom bill. Earlier this week, the House Democratic caucus met behind closed doors to hold a secret ballot, which ultimately favored bringing the measure back to the House floor. After a half hour of debate, the House rejected the gubernatorial veto by an overwhelming 79-15 margin. Supporters of the legislation affirmed it does not undermine anyone’s civil rights protections, and only safeguards First Amendment rights. Read more...

 

March 24, 2013 - Kentucky Fairness Campaign Director Chris Hartman's Car Damaged, Defaced With Swastika - WFPL

On Saturday night, some 300 people gathered at the Muhammad Ali Center in downtown Louisville for the annual ACLU-KY/Fairness Dinner. Things got ugly after the festivities concluded. Fairness Campaign Director Chris Hartman left at about 11:30 p.m. and discovered that his car parked near the Ali Center had been sideswiped while parked on the street—the mirror damaged, the side dented and scratched. He called Louisville Metro Police to file an accident report. Officers noticed more. Read more...

 

March 22, 2013 - Gov. Beshear vetoes HB279 citing 'significant concerns' - WHAS 11

Governor Steve Beshear has vetoed HB279, also known as the "Religious Freedom Restoration Act." According to the Governor's Office, HB279 would allow an individual to disregard any state or local law that places a substantial burden on his or her sincerely held religious belief. The Office of the Governor released the following statement Friday: Read more...

 

March 18, 2013 - Covington Mayor, City Commissioners Ask Gov. Beshear to Block 'Religious Freedom' Bill - WFPL

The mayor and city commissioners of Covington, Kentucky are asking Governor Steve Beshear to block the so-called ‘religious freedom’ bill, renewing pressure for Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer to join the opposition. In a unanimously approved resolution, the commission says HB 279 presents a risk to Covington’s Human Rights Ordinance, which forbids discrimination against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered residents. Covington Mayor Sherry Carran has also signed a separate letter urging the governor to veto the measure, saying it is a poor representation of the state. Read more...

 

March 13, 2013 - Groups gather in Frankfort to rally against House Bill 279 - WHAS 11

A rally drew dozens of supporters to the Kentucky state capital Wednesday. They went directly to Governor Steve Beshear’s office and want him to veto a controversial bill dealing with religious rights. 

It was a show of solidarity in Frankfort against House Bill 279. But what is HB279 and why is it so important?

"It could open up the door for discrimination in the Commonwealth and subvert civil rights laws that have been passed in Kentucky and our municipalities,” Chris Hartman with the Fairness Campaign said. Read more...

 

March 6, 2013 - Religious Freedom bill OK'd by Kentucky Senate Commitee - Courier-Journal

A bill that proponents say would help secure religious freedom but opponents say could lead to discrimination passed the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday. The committee approved House Bill 279 on a 9-2 vote, sending it to the Senate where it is likely to win final passage in the legislative session’s closing days. Rep. Bob Damron, D-Nicholasville, is the chief sponsor of the measure that would allow people to defy laws and regulations that “substantially burden” their religious beliefs. Proponents, including the Catholic Conference of Kentucky and the Family Foundation, say it is needed in the wake of state and federal court decisions to restore a proper legal standard required for the state to infringe on a person’s religious liberty. Read more...

 

March 5, 2013 - Will Kentucky 'Religious Freedom' Bill Gut Protections for Women, Minorities and Gay Residents? - WFPL

Joining other civil rights group, the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights is urging Governor Steve Beshear to block a bill that would allow people to ignore laws and regulations violating their religious beliefs. Last week, the Democratic-controlled House overwhelmingly approved HB 279 by an 82-7 vote. It has now moved on the state Senate, where observers predict it is likely to pass in the GOP-controlled chamber. Supporters say the bill strengthens the rights for people of faith and clarifies religious freedom in state law. But civil rights groups such as the ACLU of Kentucky and Louisville Fairness Campaign argue it will gut protections for women, racial minorities and gay residents.  Read more...

 

February 26, 2013 - Vicco officials in negotiation for possible reality show - Hazard Herald

With a crew from Comedy Central’s “The Colbert Report” filming from the audience Monday evening, the Vicco city council gave its blessing for negotiations to continue on a possible reality television series. Since Jan. 14, when the city became only the fourth in the state to adopt a fairness ordinance prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation, officials in Vicco have been inundated with requests from news media and production companies. City Attorney Eric Ashley said he received several calls from media outlets after the New York Times ran a piece on the ordinance, while other newspapers, including the L.A. Times and USA Today, have also published articles. Read more...

 

February 21, 2013 - Berea Mayor Signs Executive Order Extending DP Benefits to City Workers - LEX 18

Berea Mayor Steve Connelly on February 14 signed an executive order that not only amended the city workforce's non-discrimination policy to include lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) workers, but also extended domestic partner benefits to its employees. Connelly's move makes Berea the third Kentucky city to extend DP benefits alongside Covington and Louisville. Though enacted by executive order, the benefits and non-discrimination policy could have been opposed by city council objections or a nullifying ordinance, none of which were raised. According to the executive order, couples eligible for the benefits must share the same residence for at least the previous 12 months and be financially interdependent. Read more...

 

February 20, 2013 - Henry Clay High School students join fairness rally in Kentucky Capitol - Herald-Leader

Ben Swanson, a 16-year-old junior at Lexington's Henry Clay High School, stood front and center with about 25 other young people leading a rally Wednesday in the Capitol Rotunda to support anti-discrimination legislation. Swanson, president of the school's Young Democrats club, enthusiastically chanted along with more than 200 others at the rally: "Together we stand, together we fight, we demand our equal rights." Swanson and several of his classmates at Henry Clay took a school field trip to participate in The Fairness Coalition's rally for anti-discrimination proposals in this year's state legislative session. "I'm straight but I think everyone should have the same rights I do as a straight person," Swanson said. "That's why I'm here." Read more...

 

February 20, 2013 - Fairness Coalition Rallies For Anti-Discrimination Laws - WTVQ 36

The Fairness Coalition wants statewide anti-discrimination fairness legislation and a tougher anti-bullying law based on sexual orientation. Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Kentuckians said they aren’t protected when it comes to their civil rights. In Frankfort today, the LBGT community rallied in support of Kentucky bills that would protect them from discrimination in their jobs, the housing market and while out in public. Lexington Democratic Senator Kathy Stein and Democratic Representative Mary Lou Marzian introduced Senate Bill 28 and House Bill 171, which would amend the Kentucky Civil Rights Act to include “sexual orientation” and “gender identity.” Read more...

 

February 17, 2013 - Catholics for Fairness march in downtown to support anti-discrimination legislation - Courier-Journal

About 50 people participated in a peaceful march to the Roman Catholic Cathedral of the Assumption just before Mass on Sunday evening to urge Louisville Archbishop Joseph Kurtz to support anti-discrimination legislation being proposed in Kentucky. The men and women gathered at nearby George Garvin Brown Park for about 15 minutes before they were led in prayer by the Rev. Joseph Fowler, a retired priest in the Archdiocese of Louisville. They then held signs that read “Catholics for Fairness” and sang hymns as they walked to the church. Read more...

 

February 17, 2013 - Supporters push for fairness bills - WDRB

Supporters of gay rights want the Louisville Archbishop on their side. They sang Catholic hymns before Mass at the Cathedral of the Assumption Sunday afternoon. Supporters seek Joseph Kurtz's blessing for bills now pending before the legislature to ban discrimination statewide, based on sexual orientation and gender identity. But so far, no response. Read more...

 

February 8, 2013 - 4th Street Live makes changes to prevent discrimination - WHAS 11

After years of complaints about discrimination, there was an answer finally from the owners of Fourth Street Live. Half a dozen social justice groups came together to form a coalition. Their goal was to represent people who felt like they’d been discriminated against at events at the venue. Accusations of discrimination have been swirling for years. “You just don’t feel welcome at all the places,” says Mary Irvin. She lives downtown and has stopped visiting Fourth Street Live, “Even the places where they have signs saying, well, we welcome everybody. Well, why do you have to have a sign like that? Do that in action, not in words.” Read more...

 

February 8, 2013 - 4th Street Live to post its dress code - Courier-Journal

Cordish Co., which owns 4th Street Live, will post its dress code at all entrances to the downtown entertainment venue to address concerns from local organizations. Additionally, security and management staff will receive diversity training, Cordish said in a news release. The developer said the changes emerged from meetings between the company and the coalition of groups — which include the American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky, Connected Voices, Louisville Showing Up for Racial Justice, the Fairness Campaign and the Louisville Metro Human Relations Commission. Read more...

 

February 1, 2013 - Berea to enact protections for gay city workers - Herald-Leader

Gay rights advocates have scored another victory in a small eastern Kentucky town as Berea prepares to expand anti-discrimination protections for city employees. Mayor Steve Connelly announced this week that he will sign an executive order banning discrimination based on actual or perceived sexual orientation in hiring, firing and benefits for the city's 130 employees. "Personally I think it's the right thing to do, and in terms of our city, we were founded in 1853 with the idea that people were going to be treated equal," Connelly said in a phone interview Friday. Read more...

 

January 28, 2013 - Sewers, Curfews and a Ban on Gay Bias - New York Times

In a former pool hall that is now the municipal building for a coal smudge of a place in eastern Kentucky called Vicco, population 335, the January meeting of the City Commission came to order. Commissioners and guests settled into patio chairs, bought at a discount and arranged around a long conference table. Those who smoked did. The Commission approved the minutes from its December meeting, hired a local construction company to repair the run-down sewer plant and tinkered with the wording for the local curfew. Oh, and it voted to ban discrimination against anyone based on sexual orientation or gender identity — making Vicco the smallest municipality in Kentucky, and possibly the country, to enact such an ordinance. Read more...

 

January 23, 2013 - Fairness ordinance will not see vote in E'town - The News-Enterprise

The tiny eastern Kentucky town of Vicco became the fourth city in the state to adopt a fairness ordinance barring discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender residents, but Elizabethtown won’t be joining its ranks. In a series of interviews, city officials said they have no interest in voting on the same ordinance proposed in Vicco because current laws prohibiting discrimination are sufficient. Councilman Marty Fulkerson said Tuesday the proposed ordinance was dead on arrival when proposed in late November. “I do not see it coming up for a vote at all,” Fulkerson said. Read more...

 

January 20, 2013 - Ky. town may be smallest to ban anti-gay discrimination - USA Today

Mayor Johnny Cummings answered his cellphone with its insistent air-horn ring tone over and over Wednesday morning, juggling his reading glasses, a takeout coffee cup and a succession of cigarettes. Cummings' most immediate concern, as he worked out of the brick storefront City Hall, was keeping tabs on the waterworks crew as it switched on pumps to prevent overflows amid a persistent downpour. But Cummings couldn't avoid the inquiries from the media, both in person and by phone, about how this tiny coal-mining community in Eastern Kentucky's Perry County had become the smallest municipality in America known to have approved an ordinance protecting gays and lesbians from discrimination. Read more...

 

January 19, 2013 - Breathing life into the American dream - Courier-Journal

The American dream,” Martin Luther King Jr. said in 1961, “reminds us that every man is heir to the legacy of worthiness.” If only he could be here to know how much that affirmation has gained traction and speed. Though we are far from being a perfect union, and no one should rest until everyone, no matter color, creed, gender or orientation is embraced by that legacy, several revolutions have occurred since he spoke those words 52 years ago. Still others are happening now. Read more...

 

January 18, 2013 - Fairness is coming - it's just a matter of time - Courier-Journal

Kentucky — it’s a state of Fairness.” As our coalition of organizations has worked across the commonwealth over the past several years to advance lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) anti-discrimination protections, that’s what we’ve been hearing. Most folks seem to agree everyone deserves the opportunity to earn a living, put a roof over their head, and eat at their favorite restaurant without the fear of being turned away just because of who they are. Read more...

 

January 16, 2013 - Encouraging signs in Vicco - Hazard Herald

We’re more than a little encouraged by the talk coming lately from the county’s southernmost city. Officials with the city of Vicco are currently working to revitalize the town of just over 300 people, and it’s an effort well worth making. We were especially encouraged a couple months ago when during an interview with newly elected Mayor Johnny Cummings, we learned that Vicco will be undergoing extensive infrastructure improvements, first with fixing leaky and neglected waterlines dating back to the previous administration, and then with a project to rehab the city’s sewer plant. The latter project especially, Mayor Cummings noted, is badly needed. Read more...

 

January 14, 2013 - Vicco, Kentucky Approves LGBT Fairness Law - LEX 18

On Monday, the Fairness Coalition joined the Appalachian town of Vicco, Kentucky as they approved the state's first lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) anti-discrimination Fairness ordinance in a decade. The measure, which prohibits discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations based upon a person's actual or perceived sexual orientation and gender identity, received support from three of the city's four-member commission and Mayor Johnny Cummings. Read more...

 

January 14, 2013 - Tiny Eastern Kentucky town becomes Kentucky's fourth city to ban discrimination against gays - Lexington Herald-Leader

The tiny Eastern Kentucky town of Vicco on Monday became the fourth city in the state to approve local ordinances banning discrimination based on sexual orientation. Vicco, in Perry County, was named for a coal company and had a 2010 population of 334. It joins the much larger cities of Lexington, Louisville and Covington as the only ones in Kentucky with local anti-discrimination laws that cover sexual orientation, said Chris Hartman, who is on the steering committee of the statewide Fairness Coalition. The coalition advocates for people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender. Read more...

 

December 20, 2013 - Mitch McConnell's office target of spending-cut protest - Courier-Journal

More than two dozen demonstrators from Occupy Louisville and other groups held signs and chanted outside the Louisville office of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on Wednesday, urging him to spare Medicare, Social Security and social programs as part of federal budget negotiations. The demonstration came as President Barack Obama and Republican congressional leaders seemed to stall on progress toward striking a deal on tax hikes, spending cuts and entitlement reforms needed to avoid the so-called “fiscal cliff” of automatic tax increases and spending reductions. Read more...

 

December 3, 2012 - Gay rights ordinances pushed in small Kentucky towns - USA TODAY

In a scene that has been playing out in small cities throughout Kentucky in recent weeks, local citizens working with the statewide Fairness Coalition — which includes groups such as the Louisville, Ky.-based Fairness Campaign and the American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky — are seeking local anti-bias protections for gay and transgender people. In Elizabethtown, Ky., a dozen activists went to City Hall where they presented the City Council with a proposal for an ordinance banning discrimination in housing, accommodations and employment based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Read more...

 

December 2, 2012 - Gay rights ordinances pushed in Kentucky's small towns - Courier-Journal

A dozen activists gathered under gray skies last Monday afternoon in front of the gay-friendly Metropolitan Community Church’s small sanctuary. “Smile and say ‘fairness,’ ” said Chris Hartman, director of the Fairness Campaign, taking a group photo of the activists, clad in blue T-shirts proclaiming “Another Kentuckian for Fairness.” From there, the group traveled to Elizabethtown’s City Hall, where they presented the City Council with a proposal for an ordinance banning discrimination in housing, accommodations and employment based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Read more...

 

November 30, 2012 - Fairness Campaign takes a local strategy to gain traction on anti-discrimination rules - cn|2 Pure Politics

The Fairness Campaign in Kentucky is trying to add new aspects to the state’s civil rights protections, and it’s director Chris Hartman says the people of Kentucky are ready for these changes. The campaign has mobilized citizens in five cities this year — Elizabethtown, Bowling Green, Shelbyville, Richmond and Berea — to urge their city officials to pass fairness ordinances that protect city workers from being discriminated against based on their sexual orientation or gender identification. Hartman said the attitudes of Kentuckians have changed just over the last five years. Read more...

 

November 29, 2012 - Fairness advocates keep issue before Richmond City Commission - The Richmond Register

Only one month remains in the current city commission’s tenure, but despite their lack of success the past two years, advocates of a “Fairness Ordinance” haven’t given up on winning over Richmond’s governing body. Although repeated appeals since January 2011 have been listened to politely, no action has been taken on the proposal to ban discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgendered people in housing, employment or public accommodations. Tuesday night’s remarks by two speakers during the commission’s public comment period also was part of stepped-up efforts by the statewide Fairness Campaign. Read more...

 

November 27, 2012 - Fairness Campaign appears before E'town council - The News-Enterprise

A statewide push to end discrimination in the workforce and public sector reached Elizabethtown City Hall. An assembly of local residents in support of a fairness ordinance filled the Elizabethtown City Council chambers Monday evening. The group is asking the city to adopt a law prohibiting discrimination for employment, public services and accommodations and housing based on gender identity or sexual orientation, supported heavily by the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. Read more...

 

November 19, 2012 - Bowling Green, Berea targeted for gay rights protections - Courier-Journal

Bowling Green and Berea residents will approach their respective city councils Tuesday to show support for local anti-discrimination laws based on sexual orientation. Their actions are part of grassroots movement being led by the Fairness Coalition. The intent is to propose in several Kentucky cities in November local so-called fairness ordinances that would prohibit discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations based on someone's actual or perceived sexual orientation and gender identity/expression.  Read more...

 

November 15, 2012 - 'Fairness' ordinance being proposed in Shelbyville - WHAS 11

A statewide gay rights organization says the Shelbyville City Council is being asked to consider an antidiscrimination ordinance. The Fairness Coalition says some residents of the town of around 15,000 will ask the council to consider the measure. The coalition says similar proposals will take place elsewhere in Kentucky this month, and bills will be introduced again in the 2013 General Assembly.  Read more...

 

November 15, 2012 - Citizens in Shelbyville propose ordinance to ban gay discrimination - WHAS 11

A statewide gay rights organization says the Shelbyville City Council is being asked to consider an anti-discrimination ordinance. Some residents  asked the city council on Thursday night to adopt a law that would prohibit job and housing discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. “For me, the Shelbyville Fairness Ordinance would mean that two of my very, very dear friends could have come with us tonight and openly shared that they’re gay without jeopardizing their jobs,” Ann Ellercamp said.  Read more...

 

November 14, 2012 - Shelbyville City Council: Group to request fairness ordinance - The Sentinel-News

The newly formed Shelby County chapter of Kentuckians for the Commonwealth will ask the Shelbyville City Council to consider a so-called “fairness ordinance” patterned after a equal rights measure passed in three other cities. The group, which held its first meeting in September, will present a copy of the ordinance to the council at its regular meeting Thursday at city hall, but the issue for now is only a request. Created by the Fairness Campaign, the anti-discrimination ordinance prohibits discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations based on someone’s actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity.  Read more...

 

November 14, 2012 - Fairness Coalition targets Shelbyville for adoption of gay-rights provisions - Courier-Journal

With the support of the Fairness Coalition, Shelbyville residents plan to approach their city council Thursday evening to propose adoption of an anti-discrimination ordinance offering gay-rights protections. The effort at 6:30 p.m. at Shelbyville City Hall will be the first in a series of anticipated similar grassroots proposals taking place in other cities across Kentucky in the next few weeks, the coalition said. Chris Hartman, spokesman for the Fairness Coalition Steering Committee, said efforts to adopt gay-rights protections are continuing in Berea and Richmond and are expected to start soon in Bowling Green, Elizabethtown, Morehead and possibly several other cities.  Read more...

 

October 17, 2012 - Cure-the-gay 12-step program - Courier-Journal

 

October 17, 2012 - Catholic confusion - Courier-Journal

I am confused. Last week I read the Archdiocese of Louisville was trying to get alienated Catholics back into the fold. In Monday’s paper I read the psychologically unsound Courage program was being formed in the Archdiocese to urge chastity among gay Catholics. Is there a disconnect here? - ROBERT WALKER  Read more...

 

October 15, 2012 - Criticizing Kurtz - Courier-Journal

Archbishop Joseph Kurtz continues his tirade against the GLBT community by suggesting celibacy through a 12-step program (used for alcoholism and other addictions)! I am a gay man who used to attend the cathedral when the Rev. Ron Knott was pastor and was taught so much by this wise, brave and gentle man. It is sad that this diocese has gone to religious zealots. God’s children should be treated with the utmost respect and dignity regardless of orientation.  Read more...

 

October 15, 2012 - Group to promote chastity among gays in Louisville - Lexington Herald-Leader

A group that preaches chastity among gays and lesbians is starting a local chapter in Louisville with the permission of Archbishop Joseph Kurtz. Kurtz says the Connecticut-based group known as Courage has a goal to "promote chaste living" by abstaining from sex outside of a heterosexual marriage. The group was founded in 1980. Kurtz said the goal is "both to promote the dignity of every human being and promote chaste living."  Read more...

 

October 14, 2012 - Archdiocese of Louisville group to promote chastity among homosexuals - Courier-Journal

A national group that tries to guide homosexuals toward living in chastity, using a variation of the 12-step recovery plan, has received Louisville Archbishop Joseph Kurtz’s approval to launch a local chapter. The goal is “both to promote the dignity of every human being and promote chaste living,” Kurtz said. Chastity, he said, involves abstaining from sex outside of a heterosexual marriage, as well as spiritual growth and developing strong friendships, Kurtz said.  Read more...

 

October 11, 2012 - C-FAIR Makes Endorsements - WFPL

The political arm of the Fairness Campaign, C-FAIR, has made its endorsements for school board, Metro Council, General Assembly and judicial races. In Metro Council races, the PAC supports incumbent Democratic councilmen Tom Owen, Rick Blackwell and Brent Ackerson and favors Democratic challenger Teague Ridge in District 18 against Tea Party favorite Marilyn Parker, who beat incumbent Jon Ackerson in the Republican primary in May. "Jon was a good ally," says C-FAIR board member and director of the Fairness Campaign Chris Hartman, "and we were sorry to lose him." Read more...

 

September 18, 2012 - Eastern Ky. Fairness Coalition organizer named - Lexington-Herald

The Kentucky Fairness Coalition has hired its first regional organizer for eastern Kentucky, and she will address the Berea City Council on Tuesday night. Katherine Grigg is a member of Bereans for Fairness and a former AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps team leader and corps member. Her appearance at the council meeting with other members of Bereans for Fairness will be to mark the first anniversary of the local Human Rights Commission.  Read more...

 

September 18, 2012 - Eastern Ky. Fairness Coalition organizer named - FOX 19

The Kentucky Fairness Coalition has hired its first regional organizer for eastern Kentucky, and she will address the Berea City Council on Tuesday night. Katherine Grigg is a member of Bereans for Fairness and a former AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps team leader and corps member. Her appearance at the council meeting with other members of Bereans for Fairness will be to mark the first anniversary of the local Human Rights Commission.  Read more...

 

August 23, 2012 - 'Fairness Campaign' protests at the Ky. State Fair - WHAS11

The buffet line at the Kentucky Farm Bureau's 48th Annual Country Ham Breakfast had an unexpected addition on Thursday, a protest by the Louisville-based Fairness Campaign. Clad in blue T-shirts, the informational picket protested Kentucky Farm Bureau policies. "They're opposed to lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans gender civil rights," said Chris Hartman, Fairness Campaign Director.  "They oppose a woman's right to choose.  They support the death penalty.  And they're opposed to teacher unions and the unionization of farm laborers."  Read more...

 

August 10, 2012 - Faith leaders announce peaceful Chic-fil-A protest - WAVE 3

Some area clergy members are joining the fight against Chick-fil-A restaurants and they're doing it through prayer. Faith Leaders for Fairness will host "Witness of Love: A Pray-In" on the public property in front of the Chick-fil-A restaurant at 5001 Shelbyville Road at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, August 11. The group describes its action as a peaceful gathering of LGBTQ-affirmative faith leaders and people of faith from across the community who will pray in support of civil rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning individuals. Read more...

 

August 8, 2012 - Kentucky Human Rights Commission issues statement supporting women who kissed - The Republic

The Kentucky Commission on Human Rights has issued a statement in support of a lesbian couple who were kicked out of a Richmond park when they kissed. The commission's statement says the allegations are a "sad reminder" of the need to protect everyone from discrimination. The commission said it strongly condemned the way the women were treated. The commission met Wednesday in Bowling Green, where it agreed to send the statement of support to Richmond's mayor and the city's Human Rights Commission. Read more...

 

August 6, 2012 - Let's support schools' stand against discrimination - Lexington-Herald

The Fayette County Board of Education has taken the best step forward in broadening its anti-discrimination policies to include sexual orientation and gender identity. This change speaks to the Lexington Fairness Ordinance, which was adopted in 1999, adding sexual orientation and gender identity as protected classes against discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodations.  Read more...

 

August 6, 2012 - Gay married couple allowed to file joint bankruptcy in Kentucky - Courier-Journal

Despite living together for 16 years, Bob Joles and Joey Lester of Louisville could not legally marry in the state of Kentucky. Even after they wed May 9 in Buffalo, N.Y., the state of Kentucky wouldn’t recognize their union. But that didn’t stop them in June from becoming the first gay married couple to file jointly for bankruptcy in Kentucky. Nor did it prevent a federal bankruptcy judge from confirming their reorganization plan July 24. Read more...

 

August 1, 2012 - Booming business on 'Support Chick-fil-A Day' - WAVE 3

The battle surrounding a popular fast food chain and their stance against gay marriage heated up Wednesday. Chick-fil-A restaurants across Kentuckiana had lines out the door and down the street all day. Many of those were there not just to eat, but support the company. "It's alright to have your thoughts, express how you feel, how you want to live, but it works both ways," said Middletown resident Janie Wilson whose husband regularly eats at the restaurant. On Wednesday, she decided to tag along to make a statement with her presence. Read more...

 

July 27, 2012 - Religious leaders weigh in on massacre - Courier-Journal

If politicians haven’t been saying much about assault weapons legislation recently, neither have local religious leaders. But in the wake of the Aurora, Colo., theater massacre, here’s a roundup of the stances of several religious organizations as well as other advocacy groups that often cross paths with faith-based ones. The Kentucky Council of Churches — a coalition of Catholic and several Protestant denominations — has for decades called for a ban on the production, sale and possession of military-style assault weapons “whose purpose far exceeds a hunting or sporting use.” The policy was adopted after the 1989 Standard Gravure massacre in Louisville, in which eight were murdered and 12 injured before the gunman killed himself. Read more...

 

July 25, 2012 - Commission hears fairness ordinance pleas - The Richmond Register

More than 100 people filled City Hall auditorium for Tuesday night’s Richmond City Commission meeting with many wearing the blue T-shirts of the Kentucky Fairness Coalition. During a July 18 rally in front of City Hall, supporters of an ordinance to ban discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodations based on sexual orientation were urged to attend Tuesday's meeting and ask the commission to reconsider its refusal to adopt such provisions. Before the meeting’s public comment period, Mayor Jim Barnes said only two speakers advocating the same position would be heard, and each would be limited to five minutes. First to speak was LeAnn Stokes of Richmond. Read more...

 

July 25, 2012 - Richmond city commission addresses proposed fairness ordinance - WKYT 27

Earlier this month, we told you about a lesbian couple who claimed they were kicked out of E.C. Million park in Richmond for kissing. That has led in a huge push for a fairness ordinance in Richmond. This evening city leaders took up the issue in front of a huge crowd. "This is a huge turn out," explains one 'Kentuckians For Fairness' supporter, "probably one of the biggest ones we've had so far!" More than a hundred people packed the room to express their opinions. "How long is it going to take for them to realize we need a change? Does someone need to be hurt or killed like in Lincoln, Nebraska?" explained one supporter. Read more...

 

July 24, 2012 - Fayette Schools Add Gender Identity And Sexual Orientation to Non-Discrimination Policy - LEX 18

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. Dennis Cornell, vice chair of the Kentucky Fairness Alliance, worked with FCPS to draft the change in the non discrimination policy. "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," he said. Read more...

 

July 24, 2012 - Will controversial comments hurt Chick-fil-A's sales? Some critics say yes - WHAS 11

Chick-fil-A is being burned by critics after the company president made a controversial statement about gay marriage. Will the fast food giant be cut down to size because of it? The Jim Henson Company cut all ties with Chick-fil-A because of their anti-gay marriage stance. The Muppets toys will no longer be in Chick-fil-A kids' meals. But how does it impact customers and the bottom dollar? Read more...

 

July 20, 2012 - Richmond should stand for fairness; extend civil rights on gender, identity - Lexington Herald-Leader

In a better world, there would be a statewide law that protects the rights of all people to share an innocent kiss in a park and generally do the things that people living in a free country can do. That would make things clear for everyone: businesses, landlords, even park employees. People going about their lives, too, would not need to stop and figure what their rights are on a city by city basis. But efforts to extend civil rights protections in Kentucky to include sexual orientation and gender identity have not succeeded. Read more...

 

July 19, 2012 - Fairness Rally in Richmond - LEX 18

 

 

July 19, 2012 - Rally in Richmond for Anti-Discrimination Law - WTVQ 36

Dozens rallied in Richmond on Wednesday, pushing for an anti-discrimination law in Madison County. The rally was inspired by a lesbian couple, who said when they tried to take a picture while kissing in E.C. Million Memorial Park, a park gatekeeper threw them out. Some of the people at the rally said they would bring up the issue at next Tuesday's city commission meeting. Read more...

 

July 18, 2012 - Dozens rally for rights for same-sex couple - WKYT 27

They rallied for rights, all to support a same-sex couple kicked out of a park. Dozens of people crowded around Richmond's City Hall, hoping their shouts would lead to some change. "It's good for everybody to know what's going on, and for all of our supporters to come out," explained Cheri Chenault. More than 70 people in Richmond were fighting for fairness, and against what happened to same-sex couple Cheri Chenault and her partner Destiny Keith. Read more...

 

July 18, 2012 - More than 100 rally in rain for gay rights - The Richmond Register

Afternoon thunderstorms did not damper the crowd of more than 100 that turned out Wednesday at Richmond City Hall in support of fairness. A rally organized by the Kentucky Fairness Coalition was conducted in support of Richmond residents Cheri Chenault and her partner, Destiny Keith, who were reportedly told to leave E.C. Million Park earlier this month while having pictures taken by a local photographer. The two are expecting a baby boy Sept. 29. Chris Hartman, director of the Louisville-based Fairness Campaign, encouraged the crowd to attend Tuesday’sRichmond City Commission meeting which begins at 6 p.m. at City Hall. Read more...

 

July 18, 2012 - More than 100 attend rally demanding a fairness ordinance in Richmond - Lexington-Herald

More than 100 people gathered outside Richmond City Hall on Wednesday to demand a local fairness ordinance after a lesbian couple was told to leave a park after sharing a kiss. State and local supporters organized the rally after a gatekeeper allegedly told Cheri Chenault and Destiny Keith to leave Million Park in Richmond because "those type of people" weren't welcome there. Jessica Miller-Poole, owner of 13 Wishes Photography, was photographing the couple for a maternity shoot when they shared a brief kiss, she said. Read more...

 

July 18, 2012 - Matt's interview with the director of the Kentucky Fairness Campaign - WLAP

Click here for Matt Walsh's conversation with Chris Hartman, director of the Kentucky Fairness Campaign discussing fairness ordinance policy.

 

July 17, 2012 - Fairness rally planned Wednesday at City Hall - The Richmond Register

Reaction to a young lesbian couple’s being asked to leave E.C. Million Memorial Park last week has prompted local and state gay-rights groups to organize a “Rally for Fairness” in front of City Hall on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m., according to a news release from the Kentucky Fairness Coalition. Cheri Chenault and her partner Destiny Keith said they were asked to leave Million Park on Tates Creek Road on July 7 while having pictures taken. The rally will include the couple and their Richmond supporters, as well as members of Bereans for Fairness, said Chris Hartman, director of the Louisville-based Fairness Coalition. Read more...

 

July 17, 2012 - Fairness Rally To Be Held in Richmond - LEX 18

A rally is being held in support of a lesbian couple who was kicked out of a park in Richmond after kissing. The Fairness Coalition says in a statement that residents will join the couple, Cheri Chenault and Destiny Keith, to rally on Wednesday in an effort to get city officials to pass a local fairness ordinance, which would prevent discrimination based on sexual orientation. Read more...

 

July 16, 2012 - Richmond rally for anti-discrimination law scheduled for Wednesday - Lexington Herald

A rally for passage of a local anti-discrimination fairness law is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Wednesday in front of Richmond City Hall, 239 West Main Street.  Cheri Chenault and Destiny Keith, a lesbian couple who were ejected from E.C. Million Park earlier this month after sharing a kiss there, will attend the rally, according to a news release from the Fairness Coalition.  Read more...

 

July 13, 2012 - City official, park manager comment about incident - Richmond Register

A rally for passage of a local anti-discrimination fairness law is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Wednesday in front of Richmond City Hall, 239 West Main Street.  Cheri Chenault and Destiny Keith, a lesbian couple who were ejected from E.C. Million Park earlier this month after sharing a kiss there, will attend the rally, according to a news release from the Fairness Coalition.  Richmond City Commission has yet to consider a fairness ordinance, which would prohibit discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations based on sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. In Kentucky, only the cities of Covington, Lexington and Louisville extend such protections to lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender citizens.  Read more...

 

July 12, 2012 - Cheri Chenault and Destiny Keith, Lesbian Couple, Ordered to Leave Kentucky Park After Kissing - Huffington Post

A lesbian couple was ordered to leave a Kentucky park while taking maternity photos on the park's grounds, and the women believe they were ousted because they are gay. Cheri Chenault and Destiny Keith decided to go to E.C. Million Memorial Park in Richmond, Ky., last weekend to take photos ahead of the birth of their baby boy, whom they're expecting on Sept. 29, the Lexington Herald-Leader reports. The park served as the backdrop for the photos, which were being taken by local photographer Jessica Miller-Poole, who owns 13 Wishes Photography. The photos were taken in a privately-owned section of the park that is open to the public.  Read more...

 

July 11, 2012 - Call for gay-rights 'fairness law' renewed after allegations of discrimination in Richmond Park - Lexington-Herald

A state advocacy group renewed its call Wednesday for a Richmond fairness ordinance after a lesbian couple and their photographer contended they were kicked out of a park there. "This young couple's plight is a perfect elucidation of the need for a local fairness ordinance in Richmond," Chris Hartman, director of the Fairness Campaign, said in a news release. "In truth, we need an anti-discrimination (law) that will cover the whole commonwealth, but until that law passes, local fairness ordinances in Richmond, Berea and other cities around the state are necessary." Read more...

 

July 11, 2012 - Lesbian couple told to leave Ky. park - Cincinnati.com

A lesbian couple and a photographer say they were asked to leave a park in Richmond after the couple kissed. WKYT-TV and The Richmond Register report that Cheri Chenault and her partner, Destiny Keith, were having maternity photos taken by photographer Jessica Miller-Poole when a gatekeeper told them they had to leave due to inappropriate behavior. Read more...

 

July 10, 2012 - Pregnant Lesbian And Girlfriend Ejected From KY Park for (Gasp) Kissing! - Queerty

The glow of pregnancy didn’t protect Cheri Chenault from bigotry: A ranger who spied the expectant mom and her girlfriend having photos taken at a Kentucky Park ordered them to leave after he saw them sharing a brief kiss. According to the photographer, the park attendant at E.C. Million Memorial Park in Richmond, Kentucky, stated “those type of people” were not welcome in the privately owned park. Read more...

 

July 10, 2012 - Advocates push for fairness after lesbian couple claims discrimination - WKYT

A young lesbian couple has started a big discussion after saying they were kicked out of a Richmond park, while taking pregnancy photos.  "There's been a lot of chatter about it, today," remarked Lynn Thompson, who has been an advocate for nearly five years for a Fairness Ordinance in Richmond. This ordinance would promote equality for gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgenders.  However, Thompson says each attempt to push for the ordinance has been met with a "no."  Read more...

 

July 10, 2012 - Women told to leave E. C. Million Memorial Park - The Richmond Register

Two women and a local photographer say they were told to leave the privately owned E.C. Million Memorial Park on Tates Creek Avenue during a maternity photo session Saturday.  The couple believe they were ordered to leave because they are gay, which is legal in Kentucky because gays are not protected under civil rights laws.  Cheri Chenault and her partner, Destiny Keith, are expecting a baby boy on Sept. 29, and they were having maternity pictures taken by Jessica Miller-Poole, owner of 13 Wishes Photography.  Read more...

 

July 9, 2012 - Same sex couple claims they were victims of discrimination - WKYT 27

They claim a kiss got them kicked out of a park. A lesbian couple tells WKYT they feel this is a case of discrimination. They say it happened while they were having some maternity pictures taken at a Richmond park. "It was just a peck of a kiss," explains mom-to-be Cheri Chenault. She and her partner Destiny Keith were posing for some pictures on the privately funded side of E.C. Million Park in Richmond. Their professional photographer, Jessica Miller-Poole with 13 Wishes Photography, says right after she photographed the kiss, the park attendant kicked them out. Read more...

 

July 6, 2012 - Local student wins award for fighting bullies - Cincinnati.com

Bullying changed Zoe Chin's life.  Bullying pushed her toward an eating disorder and stole her best friend, Sam Denham, by suicide last year.  Standing up against bullying, both at Woodland Middle School and by supporting anti-bullying bills in the Kentucky State Legislature, has also shoved the shy 14-year-old into the spotlight.  Zoe has been featured in the video for Lexington Fairness' bullying prevention program, "Project Speak Out," and she received the organization’s Ernesto Scorsone Political Leadership Award in Lexington June 29.  Read more...

 

July 1, 2012 - Gay minister makes way in Baptist faith - Courier-Journal

He stood over his grandmother’s grave and in the gray drizzle, pulled a white piece of paper from his pocket.  “A Service of Ordination for Maurice ‘Bojangles’ Blanchard ... May 27, 2012 ... Highland Baptist Church — Louisville, Kentucky”  “Grandmama,” he said, setting the announcement on her headstone. “If you could see me now.”  An 11-year path, forged by uncertainty and rejection and love of God, had brought Blanchard here. And in days, he would become one of Louisville’s first openly gay Baptist ministers.  Read more...

June 29, 2012 - Jefferson County Dems Push Same-Sex Marriage - LEX 18

Democratic Party leaders in Kentucky's largest county have passed a resolution encouraging delegates to the national convention to make same-sex marriage part of the Democratic Party's platform. The Louisville-Jefferson County Democratic Executive Committee voted 16-3 on Wednesday for the "Freedom to Marry" resolution that cited President Barack Obama's announcement last month that he supports allowing same-sex couples to marry.  Read more...

 

June 15, 2012 - Obama to observe Gay Pride Month - WAVE 3

President Barack Obama will host a reception at the White House to observe Gay Pride Month on Friday.  In a proclamation earlier this month, the president stressed that his administration has worked to "level the playing field for lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender people."  Obama's recent declaration of support for gay marriage was celebrated as a key endorsement among gay rights groups.  After the reception, the first family leaves for Chicago, where they will spend the night.  Read more...

 

June 15, 2012 - Pentagon to hold its first Gay Pride event - WLKY

The Department of Defense announced Thursday that it will be commemorating lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender pride later this month. The event will be the first of its kind for the Pentagon.  "The Defense Department is planning an LGBT Pride Month event for later this month," Pentagon spokeswoman Eileen Laniez said in a statement issued Thursday.  Press Secretary George Little said senior Defense Department officials will take part in the event, but had no other details.  Read more...

 

June 15, 2012 - Kentuckiana Pride Festival Parade shows strides: LGBTQ diversity is the message - Courier-Journal

Streaks of rainbows glittered the streets of downtown Friday evening as allies and members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer community gathered for the 12th annual Kentuckiana Pride Festival Parade.  This year’s theme was “Our Footprints are Everywhere,” chosen to portray the community’s equality, according to Aaron Angel, a member of the board of directors for the Kentuckiana Pride Foundation.  Organizations dedicated to serving the LGBTQ community marched in the parade, their members sporting whimsical outfits and colorful makeup. Chris Hartman, director of the Fairness Campaign, an organization devoted to advocating for civil rights legislation, said the pride festival is a safe space for allies and members of the LGBTQ community to come out and celebrate their victories.  Read more...

 

June 14, 2012 - Maurice "Bojangles" Blanchard Named Honorary Grand Marshall of Pride Parade - WFPL

Maurice "Bojangles" Blanchard—co-chair of Faith Leaders for Fairness and founder of the True Colors Ministry at Highland Baptist Church (and WFPL Defining Fairness interviewee)—will serve as Honorary Grand Marshall in the Kentucky Pride Parade on Friday. Reverend Blanchard was ordained last month, making him one of fewer than two dozen openly gay ministers in the U.S. Baptist Church.  Read more...

 

June 14, 2012 - Local company celebrates employee diversity - WAVE 3

 

June 14, 2012 - Brown-Forman hosts first ever gay pride festival - WHAS 11

When Fabricia Mounce started at Brown-Forman four and a half years ago, she didn't know what to expect.  “I was afraid of coming out when I first started because I didn’t know if people would accept me. I was afraid to be judged because of the discrimination we face in the community, so you can't help but think that everyone feels the same way,” said Mounce.  Just a short time later, Brown-Forman developed seven employee resource groups to accommodate different cultures and lifestyles throughout the company. Thursday was the first ever pride fair at Brown-Forman, backed by the LGBT group cleverly titled BYOD, Bring Your Own Diversity.  Read more...

 

June 13, 2012 - Chris Hartman: Celebrate pride by speaking out for LGBT people - Courier Journal

New York police raided the Stonewall Inn just after one in the morning. “Police! We’re taking the place!” Lights in the bar flickered on to reveal around 200 patrons, about to be arrested just for being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT).  Cops lined the customers up outside to be loaded into paddy wagons and carted off to jail. But this night the bar patrons — many of them poor or homeless queer youth, transgender women, and people of color — did something police had never before experienced in a routine LGBT bar raid.  They fought back.  Read more...

 

June 13, 2012 - Same-gender marriage - Republicans know best? - LEO Weekly

Something decidedly queer is happening in the debate over same-gender marriage. For the first time in history, Republicans are joining it — as outspoken supporters.  Republican senators were instrumental in New York’s recent ratification of marriage, and party stalwarts like former Vice President Dick Cheney and the families of Sen. John McCain and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor now support same-gender unions.  The shift in public opinion toward all lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights is crystalline — even among Republicans. But you don’t have to take my word for it.  Read more...

 

June 13, 2012 - Survey says - LEO Weekly

Mark Twain’s declaration that Kentucky is 20 years behind the times remains true today, particularly when it comes to gay rights. From the commonwealth’s constitutional amendment banning same-sex unions to state lawmakers’ reluctance to protect LGBT youths from bullying, Kentucky lags far behind much of the nation on this front. LEO Weekly asked a few LGBT rights advocates — Democratic state Reps. Joni Jenkins and Mary Lou Marzian, Fairness Campaign director Chris Hartman, and ACLU-KY director Michael Aldridge — questions about the difficulty advancing their cause, as well as their forecast for the future of gay rights in Kentucky.  Read more...

 

June 13, 2012 - Trans Talk - LEO Weekly

Sunlight floods a musty backroom at Marty’s Tavern in Old Louisville. Only cardboard mariachis near the window block the evening rays spotlighting every errant dust particle. It’s about 7 p.m. Tucked in a wood-paneled corner, underneath an aggressive, roaring air conditioner, Holly Knight sits at a card table manning two laptops, a microphone headset and a glass of Coke.  “Hello,” she says into the headset. “Welcome to Prism Radio.”  Read more...

 

June 13, 2012 - Representing equality - LEO Weekly

Though the push for gay rights in this country is gaining momentum, there still is much work to be done to achieve full equality for the LGBT community. U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Louisville, talks with LEO Weekly about some of the remaining challenges and relays his belief that “full equality nationwide is unstoppable.”  Read more...

 

June 13, 2012 - It's getting better - LEO Weekly

It was just another day in math class for Jairen Ritter, a Pleasure Ridge Park High School senior who was anticipating his graduation in the spring. He knew he’d probably face a few algebraic equations, he’d have to answer for his homework, and he’d have to encounter the daily deluge of homophobic remarks and insults from several classmates. Ritter, 17, has been out to his family and peers since sophomore year and has endured the ups and downs that come with discovering who he was at such an early age.  Read more...

 

June 11, 2012 - Gay Marriage Opponents, Supporters Agree Obama Re-Ignites Debate - WFPL

Gay rights advocates and opponents will debate same-sex marriage on KET’s Kentucky Tonight program Monday with both sides agreeing President Obama's recent support has triggered a new discussion.  In 2004, three-fourths of voters approved an amendment to the state constitution banning gay marriage. But gay rights activists highlight a recent survey that shows 83 percent of registered voters in Kentucky now support civil protections for LGBT individuals.  Fairness Campaign Director Chris Hartman is participating in the KET debate. He says things have changed over the past eight years and revisiting the topic is appropriate given Mr. Obama’s remarks.  Read more...

 

June 10, 2012 - Gay Marriage topic of this week's Kentucky Tonight - WEKU

On this week's edition edition of Kentucky Tonight, host Bill Goodman and guests will discuss gay marriage.  The program which is "live" on Kentucky Educational Television Monday evening at 8:00, will be re-broadcast Tuesday morning at 11:00 on WEKU.Scheduled guests are:  Chris Hartman, director of the Fairness Campaign; Kent Ostrander, executive director of The Family Foundation of Kentucky;  Rev. Derek Penwell, senior minister at Douglass Boulevard Christian Church in Louisville; Rev. Hershael York, senior pastor at Buck Run Baptist Church in Frankfort.  Read more...

 

May 30, 2012 - Baptist church ordains openly gay man - WYMT TV

An eastern Louisville Baptist church has ordained an openly gay man as a minister with unanimous support from church members. Highland Baptist Church on Sunday ordained Maurice "Bojangles"Blanchard, a local gay-rights advocate who started the church's gay and lesbian outreach group last year. Church Pastor Joe Phelps says ordaining Blanchard was "new territory" for the church but in April it moved to support his ordination. The Fairness Campaign, a Louisville-based gay rights organization, hailed Blanchard's ordination as one of only about two dozen at Baptist churches in the U.S.  Read more...

 

May 22, 2012 - Student jailed over webcam video of roommate - The Independent

Three days after the humiliation and torment of being secretly videoed in a gay embrace by a "homophobic" roommate who gossiped and mocked him online, Tyler Clementi leapt to his death from New York's George Washington Bridge.  The ensuing court case against his roommate, Dharun Ravi, 20, provoked an intense debate about bullying and the treatment of young gays in the US – but that debate quickly changed to one about lenient sentences yesterday after Ravi was sent to jail for just 30 days.  Read more...

 

May 19, 2012 - Ap-Paul-ing - Courier-Journal

Kentucky’s horse racing season is well under way so it seems only fitting that U.S. Sen. Rand Paul hit a sort of political trifecta this week with this comment about President Barack Obama’s support for same-sex marriage: “Call me cynical, but I wasn’t sure his views on marriage could get any gayer.”  In one unfortunate laugh-line in a speech, the Kentucky Republican managed to offend: 1. Fellow Republicans 2. Liberal gay rights activists and 3. Conservative opponents of gay marriage.  Read more...

 

May 15, 2012 - Sen. Rand Paul chastised for gay comments - Courier-Journal

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul is drawing fire from gay activists, conservatives and political allies for saying he didn’t think President Barack Obama’s policy on marriage “could get any gayer.”  Obama last week said in an interview with ABC News that he was “absolutely comfortable” with same-sex marriage.  Paul’s controversial comment came during a meeting Friday of the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition dinner in Waukee, Iowa.  “The president recently weighed in on marriage and you know he said his views were evolving on marriage,” the Kentucky lawmaker said in a video that was webcast and broadcast on at least two Sunday talk shows. “Call me cynical, but I wasn’t sure his views on marriage could get any gayer.” The audience laughed.  Read more...

 

May 14, 2012 - After Rebuke, Metro Council Candidate Accepts Anti-Gay Activist Frank Simon's Support - WFPL

Louisville Metro Council Candidate Ray Barker has received a $1,000 contribution from anti-gay activist Dr. Frank Simon despite distancing himself from the controversial religious leader months earlier.  Last year, Simon’s American Family Association sent an e-mail to followers urging them to back Barker for the appointment to the council’s District 1 seat. The organization was labeled as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center’s intelligence report for its anti-gay rhetoric and campaigning.  Read more...

 

May 9, 2012 - Local residents react to Obama's support of gay rights - WHAS 11

President Barack Obama’s historic announcement in support of same-sex marriage Wednesday has gay rights group, The Fairness Campaign, cheering. “People are giddy. There's celebration. This is going to elevate the dialogue on same gender marriage in a way that it never has been before,” says Director of The Fairness Campaign Chris Hartman. Hartman says it is an approval his group has been looking forward to hearing, but anti-gay marriage advocates in Kentucky call the President’s move a step backwards.  Read more...

 

May 9, 2012 - Kentuckiana reacts to Obama's support of same sex marriage - WAVE 3

On Wednesday, in a carefully worded low-key statement that instantly upset the political calculations of this election year, President Obama declared that he's made up his mind about same sex marriage and he is in favor of it.  The President knows the move could both help and hurt his re-election effort.  President Obama had already backed civil unions for gays but, says he came to realize that wasn't enough for same sex couples that he and his family know.  Read more...

 

May 9, 2012 - Fairness Director Praises Obama Endorsing Gay Marriage - WFPL

The Louisville Fairness Campaign is praising President Obama for coming out in support of gay marriage on Wednesday in an interview with ABC News.  The president said after personally wrestling with the issue and it was important he affirm that he supports gay couples being legally recognized under marriage laws. Earlier this week, Vice President Joe Biden indicated that he had no problem with gay marriage and Mr. Obama was being pressured if his “evolving” position had changed.  Louisville Fairness Campaign Director Chris Hartman says the announcement is a sea change in the gay rights movement.  Read more...

 

May 8, 2012 - Defining Fairness - WFPL

The LGBTQ issues we hear most about in the news are marriage equality and the right to serve in the military. But what about the lives and stories of the ordinary gay, lesbian, bi, and trans people? In our series, Defining Fairness, WFPL will look at the issues facing diverse LGBTQ Louisvillians —race, religion, family, income, disability, and the struggles that fall outside the mainstream narrative of gay rights. Listen for their stories throughout the month of May during Morning Edition, Here and Now, and All Things Considered.  Read more...

 

May 2, 2012 - City to offer domestic partner benefits - Cincinnati.com

Cincinnati became the second city in the region this week to offer benefits to employees’ domestic partners.  The measure passed 8-1, with only Charlie Winburn opposing it. Councilman Chris Seelbach, the city’s first openly gay council member, promised to introduce the idea as one of his first priorities. Offering the health insurance is fair to same-sex couples, he says, but also will help the city attract employees if they don’t have to worry about providing insurance to their non-married partners.  Read more...

 

May 1, 2012 - Covington OKs benefits for domestic partners - Northern Kentucky News

With speed – by political standards – comparable to the lightning flashing outside, Covington commissioners unanimously voted Tuesday to give city employees domestic-partner health benefits.  The issue had not been on the city’s announced agenda, eliminating the possibility of public debate on the issue that has drawn controversy elsewhere.  It took less than four minutes for commissioners to unanimously approve the resolution after Commissioner Shawn Masters revealed the previously unannounced city resolution would deal with health benefits for gay or lesbian domestic partners.  Read more...

 

April 30, 2012 - Judge: Firing by state was improper, gay employee faced discrimination - Courier-Journal

The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services fired a gay employee for sending inappropriate emails, but allowed a heterosexual worker who did the same thing to go unpunished, a federal judge has found.  U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn II said that and other evidence showed the cabinet actually fired Milton Elwood Stroder because of his sexual orientation, in violation of his state and federal constitutional right to equal protection.  Read more...

 

April 26, 2012 - ACLU/Kentucky Fairness Dinner - Nfocus

The rite of spring that is the annual ACLU/Fairness Campaign dinner brings defenders of civil liberties together like no other. It does so with such panache, it’s easy to forget that in some of the cases people are literally fighting for their lives. Each year the two organizations partner with Susan Hershberg, the owner of Wiltshire Pantry and Wiltshire on Market, to celebrate both the leaps and the baby steps made to protect those inviolable self-evident truths: that all of us are created equal and that no law should stand that violates our rights to be free to be you and me without due process.  Read more...

 

April 24, 2012 - Fairness Campaign Praises Federal Extension of LGBT Protections - WFPL

Louisville Fairness Campaign leaders are praising a landmark decision by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which ruled that discrimination based on gender identity qualifies as sex discrimination under existing federal law.  The decision is being heralded as a “sea change” by gay rights advocates and came about as part of a resolution to a case filed by Mia Macy and the Transgender Law Center in California. Macy says she was denied a job as a ballistics technician at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms because she is transgendered.  Read more...

 

April 21, 2012 - Neo-nazis hold rally: verbal sparring but no Frankfort arrests - Courier-Journal

A neo-Nazi demonstration at the state Capitol ended peacefully Saturday after more than an hour of white-separatist rhetoric and caustic shouting matches with those participating in a counterprotest.  About 50 members of the National Socialist Movement and the Ku Klux Klan brandished Nazi symbols, yelled "white power" and performed Nazi salutes from the Capitol steps as speakers called for political revolution.  Another 200 protesters -- separated from the rally by a line of police -- gathered on a side lawn to condemn the movement, holding up signs and chanting for the neo-Nazi demonstrators to "go home."  Read more...

 

April 21, 2012 - Neo-Nazi rally 'heated' despite heated rhetoric - Herald-Leader

At least 70 law enforcement officers were present to control a crowd of 150 to 200 demonstrators when a group of neo-Nazis and Ku Klux Klan members rallied against illegal immigration Saturday afternoon on the steps of the Kentucky Capitol.  Lt. Brian Bowling of the Kentucky State Police, who is in charge of Capitol security, said no arrests were made and Maj. Fred Deaton of the Frankfort Police Department said no physical altercations occurred during the event that lasted about 90 minutes.  Read more...

 

April 21, 2012 - Neo-Nazi rally 'peaceful' despite heated rhetoric - necn.com

At least 70 law enforcement officers were present to control a crowd of 150 to 200 demonstrators when a group of neo-Nazis and Ku Klux Klan members rallied against illegal immigration Saturday afternoon on the steps of the Kentucky Capitol.  Lt. Brian Bowling of the Kentucky State Police, who is in charge of Capitol security, said no arrests were made and Maj. Fred Deaton of the Frankfort Police Department said no physical altercations occurred during the event that lasted about 90 minutes.  Read more...

 

April 18, 2012 - Fairness Campaign Joins Protest Against Neo-Nazi Group - WFPL

The Louisville Fairness Campaign is joining other social justice organizations to protest a rally by a neo-Nazi group planned for Frankfort this weekend.  The National Socialist Movement has obtained permits to march on the state Capitol on Saturday to rally against illegal immigration. The hate group is the largest neo-Nazi organization in the country, promoting racial separation and opposing citizenship for non-whites, Jews and gay residents.  Governor Steve Beshear has denounced the Michigan-based hate group, but Fairness Campaign Director Chris Hartman says it’s important that those who favor diversity stand up against the neo-Nazi message.  Read more...

 

April 18, 2012 - Gay Group Joins Protest at Neo-Nazi Rally at Kentucky State Capitol - Queerty.com

The Fairness Campaign, which advocates for fair employment and housing to the gay and lesbian community, has joined in the protest against a disturbingly public rally thrown by the Neo-Nazi National Socialist Movement (NSM). It all goes down this Saturday at 3pm in front of the Kentucky State Capitol in Frankfort.  WTF? I knew they had some strange customs like eating squirrel in Kentucky, but I wasn’t aware there were enough active neo-Nazis to stage a rally in the state capital.  Read more...

 

March 28, 2012 - Fayette public schools place hold on purchases from Hands On Originals - Herald-Leader

The leader of Fayette County public schools said Wednesday the district will place a temporary hold on purchases from local T-shirt company Hands On Originals, which has been accused of discriminating against the organizers of Lexington's gay pride festival.  Also Wednesday, the school system, city government and University of Kentucky told the Herald-Leader how much business they have done with the company.  Mayor Jim Gray also weighed in, saying, "People don't have patience for this sort of attitude today."  Read more...

 

March 26, 2012 - Hands On Originals T-shirt company accused of discrimination - Herald-Leader

Popular Lexington T-shirt printer Hands On Originals has triggered a wave of criticism after telling organizers of Lexington's annual gay pride festival that it would not produce apparel for the event because Hands On is a Christian company.  On Monday, the Gay and Lesbian Services Organization of Lexington, which organizes the June festival, filed a discrimination complaint with the city's Human Rights Commission.  "Hands On Originals does a lot of business in this town, and people should be aware of the situation, so they can make an informed decision about whether they want to buy from them," said Aaron Baker, president of GLSO's board of directors.  Read more...

 

March 26, 2012 - Anti-bullying bill offered real protection - Herald-Leader

The House Education Committee voted down an anti-bullying bill that would have required Kentucky's public schools to comprehensively address the bullying that occurs there daily.  In addition to providing students with protections from physical, mental and emotional abuse by peers, House Bill 336 would have provided training for teachers and administrators to better identify and stop bullying, and education for school-age children about co-existing with people different from themselves.  On partisan lines, 10 legislators voted the legislation down, while three legislators didn't bother to vote. Those opposed said adequate anti-bullying legislation passed in 2008.  Read more...

 

March 18, 2012 - Going to school without fear is not a 'special right' - Herald-Leader

On Tuesday, Kentucky House Bill 336, legislation that would have protected students from being bullied, was defeated in a narrow, party-line vote in the House Education Committee.  Ten of our representatives voted against it after hearing emotional testimony from several parents whose children had committed suicide after relentless bullying. Three committee members didn't bother to vote at all.  Some of these legislators cited an anti-bullying law already on the books as their reason for opposing the bill. However, their logic falls short.  To pass the "Golden Rule Act" in 2008, lawmakers stripped that bill of any specific language so that the law protects "everyone." The problem is that "everyone" language rarely works. That's why a bill like the Civil Rights Act had to be enacted in 1964, to specifically call out discrimination against blacks as lots of folks chose to just not include them as "everyone."  Read more...

 

March 15, 2012 - A shameful vote - Courier-Journal

Darryl Denham’s anguish came through loud and clear in his piece in the Jan. 29 Forum section. Lamenting the suicide of his 13-year-old son, Sam, the Covington, Ky., father wrote:  I could have maybe accepted a car accident or illness, but not this. Not Sam, not my little sweet innocent baby boy. He was still afraid of going downstairs at night sometimes by himself.  Shortly after Sam’s death, we learned it was bullying that drove him to suicide — name-calling, incessant harassment at school. “Kids just being kids,” some would say.  Our son deserved better. He deserved to feel safe in his own school. Everyone should feel protected where they learn, work, play and live.  Read more...

 

March 14, 2012 - Bullies - Courier Journal

 

March 13, 2012 - House Panel Could Hold Hearing on Fairness Law - WFPL

The House Judiciary Committee has posted a bill that would create a statewide fairness law to its schedule, which means the anti-discrimination legislation may receive its first ever hearing in the General Assembly as early as next week.  Gay rights advocates have been lobbying state lawmakers for over a decade to bar discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations based on sexual orientation and gender identity.  Across the state, only the cities of Louisville, Lexington and Covington have passed laws giving lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals civil rights protections.  Read more...

 

March 13, 2012 - Anti-bully bill fails, parents want tougher law - WDRB

Some legislators say an anti-bullying law is not needed for Kentucky schools. Parents of children who were bullied and killed themselves over it spoke to legislators with the House Committee on Education. Parent Travis Campbell says, " Feb. 4th of this year, my daughter Miranda took her life." Darryl Denham says, "On October 14th, our lives stopped and will never be the same again." His son also committed suicide. Cynthia Logan says, "I lost my daughter in 2008. Her name is Jessica Logan." All of those parents hope their similar stories will persuade legislators to vote for House Bill 336. They brought in pictures of their children for legislators to see. They want them to think about their children and others who are the victims of bullies in school and online.  Read more...

 

February 19, 2012 - Gay-rights group backs anti-bias law at Cathedral - Courier-Journal

About 100 people stood outside the Cathedral of the Assumption just before Mass on Sunday evening to support legislation that would make it illegal in Kentucky to discriminate based on sexual orientation or gender identity.  Participants met at nearby George Garvin Brown Park and made what they termed a pilgrimage to the church, where they silently displayed candles and signs as churchgoers entered the sanctuary. There were no confrontations.  The event was organized by the Fairness Campaign, a gay-rights group. The legislation it supports would ban discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodations but would not legalize gay marriage, said Fairness Campaign director Chris Hartman.  Read more...

 

February 19, 2012 - Fairness Campaign draws large crowd in front of Catholic church - WAVE 3

It was a rare sight for drivers in downtown Louisville Sunday afternoon as dozens gathered for a peaceful assembly in front of the Cathedral of the Assumption.  It may have looked like a group of protestors, but they were actually people thanking the local Catholic church for supporting a bill aimed at stopping discrimination against gays and lesbians in the Commonwealth. "I wanted to make sure that Archbishop Kurtz was aware that we think is the right thing to do and support the bills," said Mike Kuharich who came to gather.  Reverend Joseph Fowler made it public that he supports the bill. That made longtime Catholic Donna Bedtelyon come out to say thanks in a peaceful assembly.  Read more...

 

February 19, 2012 - Catholics for fairness push for anti-discrimination laws in Kentucky - WHAS 11

Activists in Kentucky are trying to help push a bill into law throughout the state of Kentucky that would ban discrimination based on a person’s perceived sexual orientation and gender identity.  Keith Brooks of Louisville knows what it is like to be discriminated against because of his sexuality.  "It makes you feel like you're less than any other person that is a straight person," says Brooks, who is gay.  There is currently no statewide law in Kentucky that bans discrimination against gays in public accommodations, housing or employment. Louisville, Covington and Lexington are the only cities in the state that have laws banning discrimination against lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people.  Read more...

 

February 17, 2012 - Seek love, respect, justice, fairness for all - Courier-Journal

United, Catholics can help ensure fairness for all Kentuckians — making certain everyone in our commonwealth has the right to earn a living, put a roof over their head and visit their favorite restaurant without fear of discrimination.  To that end, I hope all area Catholics will join me this afternoon as we prayerfully gather at George Garvin Brown Park, 415 W. Muhammad Ali Blvd., at 4:45 p.m. to make a peaceful pilgrimage to the Cathedral of the Assumption. Together we will show our support for statewide anti-discrimination fairness laws protecting every Kentuckian from discrimination based on their perceived sexual orientation and gender identity.  Read more...

 

February 15, 2012 - Fairness Coalition Launches Ad Campaign Across Kentucky - WFPL

The Kentucky Fairness Coalition launched a television and web ad campaign Wednesday aimed at raising awareness over the state’s lack of anti-discrimination protections for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender citizens.  The 30-second spot features residents highlighting a survey that shows 83 percent of registered voters support of civil rights protections for LGBT individuals in housing and employment. Gay rights leaders have argued the poll demonstrates the gulf between public opinion and state law.  Read more...

 

January 29, 2012 - Bullying: Victims share its horror - Courier-Journal

Bullying has become a national issue. Whether it is bullying on the Internet or in the hallways of high schools, the toll that this form of abuse takes can, literally, be mortal. The Kentucky General Assembly now is considering House Bill 336, introduced by state Rep. Mary Lou Marzian, D-Louisville, to impose reforms aimed at protecting victims of bullying and encouraging students, teachers and others to be aware of the dangers its causes. With the assistance of Chris Hartman, director of the Fairness Campaign in Louisville, two young people who experienced bullying tell their stories. In addition, the father of a Northern Kentucky youth who took his own life last October after experiencing intense bullying, remembers his son, and urges action on the legislation in Frankfort.  Read more...

 

January 29, 2012 - Do what is necessary to stop attacks - Courier-Journal

Throughout my elementary and secondary education, I was promised safety. We would conduct drills preparing us for the vast array of “what-ifs” that could occur on school grounds. At the beginning of each school year, I would have to sign a code of conduct that outlined the rules of that particular institution.  All of those measures were meant to ensure our safety because every student deserves to feel safe and protected within the learning environment. When I reached high school, however, I was faced with a situation that threatened my safety and sense of security within my school.  Read more...

 

January 29, 2012 - The price of coming out - Courier-Journal

My home is Casey County, Kentucky, and my story begins my junior year of high school in late 2008, after our state passed its current broadly worded anti-bullying legislation.  In the late winter of that year I decided to “come out” as gay to my peers. We were at a model United Nations conference in Louisville, far from our home, when I disclosed my secret. After showering that night, I walked out of our hotel bathroom to find my favorite teddy bear hung with a noose around its neck made from my tie. A note accompanied my beloved stuffed animal: “YOU’RE NEXT!”  Read more...

 

Janary 29, 2012 - A grieving parent's plea for respect - Courier-Journal

Less than three months ago, our sweet, cute, smart, funny, great looking, strong son Sam took his own life to escape the bullying he suffered. He was only 13 years old. We had no indication that Sam was depressed or that anything was wrong. Things appeared perfectly ordinary to us. We bird-watched, coin-collected, and had hours of quality family time each week — all with Sam. He had made plans with friends for that day and for the coming weekend. He had made a Christmas list, talked often about our next family vacation, and was test-driving sports cars. We dreamed of buying him one when he headed to college in just a few short years.  Read more...

 

January 29, 2012 - Kids will be kids - Courier-Journal

January 27, 2012 - Anti-Bullying Bill Filed in Kentucky House - LEX 18 TV

Louisville Rep. Mary Lou Marzian on Friday filed Anti-Bullying House Bill 336 (HB 336) in the Kentucky State Legislature.  The measure would strengthen Kentucky's current anti-bullying statute by enumerating protected classes of students who are disproportionately targeted by bullying peers, as suggested by U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan. This includes protections based upon a student's actual or perceived race; religion; sexual orientation; gender identity; physical, mental, emotional, or learning disability; and other distinguishing characteristics.  Read more...

 

January 8, 2012 - Stricter law against bullying could save lives - Courier-Journal

I am shocked, if not downright appalled, by Andrew Walker and the Family Foundation's recent op-ed opposing bullying protections for children in our schools. In it, they characterize efforts by our state legislature to pass an anti-bullying statute as a “tyranny of tolerance.” The only truly tyrannous act in this situation is the blatant and irresponsible disregard for the lives of our youth who have hopelessly, helplessly suffered from relentless bullying and harassment — many to the point of suicide.  Read more...

 

November 28, 2011 - Two local groups, former editor recognized by Fairness Alliance - The Richmond Register

They have marched, rallied, attended city meetings and written columns and editorials. They have talked to city leaders and formed websites and Facebook pages to gather support for their cause.  They are working for a fairness law, and they recently were recognized for their efforts.  The Kentucky Fairness Alliance on Nov. 12 presented Bereans for Fairness, The Alphabet Center at Eastern Kentucky University, and former Berea Citizen editor Tinsley Carter with Catalysts for Fairness Awards at its 7th Annual Out and About Gala.  Read more...

 

November 27, 2011 - Rights commission makes new plea for fairness ordinance - The Richmond Register

The Richmond Human Rights Commission, with support from the state Human Rights Commission and the Lexington Fair Housing Council, on Tuesday again asked the Richmond City Commission to prohibit discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT) people in housing, employment and public accommodations.  Scottie Saltsman of the local rights panel said a transgendered resident of Richmond had reported she was afraid to apply for a job here because her driver’s license lists her as male. Because neither state law or the Richmond’s human right ordinance offers no protection to LGBT persons, employers could refuse to consider an application from a transgendered person.  Read more...

 

November 23, 2011 - Richmond commission gets report on extending fairness protections to gays - Lexington Herald-Leader

The city of Richmond could add sexual orientation and gender identity protections to its current human rights ordinance at little or no extra expense, according to a report submitted to city commissioners Tuesday night.  The fiscal impact statement, compiled by the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights, presents five different models for enforcing a fairness ordinance, all purportedly involving relatively minimal cost to the city. Estimates, however, are based on an assumption that Richmond, as a result of its size, would have to hold an actual administrative hearing on fairness violations no more than once every decade.  Read more...

 

November 22, 2011 - Study Shows Richmond Fairness Law Enforcement Would Be Budget Neutral - WFPL

The Louisville Fairness Campaign has released a study that says it would not cost Richmond, Kentucky taxpayers any additional money to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender residents from discrimination.  Richmond has a human rights commission, but the city does not ban discrimination based on perceived sexual orientation or gender identity. The Fairness Campaign has sought to extend those protections, but opponents say it would cost too much money to enforce. The study from the state human rights commission has found that enforcement would be budget neutral.  Read more...

 

November 18, 2011 - Berea to apply for 'cultural' title - The Richmond Register

The city hopes becoming an official “cultural district” will make it eligible for more government grants.  Belle Jackson, executive director of Berea Tourism, asked the city council Tuesday to support an application that will designate Berea as an official “cultural district” in the state of Kentucky.  Though Jackson said she is unclear about the full extent of the benefits of attaining the designation, she believes it will attract more federal grants.  Read more...

 

November 16, 2011 - New Berea Commission Addresses Fairness Ordinance - WTVQ

The city of Berea has taken the next step that says discrimination won't be tolerated in the community.  A local Human Rights Commission has been named following racially-motivated vandalism a few months ago. But some people, primarily in the gay and lesbian community, say the Commission isn't enough. There's a push to pass a Fairness Ordinance to protect everyone in the community from discrimination. Tim Hampton, one of the 7 members of the new Commission says its long overdue. "I believe it's going to be very important because that's one thing everybody deserves is to have their rights and their rights should never be violated," he says.  Read more...

 

November 16, 2011 - Berea mayor names 7 to human rights panel - The Richmond Register

Mayor Steve Connelly announced Tuesday night the seven members of the city’s newly formed human rights commission.  He signed an executive order appointing Chad Hembree (one-year term), Tim Hampton ( two-year term), Mae Suramek (three-year term), Jonathan Schinhofen (one-year term), Jeannie Gregory (two-year term), Lisa Vaughn (three-year term) and Paula Dunson (three-year term).After the first appointments, all appointments will be for a term of three years, according to the ordinance creating the commission.  Read more...

 

November 9, 2011 - Terrill wins council seat - The Richmond Register

A familiar face will be filling a vacant seat on the Berea City Commission. Former commissioner Ronnie Terrill won Tuesday’s election with 946 votes. The vacant seat was that of Glenn Jennings, who was appointed by the council in January. Jennings filled the unexpired term of Howard Baker, who passed away Dec. 31, the day before his new term would have begun. Vote tallies for the remaining candidates were as follows: Chester Powell, 719; Guy Townsend, 357; Jeff Reed, 336; and Mary Kauffman, 232.  Read more...

 

October 28, 2011 - Event Horizon - Fairness Campaign Costume Party - LEO Weekly

Darkness falls across the land, the midnight hour is close at hand. Creatures crawl in search of blood, to terrorize y’alls neighborhood … or so said master of macabre Vincent Price in Michael Jackson’s “Thriller,” terrifying a generation of children. On Saturday, 21c will be crawling with creatures in search of a good time at the Fairness Campaign’s costume party, the last hurrah in a month of events celebrating the nonprofit’s 20th anniversary. Dubbed “It’s Thrilling How Far We’ve Come,” the soiree includes a DJ, free appetizers, cash bar, zombification station, and a worldwide “Thriller” flashdance on Main Street.  Read more...

 

October 27, 2011 - Yarmuth Commemorates Fairness Campaign's 20th Anniversary - WFPL

Speaking on the House floor Wednesday, U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Ky., paid tribute to the Louisville Fairness Campaign and recognized its 20th anniversary.  Yarmuth celebrated the gay rights group for launching the social justice movement that eventually led to the passage of the Fairness ordinance, which bars discrimination against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals in the city.  Read more...

 

October 26, 2011 - Students support local fairness ordinance - The Eastern Progress

Over the past year, an idea has been bouncing around Richmond and Eastern's campus: A fairness ordinance provision that would prevent discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.  The City of Richmond Human Rights Commission proposed a provision to the existing fairness ordinance to City Hall that would prohibit discrimination against the LGBT community and those who may be perceived as part of the LGBT community.  The ordinance would only be an amendment to the discrimination laws that are already implemented within the city, said Lisa Cassity, the city clerk.  Read more...

 

October 26, 2011 - Ordinance is a restatement of american values - The Eastern Progress

For 12 years, a group of Richmond citizens and Eastern students have been attending every city council meeting to support the passing of a fairness ordinance for LGBT rights. The ordinance would simply state that employers and landlords could not discriminate based on sexual orientation.  But for 12 years, Richmond City Council has done nothing on the subject.  Why is this even an issue?  Read more...

 

October 23, 2011 - Special-needs group's event supports steps to curtail bullying - Courier-Journal

Bullying is personal for Tammy Campbell. Campbell, of Memphis, Ind., has a 23-year-old daughter who is a vegetarian -- which has long opened her up to be picked on by others. "If you're different, it makes you a target," Campbell said. "Everybody has a right to live a nice, peaceful life as long as they're doing the right thing."  To show support for anti-bullying initiatives, Campbell and about 30 others attended the Run, Walk, Roll Against Bullying on Saturday morning at Waterfront Park.  Read more...

 

October 22, 2011 - Man with cerebral palsy wants to stop bullying - Courier-Journal

Bullying has been an issue in many schools across America.  It is a problem that one young man from Louisville is trying to take head-on. Even though he has cerebral palsy, 29-year-old Grant Logsdon is not letting his disorder keep him from moving forward.  To most people, he is just a young man in a wheel chair with cerebral palsy.  “My life is amazing,” says Logsdon.  Logsdon’s mom, Paulette, is always by his side and is his biggest support. But the two disagree on one major thing.  “If I could rid him of cerebral palsy I would,” said Paulette. “And he doesn't like that.”  Read more...

 

October 20, 2011 - Frustration building as city council keeps quiet - The Richmond Register

Union Church Pastor Kent Gilbert warned the Berea City Council last month that Bereans for Fairness were not going away, and the past two council meetings have proved him correct.  Kaitlynn Stogsdill spoke at Tuesday’s meeting stating she was displeased that no council members commented after two Berea students reported at the Oct. 4 meeting that they were accosted after a September fairness rally based on their perceived sexual orientation.  Read more...

 

October 20, 2011 - Dialogue on HIV/AIDS among minorities - Courier-Journal

The numbers are disturbing:  Nationally, African Americans comprise 13 percent of the population but half of new HIV infections. Hispanics, meanwhile, comprise 16 percent of the population and 19 percent of new infections. In Kentucky, African Americans comprise 7.7 percent of the population but account for 32 percent of new HIV infections among men and 39 percent among women. Hispanics comprise 3 percent of Kentucky’s population but 7 percent of new infections.  Read more...

 

October 19, 2011 - Fairness PAC Endorses Beshear for Re-Election - WFPL

In the race for Kentucky governor, the Louisville Fairness Campaign’s political arm endorsed Democratic incumbent Steve Beshear for re-election Wednesday.  C-FAIR joined the Kentucky Fairness Alliance’s political action committee in supporting Beshear, spotlighting that the governor supports domestic partner benefits at public universities and reinstated an executive order that extends employment protection to state employees based on their sexual orientation and gender identity.  Read more...

 

October 14, 2011 - Council OKs exemption for mayor on union contracts - Courier-Journal

After more than an hour of spirited debate Thursday, Louisville Metro Council Democrats passed an ordinance granting an exemption for union contracts to a city law requiring financial impact statements be submitted with contracts that spend unbudgeted money.  The ordinance was passed in front of a packed house of vocal union workers who applauded loudly after several statements made by Democrats in support of the ordinance, which passed 16-9.  Read more...

 

October 11, 2011 - Preservation Louisville & Fairness Campaign increase awareness of historic LGBT sites - LEO Weekly

To further celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Fairness Campaign, Preservation Louisville is partnering with the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization to increase awareness of historic LGBT sites in Louisville. Along with spotlighting 105 W. Main St., which is a Louisville Local Landmark and part of the “Whiskey Row Historic District” in the National Register of Historic Places, oral histories will be collected documenting local sites’ significance in the LGBT movement from those who visited or utilized them first-hand.  Read more...

 

October 9, 2011 - Merlene Davis: JustFundKY helps agencies open our minds - Herald-Leader

I pride myself on being able to empathize with those who are marginalized by society, those who don't fall into lockstep with the majority.  But recently, I was presented with a scenario I hadn't thought of or imagined.   There are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people entering or already living in nursing homes who fear being mistreated because of their sexual orientation.  That blew my mind.  Read more...

 

October 6, 2011 - Students cite example of need for ordinance protecting homosexuals - The Richmond Register

Two Berea College students addressed the city council with an example of why they think the recently created human rights ordinance should include protection for gays.  Students Sam Gleaves and Jordan Engle say they were accosted Sept. 20 after a rally in support of a fairness ordinance that would include discrimination protection for members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.  Read more...

 

October 6, 2011 - Member of fairness coalition says Berea ordinance needs to be broadened - The Herald-Leader

A representative of the Kentucky Fairness Coalition said Wednesday that a recent anti-gay incident involving two Berea College students demonstrated the need for language in Berea's new human rights commission ordinance to protect individuals from intolerance based on gender orientation.  Chris Hartman, a steering committee member with the state fairness coalition, made the comments a day after the two students told Berea City Council members that they were subjected to anti-gay slurs and insults the day after a fairness march and rally last month.  Read more...

 

October 5, 2011 - Two Berea students claim harassment - Courier-Journal

Two Berea College students told the Berea City Council Tuesday that they were harassed and disparaged with an anti-gay slur by a carload of people two weeks ago after a rally calling for a fairness ordinance in that city.  The men said the harassment happened after the council voted Sept. 20 to create a Commission on Human Rights to monitor such things as racial and gender bias — but rejected calls to extend non-discrimination policies to sexual orientation or gender identity.  Read more...

 

October 3, 2011 - Civil rights law must include sexual orientation, gender identity - The Herald-Leader

In a 6-1 vote, members of the Berea City Council approved the formation of a local human rights commission to investigate complaints of racial, sexual, religious, age and physical-disability discrimination in the areas of housing, employment and public accommodations. Billed as a step forward, or a "good start" in the words of Mayor Steve Connelly, the ordinance nonetheless effectively disenfranchised a segment of the community, omitting protections on the basis of perceived sexual orientation and gender identity.  Read more...

 

October 2, 2011 - Archbishop Joseph Kurtz's star is rising - Courier-Journal

Breaking ground for a new parish building. Striding in the annual Hunger Walk. Greeting fans at the Trinity-St. Xavier high school football game. Insisting that any merger involving Catholic hospitals live up to church health care morals.  Louisville Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz has been outgoing, out front and outspoken in the four-plus years since he became the spiritual leader of nearly 200,000 mid-Kentucky Roman Catholics.  Read more...

 

October 2, 2011 - Unity Breakfast - The Richmond Register

Most hands went up when Dr. Aaron Thompson asked, “How many of you believe in diversity?”  They went up again when he asked, “How many of you believe in fairness?”  Few hands went up, however, when he asked, “How many of you can offer a definition of either diversity or fairness that you can make work?”  As the keynote speaker for the first-ever Madison County Unity Breakfast, Thompson acknowledged he was “speaking to the choir” about about unity and fairness. “That’s why I’m going to challenge you.”  Read more...

 

September 30, 2011 - Month-long Fairness Campaign activities scheduled - Courier-Journal

Brown-Forman Corp. is partnering with the Fairness Campaign to present "It's Thrilling How Far We've Come," a series of 21 events in October to celebrate 20 years of “fairness” in Louisville. Founded in 1991, the Fairness Campaign is the oldest operating lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender equality organization in Kentucky. Highlights include:  Read more...

 

September 29, 2011 - Discharge Of Trans Soldier Marks Beginning Of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Part Deux - Queerty

Two weeks before the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” Staff Sergeant Rebecca Grant got booted from the Army National Guard because a fellow soldier outed her as transgender. Despite the recent DADT repeal, the military still considers trans people as having “gender identity disorder” and being “administratively unfit to serve”; which is why they’re quite happy to discharge Sergeant Grant despite her over ten years of service and duty overseas in Bosnia and Iraq. Welcome to the new frontier in the military battle for equality.  Read more...

 

September 28, 2011 - JustFundKY provides grants to state organizations for advocacy projects - Herald-Leader

Ten Kentucky organizations are the first to receive grants as a result of a $1 million endowment raised by the gay, lesbian and transgender advocacy group JustFundKy.  The endowment was the result of four years of fund-raising by the Lexington-based group, which raises money to support efforts to increase awareness and understanding of the gay community in Kentucky. Half of the endowment came from a $500,000 matching grant from Louisville businessman Cliff Todd.  Read more...

 

September 27, 2011 - Group says DADT repeal doesn't solve everything - WAVE 3

September 2011 will go down in history as the month that the United States military made dramatic changes to how it operates. Earlier this month, President Obama repealed the controversial "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy which prevented gay and lesbian troops from serving openly in the military. But representatives of the Fairness Campaign say the repeal of DADT doesn't go far enough because they say the military still discriminates against transgendered Americans.  Read more...

 

September 27, 2011 - Transgender Says Repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" Falls Short - 84 WHAS

A National Guard soldier discharged for being transgender says the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" doesn't go far enough.  Rebecca Grant served as a male staff sgt. for more than a decade before being "outed" last year. Grant says she felt bullied and harassed. She was eventually discharged for gender identity disorder.  Grant says even with the repeal, it's impossible for a transgender person to openly serve in the military. She says the armed forces need to accept transgender soldiers.  Read more...

 

September 27, 2011 - Staff Sergeant Rebecca Grant discharged for being transgender - WHAS 11

Rebecca Grant was a transgender soldier who spent 12 years in the Army National Guard and was discharged two weeks before ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’ was repealed on September 20th. “I felt ostracized. I felt harassed, I felt discriminated against and I felt there were safety issues,” said Grant. Grant enlisted as a male, but about a year ago she transitioned into a female. Grant says the military discharged her because she had a gender identity disorder, even though she has won numerous awards and had an excellent record.  Read more...

 

September 27, 2011 - Discharged Soldier Wants DADT Repeal to Include Transgender - WLKY

Less than two weeks before the U.S. military repealed its "don't ask don't tell" policy, an Army National Guard veteran received her official discharge papers for being transgender. Now, she hopes to change military policy. Staff Sgt. Rebecca Grant was involved in tours in Iraq and Bosnia and received many honors for her 12 years of service. Last April, she said she was outed by a fellow soldier who passed around pictures he found of her wearing a dress. Grant said that's when things went downhill.  Read more...

 

September 27, 2011 - Fairness must be statewide priority - The Herald-Leader

Kentucky has led the nation in protecting the rights of its citizens. In 1966, it became the first state below the Mason-Dixon Line to pass a civil rights law, outlawing discrimination based on familial status, race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age or disability.  In 1990, Kentucky became one of the very first states to extend employment protections to tobacco users. Kentucky's lost any chance in being a leader in protecting rights based on sexual orientation or identification. But recent events in our state and nationally should provide the push to add those protections.  Read more...

 

September 27, 2011 - Fairness Campaign Spotlights Discharge of Transgender Soldier - WFPL

The Louisville Fairness Campaign is drawing attention to the exclusion of gender identity from the repeal of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy and a soldier who was discharged for being transgender. In September, the Obama administration repealed 18-year-old policy, which barred gay, lesbian and bisexual citizens from serving openly. However, it did not include gender identity and gay rights activists argue that is leaving out a number of skilled and qualified citizens.  Read more...

 

September 24, 2011 - Fairness ordinance supporters take to the streets - The Richmond Register

Members of the Eastern Kentucky University Alphabet Center stood Friday afternoon in front of The Paddywagon encouraging passersby to sign a petition and gain information about fairness. The group coordinated the “Fairness Over Main” event, acknowledging downtown businesses which support a fairness ordinance that has been proposed to the Richmond City Commission for several years in a row. A fairness ordinance would protect people who are or who are perceived to be gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender in housing, employment and public accommodations.  Read more...

 

September 23, 2011 - Businesses Rally For Fairness - WTVQ

For more than two years, the City of Richmond has been considering a fairness ordinance, but the city commission has yet to approve one.  Friday night, a group of twenty five downtown business owners joined together with Eastern Kentucky University's Alphabet Center to host "Fairness Over Main."  The event was held to show support for equal anti-discrimination protections  in employment, housing and public accommodations for Richmond's lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender residents.  Read more...

 

September 21, 2011 - Editorial | Unfair sidestep - Courier-Journal

Berea, Ky., has taken a commendable step forward — and an unfortunate shuffle to the side — on human rights. The Berea City Council, which has been buffeted by controversy over whether to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, voted 6-1 Tuesday night to create a Commission on Human Rights to monitor and investigate discrimination in areas already covered by federal and state civil-rights laws. However, it disappointed gay rights activists by not including legal protections for gay and transgender residents.  Read more...

 

September 21, 2011 - TGIFairness planned to include Richmond businesses - The Eastern Progress

This Friday, various businesses will invite the city of Richmond to join them in a celebration of fairness. Hosted by Eastern's Alphabet Center and the LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer) community on campus, Fairness Over Main is a day intended to recognize and celebrate local businesses that support Richmond passing a fairness ordinance. Friday night, the Paddy Wagon, located on Main Street in downtown Richmond, will host TGIFairness from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. as a participant in the day-long celebration.  Read more...

 

September 21, 2011 - All-day fairness event coming to downtown Friday - The Richmond Register

Those venturing downtown Friday may see signs that were not there before. They may see people walking along the street, handing out brochures or flyers. And they may receive new deals from their favorite businesses. Eastern Kentucky University’s Alphabet Center will be staging “Fairness over Main,” an all-day event designed to celebrate local establishments in support of a fairness ordinance for Richmond. The event will culminate in a TGIF (Thank God it’s Fairness) fundraising party at the Paddy Wagon.  Read more...

 

September 21, 2011 - Berea Council Votes to Create Human Rights Commisssion - LEX 18

The Berea City Council voted to adopt an ordinance to create a human rights commission on Tuesday night. The Lexington Herald-Leader reports council members voted 6-1 to pass the ordinance. The commission will investigate claims of religious, racial, sex, age and physical disability discrimination. The ordinance does not extend protection to gays, but two council members say those protections will be proposed later.  Read more...

 

September 21, 2011 - Bereans march in support of fairness ordinance - The Richmond Register

The Berea City Council’s passage Tuesday of an ordinance creating a human rights commission was preceded by a rally on the lawn of Union Church. The crowd was a sea of blue with those in support of equal rights for members of the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community. Those in attendance wore blue T-shirts reading: “Another Kentuckian for Fairness.”  Read more...

 

September 21, 2011 - Berea City Council votes to create human rights commission - The Herald-Leader

As supporters chanted outside city hall, the Berea City Council voted 6-1 Tuesday night to adopt an ordinance creating a human rights commission. The ordinance calls for the commission to investigate claims of religious, racial, sex, age and physical-disability discrimination in the workplace, housing and public accommodations. The ordinance does not extend protections to gays, lesbians and transgender people, but two council members said after the vote that an ordinance to include those protections would be proposed later.  Read more...

 

September 21, 2011 - Photo Gallery - Fairness rally in Berea - The Herald-Leader

Bereans for Fairness held a rally and marched to city hall to face the Berea City Council as they voted on the proposed ordinance to create a human rights commission on Tuesday September 20, 2011 in Berea, KY.  View photo gallery...

 

September 21, 2011 - Richmond businesses to host Fairness Over Main - The Herald-Leader

A group of 17 Richmond business owners with establishments on or near Main Street are joining with Eastern Kentucky University's Alphabet Center to host Fairness Over Main, an all-day event Friday to show support for local anti-discrimination protections in employment, housing and public accommodations based on perceived sexual orientation and gender identity.  Read more...

 

September 20, 2011 - 17 Richmond Businesses Line up Behind Anti-Discriminations Protections - Business Lexington

Seventeen business owners with establishments on or near Main Street in Richmond are joining with Eastern Kentucky University's Alphabet Center to host "Fairness Over Main," an all-day event on Friday, September 23 organized to show support for local anti-discrimination protections in employment, housing, and public accommodations based on perceived sexual orientation and gender identity.  Read more...

 

September 20, 2011 - Berea City Council Approves Creation of Human Rights Panel - WFPL

The Berea City Council has adopted an ordinance that will create a Human Rights Commission to investigate discrimination complaints. But activists are upset that the council declined to consider an ordinance  that would offer protections from discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.  Read more...

 

September 20, 2011 - Berea council backs human rights panel - but not protection for gays - Courier-Journal

The Berea City Council voted Tuesday night to create a Commission on Human Rights — but disappointed activists by not including bans on discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. The vote was 6-1, according to attorney J.T. Gilbert, a lawyer for the city. The new ordinance authorizes a seven-member commission to monitor and investigate cases of discrimination in areas of “race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age or physical disability,” all covered by current state and federal civil-rights laws.  Read more...

 

September 20, 2011 - Human Rights Commission Reinstated in Berea - WTVQ

More than 400 people gathered in front of the Union Church in Berea, rallying for a new fairness ordinance and a human rights commission that would protect people from any sexual orientation and gender identity from discrimination in employment and housing. A crowd of blue tee-shirts signed up to march downtown to the city council building. "We're not going away we're going to be here for the duration we believe that fairness should be for all," Guy Townsend with Bereans for Fairness.  Read more...

 

September 20, 2011 - Group Applauds Repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" - 84 WHAS

"Don't ask, don't tell" is no more and gay rights groups across the country are celebrating. Chris Hartman, director of the Louisville-based Fairness Campaign, calls this a historic day. He says this is likely the most sweeping anti-discrimination reform of the military since President Truman desegregated the armed services in 1948.  Read more...

 

September 19, 2011 - Fairness Ordinance Advocates Rally in Berea - WUKY

Advocates for a fairness ordinance barring discrimination based on sexual orientation are planning a rally ahead of tomorrow's Berea city council meeting. If past meetings are any indication, Tuesday's gathering could be lively.  The debate has been brewing in Berea for months: Should the city follow the lead of Lexington, Louisville, and Covington and enact an ordinance banning discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity?  Read more...

 

September 19, 2011 - Activists to urge Berean to approve fairness measure - Courier-Journal

Activists are planning a rally today to urge the Berea City Council to adopt a measure banning discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, even as the council moves toward a human-rights ordinance without such provisions. In the neighboring Madison County college town of Richmond, meanwhile, activists are renewing longstanding efforts to win approval of an ordinance that would include gay-rights protections.  Read more...

 

September 19, 2011 - Fairness Ordinance Supporters to Rally in Berea - WFPL

Months of debate at Berea City Council meetings and forums haven’t moved the issue of a fairness ordinance any closer to being resolved.  Since May, the eastern Kentucky city has been considering extending its anti-discrimination laws to include sexual orientation and gender identity. Right now, the Berea council is weighing the creation of a human rights commission, but the proposal lacks the anti-discrimination protections in question and hasn’t been voted on since July.  Read more...

 

September 19, 2011 - Fairness Ads in Berea: Afternoon Review - WFPL

After months of pushing for a ban against discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation, a gay rights group in Berea is launching a new advertising campaign highlighting pro-fairness comments by City Council members.  Read more...

 

Septebmer 19, 2011 - Bereans for Fairness Launch New Campaign - WEKU

A gay rights group in Berea is launching a new advertising campaign Monday to highlight pro-Fairness statements made by members of the city council.  Bereans for Fairness took the quotes from an October 2010 candidate survey published in The Berea Citizen. The group contends six of the eight council members support an anti-discrimination law that has stalled in the body over the summer.  Read more...

 

September 19, 2011 - Bereans for Fairness Launch New Ad Campaign - WFPL

A gay rights group in Berea is launching a new advertising campaign Monday to highlight pro-Fairness statements made by members of the city council. Bereans for Fairness took the quotes from an October 2010 candidate survey published in The Berea Citizen. The group contends six of the eight council members support an anti-discrimination law that has stalled in the body over the summer. Louisville Fairness Campaign Director Chris Hartman says there is support for gay rights among residents and lawmakers in the central Kentucky town, but gay rights advocates have to be patient.  Read more...

 

Septebmer 16, 2011 - Fairness rally to end with march to City Hall - The Richmond Register

A local organization is hosting a host a rally and march Tuesday to Berea City Hall in support of a fairness ordinance. Bereans for Fairness has invited several speakers for the event, including author Silas House, said Guy Townsend, one of the event’s coordinators. After the rally, participants will proceed to city hall in time for the city council’s 6 p.m. meeting, Townsend said. “We want to tell the city council that we support the fairness ordinance ...,” he said.  Read more...

 

September 10, 2011 - Carla Wallace's 4th Annual Lawn Party - Nfocus

Labor Day weekend offered a multitude of parties, family gatherings, and celebrations including Carla Wallace's Annual Lawn Party!  Carla Wallace's 14th Annual Lawn Party celebrates our social justice community, and works to raise funds for the Fairness Campaign, the Kentucky Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression and the Carl Braden Memorial Center. Carla has worked for years as an outspoken advocate for LGBTQ rights, and welcomed all to her home for a yearly celebration.  Read more...

 

September 8, 2011 - Group offers to help with rights training - The Richmond Register

If the cost of training staff to investigate cases of alleged housing discrimination involving lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgendered people is preventing the Berea City Council from enacting an ordinance to protect them, Bereans for Fairness say they have a solution. The organization formed to push for enactment of a “fairness ordinance,” and the creation of a Human Rights Commission to resolve  discrimination claims has recruited the help of Lexington’s Fair Housing Council to provide the training for no charge.  Read more...

 

September 7, 2011 - Lexington Fair Housing Council offers to help Berea investigate complaints - Herald-Leader

The Lexington Fair Housing Council would investigate housing discrimination complaints in Berea at no cost should that city pass an ordinance creating a human rights commission. The housing council, a nonprofit, fair-housing agency, already investigates more than 100 complaints throughout the state, program administrator Sheri Streeter told Berea City Council Tuesday night. And the agency has investigated complaints in Berea before, said Executive Director Art Crosby before the city council meeting.  Read more...

 

September 6, 2011 - Berea Fairness Ordinance Gains Support - WTVQ 36

Equal rights for all, that's what supporters of a human rights commission in Berea say they want.  Tuesday night, the Lexington Fair Housing Council announced its support at the Berea City Council meeting. Back in July, the council had its first reading on an ordinance to create the commission to protect the rights of citizens; regardless of race, sex, age or other markers for discrimination.  A fairness ordinance has also been discussed and council members said they were looking at incorporating the two before the ordinance has a second reading.  Read more...

 

August 31, 2011 - Richmond, Madison officials pass on proposal to create countywide human-rights commission - The Herald-Leader

Elected officials from Richmond and Madison County did not embrace a proposal Tuesday from Berea Mayor Steve Connelly to create a countywide human-rights commission. That leaves the Berea City Council to create a commission on its own. The Berea council gave first reading to an ordinance July 19 that would create a human rights commission. A second reading and final vote will come in September, said Connelly and council member Truman Fields.  Read more...

 

August 31, 2011 - Views differ on combined human rights commission - The Richmond Register

A proposal to create a Human Rights Commission that would cover all of Madison County was one of two topics that dominated discussion at Tuesday’s gathering of Richmond, Berea and Madison County governments. During a working lunch at Berea City Hall, the elected officials also discussed codes enforcement, tourism, curbside trash removal and a tree limb/brush disposal site. A proposed “fairness ordinance” for Berea that would protect members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered community from discrimination has recently generated controversy.  Read more...

 

August 26, 2011 - LGBT Rights an Issue in Kentucky City Council Contest - Progressive Democrats of America

What do you do when you retire to a supposedly progressive little town, only to find the school officials there condoning acts of racism on the part of their students, and the city council fleeing in terror from the thought of passing a Fairness ordinance to protect the basic human rights of LGBT citizens? Well, if you are former college professor, former prosecutor, and former newspaper editor Guy Townsend, you enter the race for an open seat on the city council.  Read more...

 

August 25, 2011 - Fairness Campaign presents KY Farm Bureau with signed petitions - WAVE 3

The Fairness Campaign has criticized some of the Farm Bureau's stances on political issues, such as same sex marriage and workers' rights with unions. At their booth at the Kentucky State Fair, the group has been gathering signatures. On Thursday, they presented half of those signatures collected to Kentucky Farm Bureau representatives.  Read more...

 

August 19, 2011 - Fairness in Berea - Courier-Journal

Berea, a quiet and picturesque college town in the foothills of the Eastern Kentucky mountains, is an unlikely front for the culture wars. But such is the reach of the gay rights movement that even Berea has been buffeted by a sometimes harsh debate over whether to legislate against anti-gay bias. At the moment, the push for a broader rights measure has stalled. The city council decided this week to delay voting on a proposed ordinance to create a human rights commission, largely because of division over whether to include anti-discrimination protections for sexual orientation and gender protection.  Read more...

 

August 18, 2011 - Fairness Campaign conducts petition drive against KY Farm Bureau - WAVE 3

When the Kentucky State Fair opened Thursday, the Kentucky Farm Bureau booth was set up in the South Wing. Across the way, the Kentucky Fairness Campaign set up a booth of their own. The group claims the Farm Bureau is likely one of the largest anti-fairness lobbying groups in the state and they want KFB customers to know what they're paying into.  Read more...

 

August 17, 2011 - Fairness Group Says Berea Protections Would Not be Costly - WFPL

The group Bereans for Fairness has released a set of predictions about what would happen if the city banned discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation. The Berea City Council is considering creating a human rights commission and tasking it with enforcing a fairness law. Berea would become the fourth Kentucky city to do so, following Louisville, Lexington and Covington.  Read more...

 

August 17, 2011 - Berea could expect few complaints about unfairness to gays, transgendered, group says - Kentucky.com

Based on its population and the experience of larger cities, Berea could expect one complaint about sexual orientation or gender identity every two years if it were to create a human rights commission including those categories as protected classes, a group contended at Tuesday's city council meeting. Bereans for Fairness, a group that supports the inclusion of gay and transgender as protected categories, presented that information in a "fiscal impact statement" to the council.  Read more...

 

August 17, 2011 - Council gets look at cost of ordinance - The Richmond Register

Members of the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights and Bereans for Fairness presented a fiscal impact statement during Tuesday’s meeting of the Berea City Council outlining several methods of enforcing an ordinance that would protect those in the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community.  Read more...

 

August 12, 2011 - Fairness Campaign to show PBS production 'Flag Wars' - Courier-Journal

The Fairness Campaign's Dismantling Racism Committee will sponsor a free showing of the PBS documentary film "Flag Wars" at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Centennial Room of the Main Library, 301 York St.  Read more...

 

August 10, 2011 - Berea Mayor's Opposition Won't Stop Push for Fairness Law - WFPL

The head of the Louisville Fairness Campaign says the Mayor of Berea’s opposition to a fairness ordinance in that city won’t stop the efforts to expand protections in Kentucky. The Fairness Campaign is trying to get small cities to pass laws blocking discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Director Chris Hartman says that could tip public opinion in favor of a statewide law.  Read more...

 

August 9, 2011 - Berea mayor opposes gay-rights ordinance - Courier-Journal

Berea’s mayor says he opposes an ordinance that would make the city the only one outside Kentucky’s urban areas to protect against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Mayor Steven Connelly said he supports the creation of a local Human Rights Commission that would investigate cases of bias and enforce state and federal bans on discrimination in housing, hiring and public accommodations. Under such laws, people cannot be discriminated against based on “race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age or physical disability,” as the draft ordinance depicts it. Read more...

 

August 1, 2011 - Fairness Campaign Director Confident Berea Will Pass Anti-Discrimination Law - WFPL

The Berea, Kentucky City Council will meet tomorrow. No discussion of two pending anti-discrimination laws is on the agenda, but gay rights activists say the panel is moving closer to passing measures protecting LGBT residents. The Louisville Fairness Campaign has been instrumental in supporting an ordinance that would make it illegal to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity in Berea. Last month, a proposal for a city Human Rights Commission was introduced but it did not include any language saying the commission would investigate discrimination against LGBT residents.  Read more...

 

July 31, 2011 - Debate about human rights panel tests Berea's tradition of openness - Lexington Herald Leader

For this Madison County city with a legacy of diversity, the debate on whether to extend discrimination protections to gays and lesbians has been vigorous and arduous.  "I made the statement ... when this thing came up that everybody is going to be mad, and that's probably the way it's turned out," said Berea City Council member Billy Wagers.  The discussion has been continuing since May and June, when the city of 13,500 residents held two public forums on whether to propose an ordinance establishing a human rights commission, a body set up to investigate, promote and protect human rights.  Read more...

 

July 25, 2011 - Fairness Over Louisville 2011 [Charitable Event Review] - Louisville.com

The Fairness Over Louisville event was held on July 23, 2011 by the Fairness Campaign. The location was at The Skyloft, 10th Floor of the Zirmed Towers in Downtown Louisville.  The event drew in a great crowd; including Dr. Alexandra Gerassimides (in place of her husband, Mayor Greg Fischer) and the guest of honor, was MSNBC Political Analyst Jonathan Capehart.  Mr. Capehart was introduced by Congressman John Yarmuth. Capehart was candid and welcoming; he mingled with attendees and graciously welcomed discussion and photo ops throughout the night.  Read more...

 

July 24, 2011 - Attorney:  No ordinance, no protection for LGBT - The Richmond Register

If recently discussed fairness ordinances for Berea and Richmond that include protection for the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community are not adopted, anyone can be discriminated against for sexual orientation without recourse, said Mark Cambron, managing attorney for the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights.  Cambron said a person can be fired, refused housing and disallowed from public accommodations based solely on sexual orientation or preference.  “There’s not one thing that person can do,” he said.  Read more...

 

July 24, 2011 - Kentucky Won't Recognize New York Same-Sex Marriages - WFPL

Same-sex marriage is now legal in New York, and couples from across the country have made plans to travel to the state for what are commonly called “destination weddings.”  But those weddings will not be recognized by many other states, including Kentucky, which has a constitutional amendment against same-sex marriage. But Fairness Campaign director Chris Hartman says that won’t stop local LGBT couples from going anyway.  Read more...

 

July 24, 2011 - KY opponents, advocates react to NY same sex marriage law - FOX41 WDRB

As same sex couples in New York marked the historic weekend with legal gay marriages, both advocates and opponents agree Kentucky is unlikely to legalize same sex marriage anytime soon. But gay rights advocates say the majority of Kentuckians are "more willing" to extend fairness laws throughout the state than they were in 2004, when voters agreed to a constitutional ban of gay marriage.  Read more...

 

July 21, 2011 - Make Berea law inclusive - Herald Leader

For fairness' sake, give the Berea City Council the benefit of the doubt and say members decided to leave sexual orientation and gender identity out of a proposed fairness ordinance so they could get something passed.  It's understandable that they'd want to avoid another long siege of thundering ministers and their distressed flocks. So instead they proposed an ordinance that tries to eliminate discrimination based on religion, race, gender, age and physical disability and stops there.  It's understandable, but it's not acceptable.  Read more...

 

July 20, 2011 - Berea plan to create human rights commission criticized as inadequate - Herald Leader

A proposed ordinance creating a human rights commission in this Madison County city would endeavor to eliminate religious, racial, sex, age and physical-disability discrimination, but it does not mention discrimination against people because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.  The omission disappointed people at Tuesday night's Berea City Council meeting who had hoped it would include language for gay, lesbian or transgender people. The council gave the ordinance a first reading but did not vote on it. A second reading and vote were not scheduled.  Read more...

 

July 19, 2011 - Hate crime could be addressed during city council meeting - WKYT

The Berea City Council could discuss a recent hate crime during its meeting Tuesday.  We first told you last week about Damon Dunson and Melanie Stamper.  The interracial couple woke up one morning to find racial slurs painted on their cars outside their Berea home.  Read more...
 

July 19, 2011 - Berea Discusses Human Rights Commission - ABC 36 WTVQ

Tuesday night an ordinance to create Human Rights Commission in Berea had its first reading.  This comes on the heels of racial slurs spray-painted on cars, owned by interracial couple Damon Dunson and Melanie Stamper earlier this month.  But as the two sat in Council Chambers, they were dismayed when their incident wasn't mentioned at all.  "I'm kind of disappointed the incident with me and Mel wasn't brought up more cause that's the main focus point of everyone coming out," says Dunson.  Rather, the focus shifted as several citizens said while creating a new Human Rights Commission is great, the city still needs to address a Fairness Policy as well.  Read more...

 

July 18, 2011 - After Months, Berea Still Taking "First Step" on Human Rights Commission - WFPL

Despite months of meetings on a proposed fairness ordinance and human rights commission, members of the Berea city council still say they’re taking the “first step” on the issue.  In May, the council first considered passing an ordinance banning discrimination based on sexual orientation and creating a commission to educate the public. A subcommittee was formed to research and inform the rest of the council on the two ideas.  Read more...

 

July 18, 2011  - Fairness Ordinance Back in Berea - WEKU

Despite months of meetings on a proposed fairness ordinance and human rights commission, members of the Berea city council still say they’re taking the “first step” on the issue. In May, the council first considered passing an ordinance banning discrimination based on sexual orientation and creating a commission to educate the public. A subcommittee was formed to research and inform the rest of the council on the two ideas.  Read more...

 

July 17, 2011 - Hate Crime Sparks Action - The Richmond Register

Bereans for Fairness is calling on the community to attend Tuesday’s meeting of the Berea City Council to address a recent hate crime aimed at an interracial couple.  Damon Dunson, who is black, and Melanie Stamper, who is white, woke July 6 to find both their vehicles vandalized with spray paint touting racial slurs.  Read more...

 

July 15, 2011 - Domestic Partner Benefits Poll - WHAS11

July 15, 2011 - Order Gives Domestic Partner Benefits to Metro Workers - WLKY

 

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer signed an executive order Friday morning extending domestic partner benefits to Metro Government employees.  The order extends benefits to same-sex couples, as well as unmarried heterosexual couples, living as a family. The benefits apply to medical, dental and vision insurance coverage for adults who qualify.  Read more...

 

July 15, 2011 - Fairness statement on Louisville mayor's move to extend partner benefits to LGBT Metro employees - WHAS11

Metro Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer will sign into law an Executive Order Friday morning extending equal health insurance benefits to the Metro Government's lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender employees and their partners. The order, which additionally extends coverage to unmarried heterosexual couples living as a family, is projected to be taken advantage of by approximately 300 to 400 members of the Metro Government's 5,500 employee workforce.  Read more...

 

July 15, 2011 - Fischer follows through on campaign promise with domestic benefits - WHAS11

On Friday Mayor Greg Fischer followed through on a campaign promise that gave benefits to unmarried couple who live together, LGBT or heterosexual.  “Yesterday I informed all 5,500 of our city employees of my administration's decision to extend domestic partner benefits beginning July 1, 2012,” Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said.  Read more...

 

July 15, 2011 - Director of the Fairness Campaign on benefits for domestic partners - WDRB

Metro city employees will soon be allowed to include their domestic partners in their healthcare plan.  Mayor Greg Fischer made it official today, signing the order, but it won't take effect until July of 2012.  Fischer says it will give the city enough time to work it into the budget.  Of the 5500 employees, about 300 are expected to use the domestic partner benefits.  Fischer called the signing the right and fair thing to do:  "Every person deserves decent and affordable healthcare, and again this act today goes a long way toward making that happen."  Read more...

 

July 15, 2011 - Louisville extends employee health insurance to gay couples - WDRB

LOUISVILLE, KY (WDRB) –- Tina Ward-Pugh has served as Metro Councilwoman since merger, and right by her side for 12 years has been her partner Laura Ryan. "For the first time we looked across the room, a pool, and noticed each other somehow differently," recalls Ward-Pugh.  Even though they cannot legally marry in the state of Kentucky, years ago the women exchanged rings and made promises. "We did a private, personal exchange," says Ward-Pugh. They say their love and commitment is real, but unlike her heterosexual colleagues, Ward-Pugh could not put Ryan on her health insurance plan.  Read more...

 

July 15, 2011 - A fairer city - Courier-Journal

Mayor Greg Fischer has taken another important step toward advancing Louisville as a progressive community by signing an executive order permitting benefits for domestic partners of city employees, both gay and straight. The order applies to both heterosexual and homosexual couples, but it will reasonably be seen as another effort to ensure equal rights for gay and lesbian citizens. In announcing that he would extend the benefits, Mr. Fischer said, “The message I want to send is that we value all people. The big picture here is that any type of progressive organization needs to have a domestic-partner plan. I don't want anything to impede or restrain us from attracting the best employees.”  Read more...

 

July 15, 2011 - State of the News 7/15/11 - WFPL

The weekly news round up today included analysis of Mayor Greg Fischer’s brand new policy of offering benefits for domestic partners of Metro Government employees.  Listen...

 

July 15, 2011 - Offer extends domestic partner benefits to Metro employees - WAVE3

It's something some Metro Louisville government employees have waited for, for years. Friday, it became a reality. Mayor Greg Fischer signed an order offering domestic partner benefits to city employees, starting July 1st of next year. "It's the right thing to do." Fischer said Friday. A few metro government employees WAVE 3 talked to, who are directly impacted by the new order, say Friday's announcement means access to healthcare for many domestic partners who don't have it now.  Read more...

 

July 15, 2011 - Insurance benefits to be extended to domestic partners of Louisville's city employees - Courier Journal

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer will sign an executive order Friday that extends health insurance benefits to the domestic partners of Metro Government employees — same-sex couples as well as heterosexual couples who live as a family but are not married.  The change won’t take affect until next fiscal year, which begins July 1, 2012. It is an executive decision that does not require approval of the Metro Council.  The city’s Human Resources Department estimates that 300 to 400 of the city’s 5,500 employees will take advantage of the new policy, at an estimated cost of about $400,000 a year to city taxpayers. But Fischer spokesman Chris Poynter says the actual figures won’t be known until about a year after implementation — or July 2013.  Fischer said he will sign the order because “it is the right thing to do.”  Read more...

 

July 12, 2011 - State Sen. Perry Clark says Ky. should go ahead and pass statewide fairness law - cn/2 Pure Politics

Louisville Democratic State Sen. Perry Clark thinks Kentucky should pass a statewide fairness law to protect gay and lesbian couples, he told Pure Politics in a recent interview. But Clark doesn’t think it will happen anytime soon. “At some point it will be, probably 20 years late like Kentucky does with most of its progressive ideas,” Clark said. Clark has served in the state Senate since 2006 and was a state representative for 11 years before that. Several Democratic lawmakers in the House have pushed for a statewide Fairness Law that mirrors an ordinance on the books in Louisville for almost a decade, without much luck. Read more...

 

July 7, 2011 - ElderServe commits to Fairness Campaign - Business First

ElderServe Inc.   ElderServe Inc. Latest from The Business Journals Kentucky Derby Festival races raise nearly 0KElderServe to open East End officeInvestor, adviser George Emont quietly nurtures life-sciences startups Follow this company  , Metro Louisville’s largest nonprofit senior-services organization, has announced a partnership with the Fairness Campaign and a commitment to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender seniors, according to a news release.  The agency offers a variety of services to people who are homebound and frail, as well as to people who are well and active, while also providing supportive human services that enable older people to live secure and self-directed lives, the release said.  Read more...

 

July 4, 2011 - Fairness Leader Believes Gay Marriage "Inevitable" in Kentucky - WFPL

Gay rights advocates celebrated the vote by the New York state legislature that legalized same-sex marriage, but one local activist hopes it means change in Kentucky. The controversial bill cleared the Republican-controlled state Senate in the Empire State after heavy lobbying by Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo, who courted affluent GOP donors for support. The new law takes effect in less than 30 days, and marriage equality activists believe it will have a national effect and that other states will soon follow. Louisville Fairness Campaign Director Chris Hartman says public opinion on gay rights is shifting and even more conservative states will come around. Read more...

 

June 26, 2011 - New York gay marriage law sparks debate in Ky - WHAS11

In 2004 Kentucky passed a constitutional ban on same sex marriage, but that hasn't stopped people from talking about whether the state should follow in New York's footsteps. “I’m totally for it. I think that it’s a great thing. I think more places should do it honestly. I don’t see why anybody would be against it. It’s not hurting anybody,” said Laura Zierer.  Read more...

 

June 20, 2011 - Pride Festival Celebrates Victories, but Challenges Remain - WFPL

Chris Hartman is standing on a rainbow float being pulled by a white Chevy Tahoe. Pulling the megaphone up to his mouth, he yells to the thousands gathered for the Kentuckiana Pride Parade.  “Friends, give it up for elected officials who voted for Fairness!” yelled Hartman, standing next to those who voted for anti-discrimination legislation in 1999. “And the Fairness Campaign co-founders! And give it up for yourselves for coming out to celebrate pride!”  The Pride Foundation chose Hartman to be the grand marshall of the parade, which serves as an annual celebration for the LGBT community.  Read more...

 

June 18, 2011 - Kentuckiana pride festival celebrates 20th year - Courier-Journal

Hundreds of people came out to show their support for gay rights Friday night during the 20th annual Kentuckiana pride parade through downtown Louisville.  The parade is the kickoff to the Kentuckiana pride festival this weekend.  Louisville fairness campaign director Chris Hartman was the grand marshal to honor his work protecting gay rights.  Read more...

June 17, 2011 - Proposed fairness ordinance divides small Kentucky city - Courier-Journal

They bore Bibles and signs and wore T-shirts and buttons with slogans as they filed into Berea Community School.  Approximately 500 people spent a pristine spring evening Tuesday inside the gymnasium at a hearing on a proposed ordinance that could make Berea the only rural community in Kentucky to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity in employment, housing and public accommodations.  For more than two hours, 47 people took to the microphone to express two clearly defined, often religious-based views on the issue.  Read more...

 

June 17, 2011 - Pride Parade helps fairness group celebrate 20th anniversary - Courier Journal

Hundreds of people marched Friday night down Market Street in a flood of glitter, balloons and rainbows -- and with an overwhelming sense of pride.  The annual Kentuckiana Pride Parade celebrates lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in the area.  “This is to commemorate a moment in time … when people rose up and said we’re not going to be second-class citizens anymore,” said Chris Hartman, director of the Louisville-based Fairness Campaign and the parade’s grand marshal.  Read more...

Click here to watch the Pride Parade video

 

June 16, 2011 - Bereans split about fairness ordinance - The Richmond Register

City Council member Truman Fields prepped the audience Tuesday before a public forum discussing Berea’s proposed fairness ordinance.  Fields was concerned about the audience’s behavior because of the controversial nature of the ordinance, which would provide protection from discrimination against those in the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community.  “We do not want and will not put up with anyone cheering or yelling,” he said. “If it gets out of line, I’ll terminate the meeting immediately.”  Read more...

 

June 16, 2011 - Live by the Golden Rule - Berea Citizen

I’ll admit it, albeit with some great amount of embarrassment, and even shame: when I first heard about the Fairness Ordinance, I thought, “Oh, we don’t need that.” I thought: “This is Berea; we’re so progressive, so open-minded, that there’s no way we need that.” Besides, I thought, everyone is protected from discrimination.  Turns out I was wrong on all counts.  Read more...

 

June 15, 2011 - After Forum, Berea City Council Will Decide Fate of Fairness Ordinance - WFPL

Tuesday night, the Berea City Council held the second and final public hearing on an ordinance that would protect gay and transgender individuals from discrimination.  After hearing public opinion, the council will decide on Monday whether or not it will take a vote on the ordinance.  The Louisville-based Fairness Campaign has been working for months to see the measure passed. Chris Hartman is the group’s director.  Read more...

 

June 14, 2011 - Alleged Discrimination at Hazard Pool Sparks Investigation - WFPL

Several parties are investigating an alleged act of discrimination in Hazard, Kentucky.  The two men, who also have developmental disabilities, say they were told to leave the public pool in the Hazard Pavilion because they were a couple. Others, however, say the two were making public displays of affection, which aren’t allowed at all in the pavilion.  Read more...

 

June 14, 2011 - Fairness Campaign's director praised - Courier-Journal

This Friday, during Louisville's Pride Festival, the Fairness Campaign will celebrate 20 years of proactive leadership serving on a micro level the alphabet soup that is Louisville's gay community and through that service the entire city of Louisville by advocating for and in some cases passing landmark legislation that protects every Louisvillian and Kentuckian from discrimination, violence and outright hatred.  While we should recognize and thank those who had the chutzpah to start the campaign two decades ago, we as a fair-minded community should give the campaign's current director, Chris Hartman, a hardy handshake and a pat on the back.  Read more...

 

June 14, 2011 - Fairness is key part of Berea's heritage - Lexington Herald-Leader

When the abolitionist minister John G. Fee founded Berea in 1854, he named it after a biblical town where the people "received the word with all readiness of mind." Equality became the community's watchword the following year when Berea College was founded as the first Southern university to welcome women and African-Americans.  Today, nearly 160 years later, the residents of Fee's town are debating whether to embrace another word, one that speaks to the very essence of their heritage — fairness.  Read more...

 

June 13, 2011 - Fairness Director Hartman on 'Louisville Live' for KY Pride - WBKI


Watch live video from fairnesscampaign on Justin.tv

June 13, 2011 - Berea Could Become the Fourth Kentucky City With a Fairness Ordinance - WFPL

On Tuesday night, the Berea City Council will hold the second and final public hearing on an ordinance that would protect gay and transgender individuals from discrimination in housing and employment.  After the forum, the council will decide whether or not they will take a vote on the ordinance.  The Fairness Campaign has been working for months to see the measure passed. Chris Hartman is the group’s director.  Read more...

 

June 11, 2011 - Berea fairness campaign event occurred at historic church - The Winchester Sun

Union Church, Berea College’s historic, nondenominational church that was founded by 19th century abolitionist John G. Fee, was the setting Thursday night for the launch of a contemporary civil rights campaign.  Faith leaders, students, business owners, teachers, artists and Berea residents joined on the steps of Union Church Thursday morning to announce the launch of Bereans for Fairness, a local campaign to win passage of a city gay and transgender anti-discrimination fairness law.  Read more...

 

June 10, 2011 - Fairness at 20 - Courier-Journal

Next week, the Fairness Campaign will mark its 20th anniversary with a series of events that should receive a lot of widespread support and attention. This civil rights group, which works on behalf of equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, has enriched the entire community and has made Louisville and Kentucky a better place to live, work and be. Everyone has benefited from their great and good work.  Read more...

 

June 10, 2011 - Fairness for all? - The Richmond Register

Bereans interested in a proposed ordinance protecting gay and transgender individuals from discrimination are invited to a public forum next week at Berea Community School. Berea City Council member Truman Fields announced during Tuesday’s council meeting that the forum will begin at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 14 in the school’s new gymnasium. About 25 people gathered Thursday morning on the steps of Union Church near College Square to announce the launch of “Bereans for Fairness,” a local campaign to win passage of the ordinance.  Read more...

 

June 8, 2011 - Fairness Campaign plans Kentuckiana events marking 20th anniversary - Courier-Journal

The annual Kentuckiana Pride Parade in downtown Louisville June 17 will kick off a series of events marking the 20th anniversary of the formation of the Fairness Campaign. The organization’s creation was announced on June 29, 1991. The founders believe the organization has developed an “enduring legacy of civil rights work and legislative change in Louisville and Kentucky,” a campaign news release said. The Fairness Campaign is the oldest operating lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil-rights group in Kentucky. Its leaders spearheaded the lobbying effort to pass the state's first anti-discrimination gay-rights ordinance in 1999 in Louisville. Fairness Campaign director Chris Hartman will serve as grand marshal of the 2011 Kentuckiana Pride Parade in honor of the campaign's 20th anniversary.  Read more...

 

June 6, 2011 - Special Session Tonight to Consider University City Sidewalk Bill - Riverfront Times

With little warning, the University City Council will hold a special meeting tonight to consider one of its more controversial ordinances in recent years: a bill to crack down on unruly youth in the Delmar Loop. The proposal, Bill 9112, allows police to ticket individuals or groups found to be obstructing the use of a sidewalk or street, including by standing, walking or loitering. Those found guilty of such an infraction could be fined up to $1,000. The city made public the meeting just last Wednesday. The sidewalk ordinance was tabled during two prior city council sessions and was supposed to be heard at the next regular meeting on June 13. Read more...

 

May 17, 2011 - Nothing to fear from fairness law - Lexington Herald-Leader

There are days when the opposition to fairness ordinances seems too histrionic to be taken seriously. Last Tuesday was one of those days. Some of the people who stormed a meeting of a Berea committee considering the possibility of a fairness ordinance for the community lapsed into near-incomprehensibility as they warned of the dire consequences of such a measure. "Freedom isn't fair and a stifling fairness isn't free," said Russ Westbrook, pastor of New Hope Reformed Church. Huh? It's very hard to parse that statement.  Read more...

 

May 11, 2011 - Berea Residents Debate Fairness Law at Public Forum - WFPL

A number of residents gathered Tuesday night to sound off on a not-yet-drafted fairness ordinance being considered by the Berea City Council. The measure will extend civil rights protections to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered residents. In Kentucky, only Louisville, Lexington and Covington currently have laws banning discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in housing and employment. Several opponents came to the meeting, saying there are no examples of discrimination against LGBT residents and the law is a political agenda that extends “special rights” to certain groups. Louisville Fairness Campaign Director Chris Hartman says the public forum showed there is still discrimination against LGBT residents in parts of the state and the legislation is necessary.  Read more...

 

May 9, 2011 - Berea City Council Considering Fairness Law - WFPL

Members of the Berea City Council will hold a public forum Tuesday to consider amending a local ordinance that would extend civil rights protections to residents based on their sexual orientation and gender identity. In Kentucky, only Louisville, Lexington and Covington have those laws on the books and gay rights groups have tried unsuccessfully to push similar bills in other cities.  If approved, the Berea ordinance would make it illegal to discriminate against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals in employment, housing, and public accommodations. Louisville Fairness Campaign Director Chris Hartmann says the public meeting is a positive sign that lawmakers in the central Kentucky town are catching up with a recent survey that shows the majority of Kentuckians are against discrimination.  Read more...

 

April 20, 2011 - Ky. church won't sign marriage licenses - The News-Enterprise

Leaders of a Christian Church in Louisville say they will stop signing state marriage licenses in a show of support for gay couples in Kentucky who can't enjoy the same legal benefits as married couples. More than 60 members at the Douglass Boulevard Christian Church voted unanimously in favor of the gesture on Sunday. Church leaders said they wouldn't sign licenses until gay couples are able to enjoy the financial and other advantages of a legal marriage in Kentucky. Pastors who sign the licenses bestow "a number of gifts and benefits" to married couples, said the Rev. Derek Penwell, the church's senior pastor.  Read more...

 

April 4, 2011 - Fairness Campaign Looking Toward Berea - WFPL

The Fairness Campaign’s efforts to expand anti-discrimination laws in Richmond, Kentucky have stalled, but the organization is still focusing on other cities. In Kentucky, only Louisville, Lexington and Covington currently have laws banning discrimination based on sexual orientation in housing and employment. The Fairness Campaign has spent months working to make Richmond the 4th city to pass such a law. But director Chris Hartman says the efforts have stalled, and there’s no estimate on when Richmond lawmakers may vote on a fairness ordinance.  Read more...

 

March 31, 2011 - Fairness Campaign Director Says Advocacy Should Continue in Cities and States, Despite Federal Advances - WFPL

Louisville Fairness Campaign director Chris Hartman says it’s important for organizations like his to work on multiple levels against legislation restricting same-sex marriage and civil unions. A proposed constitutional ban on same-sex marriage and civil unions has cleared a major hurdle in the Indiana General Assembly. The measure must be passed again by the legislature in two years and then by the public before it becomes official. Hartman says such legislation goes against shifts in public opinion, and it may go against trends in federal government.  Read more...

 

March 30, 2011 - Fake Issue 2011/Fairness Campaign to start Gays-4-fil-As - LEO Weekly

The Fairness Campaign announced Friday it is launching Gays-4-fil-As to assuage the guilt many members of the LGBT community feel when they choose to eat at the Christian-run Chick-fil-A. While Fairness will continue to fight the good fight for equality, when it comes to chicken, they just can’t deny a good thing. “I am against what the owners of Chick-fil-A stand for, but dammit, their chicken is crack,” said Fairness Director Chris Hartman. “We hope to meet with the folks behind Chick-fil-A so we can come to some kind of understanding. In the meantime, I don’t want the LGBT community to be without those amazing chicken nuggets and fresh-squeezed lemonade.”  Read more...

 

March 25, 2011 - Artography starts today - Courier-Journal

The first Artography event celebrates music and the visual arts with a festival today and tomorrow at Creation Gardens, 725 E. Market St. Performers include The Tunesmiths, Edgehill Ave., Tyrone Cotton, Jon Ashley, Justin Lewis, Kathleen Hoye, Shadwick Wilde, Nick Peay, Butch Rice and Leigh Ann Yost. More than 100 artists and photographers will also be represented.  Read more...

 

March 23, 2011 - Coming Together - The Voice-Tribune

For the moment, pretend that aliens exist. Imagine they are flying by Earth for the first time. What are they likely to see? They probably will not take into consideration the divisions separating humans, but rather see the human race as a whole. Kenn Parks offers this analogy as a means of helping people understand his motive in creating and organizing Artography 2011, a two-day, art and music event scheduled for March 25 and 26 at the Creation Gardens, 725 E. Market St.  Read more...

 

March 23, 2011 - The AfterPARTY - The Voice-Tribune

The AfterPARTY, which celebrated the Fairness Campaign’s 20th anniversary, drew a costumed crowd to the Kentucky International Convention Center after the Lady Gaga concert on March 12. Check out some of our favorites.  Read more...

 

March 21, 2011 - Local group says school fight should be investigated as hate crime - WHAS11

 

March 16, 2011 - In pursuit of fairness - The Voice-Tribune

Chris Hartman burst into the Fairness Campaign office, breathless and animated. "I'm so sorry I'm late, but I just finished explaining the Federal Hate Crimes Law to the FBI," he said incredulously before stopping “Hi. Hi. Hello!“ to warmly hug his visitors and offer up a dazzling smile. "Can you believe that?" Hartman said, launching right back into his initial point. "I was explaining the law to them. The Fairness Campaign director shook his head almost as if to clear it and sat down, unbuttoning his suit coat and then absently touched his blue tie peppered with tiny fleurs-de-lis. Based on a recent poll conducted by The Schapiro Group, a firm located in Atlanta, 83 percent of Kentuckians believe all people should be protected from discrimination in myriad ways, Hartman said. "People agree that the protections should exist for everyone, but most don't know these don't exist for everyone."  Read more...

 

View Voice-Tribune 'The AfterPARTY' Photo Gallery

View Velocity 'The AfterPARTY' Photo Gallery

 

March 16, 2011 - A great Gaga weekend - The Voice-Tribune

We went Gaga - at least thousands of us sure did when the world's biggest pop star performed at the KFC Yum! Center last weekend.  The concert was phenomenal, but the most thrilling part of the whole evening, at least for me, was watching people from all walks of life descend upon the downtown area in all manner of attire and just have a big ol' time. My preparations started at the home of Jon Freels and JD Dotson, who helped me "go Gaga" with gold glitter body cream and a faux tattoo. I then returned to my own residence to get into my full outfit, which included a fabulous fascinator by Jennifer McCarty of Run for My Roses. Soon, my pals Jacob Isaac and Gerome Stephens, along with a host of others, picked me up at my Irish Hill home in a 15-passenger van, which we proceeded to valet at Proof. The staff there was fabulous and fun, as always. But where else in the River City would you and your friends - who aren't wearing much in the way of conventional clothing - go when you're not wearing much more than a gold lame bikini and a black tutu and heading to a Lady Gaga concert? 21c Museum Hotel was the only place to be. At least to start off the night.  Read more...

 

March 10, 2011 - Dishing with DJ Cazwell - The Voice-Tribune

Cazwell once described his sound by telling an interviewer to “imagine if Biggie Smalls ate Donna Summer for breakfast.” Say what? “I just meant that ultimately I rap with dance music more,” laughed Cazwell during a recent phone interview. “It’s not that I think I’m as talented as Biggie Smalls, but gay people can also relate to Donna Summers a little more. (That image of) my music makes it maybe more relatable.”  Read more...

 

March 5, 2011 - GOProud building bridges for gay conservatives - Courier-Journal

GOProud, an advocacy group for gay conservatives, has blogger Andrew Breitbart in its corner. The infamous right-wing brawler sits on the group's advisory council, ready to pummel anyone who questions the group's conservative bona fides. But Jimmy LaSalvia, the Louisvillian who co-founded the group, takes a slightly less confrontational approach. “I'm Mr. Nice Guy,” LaSalvia said, in a telephone interview from his Washington, D.C., office. “The thing about it is, I don't go around picking fights with people. I try to engage with folks and find common ground.”  Read more...

 

March 2, 2011 - Bill that bans bullying of gay students stalls in Kentucky House - WHAS 11

One week after a Kentucky House committee overwhelmingly approved a measure that bans the bullying of gay students, the bill has stalled in the Kentucky House. Opponents say religious freedom and free speech are also at stake. House Bill 370 would prohibit bullying because of a student's sexual orientation, race or religion. Yet, Rep. Mike Harmon (R-Danville, who believes homosexuality is a sin, says students who share his faith-based belief should not be prohibited from saying as much. The Fairness Campaign of Louisville says current anti-bullying laws that apply to everyone aren't enough, "if you're being bullied on the basis of your race, your class, your gender, your sex, your sexual orientation, your gender identity, your religion," explained Chris Hartman of the Fairness Campaign.  Read more...

 

February 23, 2011 - Rally held for new anti-bullying bill that includes sexual orientation - WAVE 3

People from all over Kentucky headed to Frankfort Feb. 23 in an effort to make kids safer. They say they are supporting fairness and celebrating a major victory against bullying. Kentucky already has anti-bullying laws, but this one is aimed at protecting kids who are being harassed because of their sexual orientation. The Fairness Campaign took its message to the Capitol, thanking 14 state legislators, all Democratic representatives, nine of whom are from Louisville, for being champions of fairness. The rally comes one day after House Bill 370 passed out of the Education Committee.  Read more...

 

February 23, 2011 - Panel OKs measure to ban bullying of gay students - Lexington Herald-Leader

Bullitt Central High School freshman Aye Jay Long, 14, told a panel of lawmakers on Tuesday that he was continually harassed by his classmates, who called him a "fag" after he told them he was gay earlier this school year. "I was getting shoved and pushed into lockers," Long said.  He said he once received straight As but now is getting Cs, Ds, and Fs because of the harassment. His and other students' testimony helped persuade the House Education Committee to approve a bill that would require Kentucky schools to enhance their bullying policies, prohibiting harassment based on sexual orientation, race or religion. The proposal now heads to the House floor for a possible vote.  Read more...

 

February 23, 2011 - Fairness Coalition rally supports anti-bullying law - FOX 41

It's a small victory, but supporters of the anti-bullying bill say it must continue its progress in the Kentucky legislature. On Wednesday afternoon, during a Fairness Coalition rally, supporters chanted, "What do we want -- Fairness! And when are we getting it? Now!"  The rally was held in the Capitol Rotunda. That's one day after the House bill passed through the Education Committee.  Right now, only three cities in Kentucky -- Louisville, Lexington, and Covington -- have a fairness law.  Supporters say passing a statewide ordinance is long overdue.  Read more...

 

February 22, 2011 - Students push lawmakers for more protection against bullying - FOX 41

A group of students is pushing lawmakers to better protect children against bullying.  Several gay students spoke before the House Education Committee to tell their stories.  "I felt so bad about myself," one of the students said, adding details of a suicide attempt. All those who spoke Tuesday said they'd been targets for bullies because of their sexual orientation, and have been victims of physical and verbal abuse because of it. They say they feel like nothing is ever done to stop bullying against gays and lesbians.  Read more...

 

February 20, 2011 - Straight Louisville man denied entry at Creation Museum; staffer thought he was gay - WAVE 3

A trip to a northern Kentucky museum didn't go as planned for a Louisville man and his friends. They said they were denied entry to an event at the Creation Museum because a security guard thought they were gay. Two of the people involved are claiming discrimination. This all happened at the Creation Museum in northern Kentucky. A heterosexual Louisville man said he felt discriminated against after he said a staff member refused him entry into a "date night" event, because it was assumed that he and a friend were a gay couple.  Read more...

 

 

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February 18, 2011 - School District Police Take Steps to Prevent Bullying - Mt. Sterling Advocate

The Montgomery County school district police are taking steps in the right direction to help prevent bullying in the school system.  Officer Chris Barrier spoke with the Advocate recently about things he and co-officer Mike Martin are doing to be proactive in the school system when it comes to students picking on and harassing other students.  “Nationally, it’s getting a lot of attention,” Barrier said. “And while I don’t necessarily view it as a huge problem, if it’s a problem nationally then it’s a problem here. I think what’s most important is we get in front of the problem and we try to curb the issue before it gets as bad as it is in other places.”  Read more...

 

February 16, 2011 - Date Night in the Garden of Eden - LEO Weekly

Two by two, couples filed into Petersburg, Ky.’s Creation Museum for “Date Night,” a Feb. 11 event billed as “a special evening (featuring) an inspiring message about love and the biblical view of marriage from Creation Museum founder Ken Ham,” according to the museum’s website.  What better place to spend a romantic Valentine’s weekend evening than the Creation Museum, a 70,000-square-foot “museum” that employs state-of-the-art video and animatronic technology in an effort to discredit the fields of evolutionary biology, geology, history and liberal social values while at the same time tweaking science to fit with a young Earth interpretation of the Book of Genesis?  Read more...

 

February 15, 2011 - Students, Legislators Work to Curb Bullying - WLKY

A Jefferson County lawmaker is working to strengthen anti-bullying legislation for Kentucky schools.  A bill is expected to be heard next week in Frankfort.  “I'm not wanting to go to school in the morning. I just want to stay home,” said ninth grader Aye Jay Long.  Long, a Bullitt County student, said for two months, he's been constantly bulled at school because of his sexual orientation.  Read more...

 

February 9, 2011 - Support Grows in Ky. for Equality - Yahoo News

The Fairness Campaign, Kentucky's gay rights organization, reports that 83% of respondents to a recent survey voiced support for gay and lesbian protections in housing, public accommodations, and the workplace.  The Fairness Campaign, which conducted the survey, says only 65% supported those protections in 2004.  Read more...

 

February 9, 2011 - Support Grows in Ky. for Equality - Gay Life Blogs

The Fairness Campaign, Kentucky’s gay rights organization, reports that 83% of respondents to a recent survey voiced support for gay and lesbian protections in housing, public accommodations, and the workplace.  Read more...

 

February 9, 2011 - Support Grows in Ky. for Equality - Advocate.com

A coalition of Kentucky human rights groups is reporting that 83% of respondents to a recent survey voiced support for gay and lesbian protections in housing, public accommodations, and the workplace.  The groups, which conducted the survey, say only 65% supported those protections in 2004.  “The survey results confirm what we hear in talking to our neighbors throughout the state — Kentuckians want to be fair, but many have no idea that employers can legally fire people for being gay or transgender or deny them housing or service in a restaurant, “ noted Michael Aldridge, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky.  Read more...

 

February 7, 2011 - Group Says Survey Proves Attitudes Toward Gay and Transgendered Changing in KY - WUKY

A new survey of registered voters in Kentucky shows an increase in the belief that anti-discrimination laws should apply to members of the gay and transgendered community. The poll commissioned by the Kentucky Statewide Fairness Coalition, shows that 83 percent of the 600 respondents, favor such protections in the workplace, in housing, and public accommodations; such as restaurants and hospitals. Craig Cammack is Chair of Lexington Fairness, one of five organizations that comprise the coalition.  Read more...

 

February 7, 2011 - Group: Strong support for statewide ban on job discrimination based on sexual orientation - WKYT

A Kentucky gay rights group released a survey today that shows strong support for a statewide ban on employment discrimination, when it comes to sexual orientation.  A survey commissioned by the Fairness Coalition showed 83 percent of Kentuckians surveyed agree with the concept of a law that forbids job discrimination.  Read more...

 

February 7, 2011 - Kentucky Fairness Alliance survey shows Kentucky a tolerant state - WHAS11

Kentucky is a state of fairness according to a new survey by the Kentucky Fairness Alliance. That survey finds that 83-percent of Kentuckians believe gay people should be protected from discrimination at work, in housing, and in restaurants. Nick Wilkerson, Board of Directors of the Kentucky Fairness Alliance says “This is just another piece of the evidence that Kentuckians, at heart, believe in fairness and want to extend human rights to everyone.”  Read more...

 

February 7, 2011 - Vast Majority of Kentuckians Support Fairness - LezGetReal

Just over 50 years ago, Kentucky became the civil rights leader in the South when it passed the 1960 Human Rights Act.  Since then, cities like Lexington, Louisville, and Covington have all worked tirelessly to honor this legacy by enacting fairness ordinances – laws that ensure everyone in our commonwealth has equal protection.  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.  Read more...

 

 

February 7, 2011 - Survey finds support growing in Kentucky for gay protections - Courier-Journal

More than 83 percent of Kentuckians believe that gay and transgender people should be protected from discrimination in the workplace, in housing and public accommodations such as restaurants, according to a new statewide survey released Monday.  The survey of 600 registered voters was commissioned by the Fairness Coalition, an organization of five groups including the ACLU, The Fairness Campaign and the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights. The protection from discrimination finding marked an increase from 2004, when 65 percent said they supported such protections.  Read more...

 

 

February 7, 2011 - Fairness Issues Gain Support in Ky. - WLKY

Kentucky is a state of fairness. That was the announcement Monday from the statewide fairness coalition.  For the first time since 2006, the organization released new, statewide numbers showing a 20 point gain in support for fairness issues.   “We now have empirical evidence that Kentucky is a state of fairness,” said Chris Hartman with the Fairness Campaign.  Read more... 

 

February 7, 2011 - Survey: More Kentuckians oppose discrimination against gays - Lexington Hearld-Leader

Some 83 percent of Kentuckians say gay people should be protected from discrimination in the workplace, in housing and in public places such as restaurants, according to a survey released Monday by the statewide Fairness Coalition. That is an increase of 18 percentage points since 2004, when a similar survey was conducted.  "I think the numbers will shock people across the state," said Chris Hartman, director of the Fairness Campaign, one of five groups that are part of the umbrella coalition that works for equality for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Kentuckians.  Read more...

 

February 7, 2011 - Fairness campaign sees broad support for gay rights - FOX41

The Fairness Coalition says a survey reveals 83 percent of Kentuckians support statewide fairness protections.  That's a nearly twenty point gain in support since 2004.  The coalition on Monday released the results of a statewide survey of 600 registered voters.  Chris Hartman, the Director of the Fairness Campaign, told Fox 41 News, "83% of Kentucky believe that their citizens should all have a fair chance to earn a living, to have a roof over their head, and to visit their favorite restaurants or other public accommodations without the fear of being discriminated against on the basis of simply who they are."  Read more...

 

February 7, 2011 - Fairness Survey Shows Shifting Attitudes in Kentucky - WFPL

According to a new survey, most Kentuckians support protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender citizens.  The Fairness Coalition has released the results of the first survey on the topic in six years. (PDF of the results) The poll, which the coalition commissioned, shows majority support for protections from discrimination in housing and employment and the extension of hospital visitation rights to LGBT partners.  That support has increased since the last such survey. Fairness Campaign Director Chris Hartman says that may be related to the rise in responders who say they know LGBT individuals.  Read more...  

   

February 6, 2011 - 'Fairness' gaining in Kentucky - Courier-Journal

Kentucky — it's a state of Fairness. While it may come as a surprise to many who do not believe their neighbors share their same values, we now have empirical evidence that an overwhelming majority of Kentuckians support Fairness for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) citizens.  A newly released survey shows 83 percent of registered Kentucky voters agree that LGBT people should be protected from discrimination in the workplace, in housing, and in restaurants or other forms of public accommodations — a nearly 20-point gain in support since 2004.  Read more... 

 

February 6, 2011 - Gay-rights survey results to be released Monday - Courier-Journal

Kentucky's Fairness Coalition of organizations working for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality will release the results of a statewide survey on fairness issues in Kentucky at 10:30 a.m. Monday at the Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville.  The survey is the first on gay-rights issues in Kentucky in six years.  It addressed 10 issues, including employment discrimination protections, hospital visitation rights, bullying and relationship recognition.  Read more...   

 

Janurary 26, 2011 - For gay and lesbian couples in Kentucky, marriage is costly, complicated and legally shaky - Courier-Journal

Bryan Gatewood is effectively married — except in all the ways he isn't. The 39-year-old Louisville attorney has been in a relationship with his partner, Allen, for 10 years. They own a home and have a 3-year-old son they adopted together. They've also taken a handful of legal steps that render to each other some, albeit not many, of the rights married couples enjoy. “We are always together,” he said. “Our friends think of us as a married couple. Our families think that way.” Read more... 

  

January 8, 2011 - Yarmuth: 'It gets better' - Courier-Journal

Third District Congressman John Yarmuth continues to impress with his — dare we say it — mavericky ways. He has become just the second member of the House of Representatives (former Speaker Nancy Pelosi was the first) to make a video for itgetsbetter.org, the groundbreaking web site that carries messages of hope and inspiration for gay and lesbian teens who are struggling with their sexual identity and/or bullying. The Louisville Democrat was approached to do the video, which is about two minutes long, and he delivered his message because he believes in the project.  Read more... 

 

January 8, 2011 - Organizations gather to oppose immigration bill - Courier-Journal

About 80 people gathered Saturday to talk about how to stop controversial immigration legislation passed Friday by the state Senate.  “It should have us all angry,” said Ron Russell, an immigration attorney in Louisville and a participant in the Kentucky May Day Coalition, which helped organize the meeting at the Americana Community Center on Southside Drive.  Russell said the bill “is against every person in Kentucky's interests.”  Read more...   

 

January 5, 2011 - New officials not in favor of fairness ordinance - The Richmond Register

The newly elected Richmond mayor and city commissioners do not favor adopting a “fairness ordinance” to ban discrimination against gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and transgendered (LGBT) people in employment, hiring and public accommodations.  The city’s Human Rights Commission got that news Monday night as it met with new Mayor Jim Barnes, commissioners Donna Baird and Richard Thomas and City Attorney Garrett Fowles.  Read more... 

 

December 26, 2010 - Barriers have fallen in military, but others remain - Courier-Journal

Barriers fell last week. As President Obama signed into law repeal of the military's discriminatory “don't ask, don't tell” policy, which has caused the forcible discharge of more than 13,000 of our nation's service members since its 1993 introduction, we witnessed perhaps the most sweeping anti-discrimination reform of our nation's armed forces since President Harry S. Truman's 1948 executive order desegregating the military. We must look to this event as a first step on a long path to full freedom and equality in America, but there are still so many left to tread along this journey.  Read more... 

 

December 22, 2010 - Fairness Campaign Director Hopes for "Domino Effect" After DADT - WFPL

Members of the Kentucky General Assembly are preparing for the 2011 session. And the head of Louisville’s Fairness Campaign hopes the legislature will take a cue from the U.S. Congress on one issue.  Chris Hartman is hoping the repeal of the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy will cause a domino effect that leads to more legislation protecting gay and lesbian rights. For instance, Hartman would like to see a law passed in Kentucky that bars employers from discriminating based on sexual orientation.  Read more...

 

December 21, 2010 - Fairness Coalition is awarded $50,000 - Business First

Kentucky’s Statewide Fairness Coalition has been awarded $50,000 to promote lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality across the state in 2011, according to a news release.The money, an increase from $30,000 last year, is from the Tides Foundation’s State Equality Fund, a philanthropic partnership.  Read more...

 

December 21, 2010 - Fairness Coalition gets $50,000 foundation grant - Courier-Journal

Kentucky's state-wide Fairness Coalition organization has received a $50,000 grant to promote lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality across the commonwealth in 2011.  The money is from 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.  Read more...  

 

November 24, 2010 - Fairness amendment left to new commission - The Richmond Register

The passage of an amended human rights ordinance should be tackled by the newly elected mayor and commission, according to Richmond Mayor Connie Lawson. The ordinance’s amendment was a major part of Tuesday’s workshop session and commission meeting, with several speaking out in favor of the amendment that would include protection for lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender individuals. “I think the new mayor and commission will have to act on this because we’re not going to have time to act on these things,” Lawson said. “We’ll be passing this on to the new commission.”  Read more...  

 

November 20, 2010 - 'Fairness ordinance' to be discussed - The Richmond Register

Only three Kentucky cities — Covington, Lexington and Louisville — prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation. Richmond could be the fourth if it adopts a revision to its Human Rights Ordinance proposed at least two years ago by its Human Rights Commission. On Nov. 9, Lee Cummings of the Kentucky Fairness Alliance appeared before the commission asking it to take action.  Read more...  

 

November 20, 2010 - 'Day of Remembrance' memoralizes transgender  people murdered around the world - Courier-Journal

Holly Knight, a local advocate for transgender people, estimates there are several thousand living in Louisville, approximately 50 of whom attended Saturday evening’s Transgender Day of Remembrance Memorial Service at Metropolitan Community Church in the Highlands.  The 12th annual event, which also was attended by family members, friends and community supporters, wearing black arm bands with silver butterflies painted on them, commemorated more than 320 transgender people known to have been killed throughout the world as a result of anti-transgender hatred and bigotry since 1998.  Read more...

 

November 17, 2010 - Activities announced for transgender awareness week in Louisville - Courier-Journal

The Fairness Campaign has announced activities for Louisville's Transgender Week of Awareness, including the 12th annual Transgender Day of Remembrance memorial service at 7 p.m. Saturday at Metropolitan Community Church, 1432 Highland Ave.  The service will commemorate the more than 320 known transgender individuals who have lost their lives to anti-trans violence since 1998. Eleven names have been added to that list so far in 2010.  Read more...

 

November 10, 2010 - Fairness for all - The Richmond Register

Progress on revising Richmond’s human rights ordinance to ensure fairness for all people, regardless of sexual orientation and/or gender identity, remains at a standstill.  For the second time this year, the issue was put before the city commission Tuesday night, but it took no action. The proposed revision had been discussed in May during a commission work session.  Lee Cummings of the Kentucky Fairness Alliance told the commission if Richmond revised its ordinance, one quarter of the state would be protected from discrimination based on sexual orientation and/or gender identity.  Read more... 

 

November 10, 2010 - Clifton, Permit granted for women's recovery group - Courier-Journal

Teen Challenge of Kentucky has been granted a permit to house a faith-based, women's substance-abuse residential recovery program in a former Salvation Army building at 1701 Payne St. in Clifton.  However, the agency is still deliberating whether to buy the building and move the program there, Clayton Arp, the agency's state director said last week.  Read more... 

 

November 1, 2010 - Fischer, Heiner Campaign on Final Day - WLKY

For the first time since the beginning of merged government, Metro Louisville voters will select a new mayor, and Democrat Greg Fischer and Republican Hal Heiner made their final pitches to voters Monday.  Fisher went to the family of the blizzard as part of his final flurry of campaigning – a Dairy Queen in the 4100 block of Taylor Boulevard. Heiner came to Atlas Machine & Supply to speak to some of the employees around the lunch table.  Read more...

 

November 1, 2010 - Polls Fluctuate, Endorsements Vary in Mayor's Race - WFPL

Fourteen months of campaigning will come to an end Tuesday as Louisvillians elect a new mayor.  Two active candidates remain in the race: Democrat Greg Fischer and Republican Hal Heiner. Polls of the contest have fluctuated. At first, the race appeared to be tied, then Fischer gained increasingly wide leads. Last week, a Bluegrass Poll showed a reversal, with Heiner leading by seven points.  Read more... 

 

October 20, 2010 - Fairness activists believe two break-ins may be hate crimes - Courier-Journal

Two burglaries with identical patterns of vandalism committed against homeowners who are homosexual have many local activists believing that the acts should be viewed as hate crimes.  Police are not currently investigating the break-ins — which occurred in Germantown and the Highlands — as hate crimes because the types of vandalism did not necessarily indicate that homosexual couples were targeted, said Maj. Steve Green, division commander for Louisville Metro Police’s fourth division.  Read more... 

 

October 20, 2010 - Were recent burglaries, vandalisms hate crimes? Fairness Campaign thinks so - WHAS11

 

October 20, 2010 - Local break-ins could be hate crimes - FOX41

Louisville Metro Police are looking into a series of burglaries in the Original Highlands and Germantown neighborhoods.  Some of the crimes could also be prosecuted as hate crimes.  "The house was ransacked, every drawer was dumped and then the smell of bleach all through the house," says Bob Cundiff, the homeowner.  Read more...

 

October 19, 2010 - Louisville officials, Fairness Campaign to speak out against anti-gay crimes - Courier-Journal

Louisville and other officials will join the Fairness Campaign on Wednesday to speak out against hate crimes targeting gay homeowners.  The statements come after two similar burglaries and acts of vandalism at homes in Germantown and the Original Highlands.  The crimes were committed within two weeks of each other in September and both homes were vandalized with bleach and toilet bowl cleaner, destroying furniture, clothing and electronics, according to a news release from the Fairness Campaign.  Read more... 

 

October 12, 2010 - Groups stand against anti-gay bullying - LEO Weekly

Joining with the Louisville Youth Group, 19 different agencies throughout Kentuckiana are hosting a discussion to take a stand against anti-gay bullying in the city. The organizations will host a community forum to address the succession of teen suicides that have reportedly been caused by online bullying of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered youth.  Read more...

 

October 10, 2010 - Providing safety net for LGBT youth - Courier-Journal

Years ago, I worked as a crisis-line volunteer. A couple of nights a week, I'd be the person on the phone to listen, to reflect and to refer when someone called and needed help. It was sad, satisfying and occasionally scary work. I did it for a while, until I had a baby, and then my time got really tight and I had to stop. But I have never forgotten what it was like to hold the receiver of a phone and hear a troubled voice on the other end. Sometimes, all the person wanted was for someone to listen, and I tried my best to provide that caring ear.  Read more... 

 

October 4, 2010 - Activist, Police Chief Discuss Possible Hate Crimes - WLKY

Louisville's police chief met with the director of the Fairness Campaign after two burglaries led to concerns of hate crimes.  Two Louisville homes within blocks of each other, both occupied by gay couples, were vandalized with ketchup, bleach and toilet cleaner over the past few weeks.  The incidents have attracted more than local interest -- since the first incident almost two weeks ago, WLKY's coverage has gotten more than 6,000 hits online from all over the world.  Read more...

 

October 3, 2010 - Director of Louisville Fairness Campaign talks about local gay bullying and changes coming - WHAS11

The suicide of a gay Rutgers University freshman has brought the discussion about gay bullying to the forefront recently.  Tyler Clementi's was supposed to perform with the Rutgers Orchestra this weekend, instead his death has taken center stage in the discussion about gay and cyber bullying.  Read more... 

 

October 1, 2010 - How big of an issue are gay rights and benefits in Louisville's mayoral race? - WHAS11

 

September 30, 2010 - Fairness PAC endorses Herndon - LEO Weekly

The political action committee of the Fairness Campaign, C-FAIR, announced its final round of endorsements for the upcoming general election, and in the four-way race for the Metro Council’s 6th District seat, the group has given write-in candidate Ken Herndon the nod. The gay rights group cites Herndon’s “encyclopedic knowledge” of the district, which is unparalleled by his opponents, according to a news release.  Read more...

 

September 30, 2010 - 2nd Couple Claims Vandal Targets Homesexuals - WLKY

Some local residents fear a burglar is targeting the homes of homosexual couples. While police aren't confirming that, residents affected said that's exactly what happened.  Earlier this month, Keith McGill and Jim Reeves said someone stole a TV, prescription drugs and cash from their home on East Kentucky Street. The intruders also poured bleach on the men's clothes and soda, fruit juice and ketchup on the wall and floor.  Another homosexual couple in the same area said the same thing happened to them on Saturday.  Read more... 

 

September 29, 2010 - Social-justice groups promoting voter awareness Sunday - Courier-Journal

A coalition of grassroots social justice groups is sponsoring an event in Baxter Square Park on Sunday aimed at empowering voters and better connecting citizens to the voting process.  Local political candidates have been invited to speak, including candidates for mayor.  The event — Power To The People Jazz & Spoken Word Fest For Voter Madness — at noon at the park at 12th and Jefferson streets is open to the public. It is scheduled to run until around 7 p.m.; refreshments will be provided.  Read more... 

 

September 22, 2010 - Fairness Campaign voted Best Nonprofit by LEO's Readers' Choice Awards - LEO Weekly

It’s that time of year again — a time when we let you, the reader, determine the best our fair city has to offer, from all-you-can-eat deals and fine dining to church picnics and strip clubs. We welcome your votes, even when we seriously disagree, and we present the winners in these pages without interference, aside from correcting the occasional mangled word (it turns out very few people can spell Muhammad Ali or Peter Berkowitz correctly).  Read more... 

 

September 21, 2010 - Fairness Campaign releases endorsements - WHAS11

The Fairness Campaign has endorsed a number of candidates in Jefferson County, including Greg Fischer For Mayor.  The group is best known for fighting discrimination against gay and transgender people.  “I am honored to have the Fairness endorsement,” Fischer said in a statement. “I believe Louisville needs a mayor for the 21st Century – and that means a city that will not tolerate anything less than equal civil rights for everyone.”  Read more... 

 

September 20, 2010 - Fairness Campaign endorses Greg Fischer for Louisville Mayor - Courier-Journal

The Fairness Campaign, a Louisville group that promotes equal rights for gay and transgender people, has endorsed Democrat Greg Fischer for mayor.  The organization said it endorsed Fischer “with fervor.”  Fischer's major-party opponent in the race is Republican Hal Heiner, a Louisville Metro Council member who voted against the Fairness Ordinance, which prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation.  Read more... 

 

September 7, 2010 - Fairness Campaign Hosts Forum on Arizona Immigration Law - WFPL

The Louisville Fairness Campaign has scheduled a community conversation this (Wed) evening focusing on Arizona’s controversial immigration law.  Director Chris Hartman’s group and other organizations have been speaking out against the law, which they believe is discriminatory.   “The Fairness Campaign is largely seen as an organization that just deals with lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender equal rights. But really we feel that all forms of prejudice in America are connected and that Arizona’s immigration law and the type of racial profiling and that sort of discrimination is equally as destructive,” he said.  Read more... 

  

September 3, 2010 - Fairness group plans forum on Arizona immigration law - Courier-Journal

The Fairness Campaign has scheduled a “community conversation” Wednesday on reducing prejudice, focusing on Arizona’s controversial immigration law.  The open forum will be at 6:30 p.m. at the Main Library’s Centennial Room, 301 York St.  The session is titled the “A-Z’s of Prejudice” and continues the "People Not Profiles" campaign that the organization launched in late July with a march and street theater at 4th Street Live. Participants included a coalition of more than a dozen social-justice organizations opposing the Arizona immigration law.  Read more... 

 

September 1, 2010 - Fairness Campaign to Hold Community Conversation Regarding AZ Immigration Law - Lez Get Real

The Fairness Campaign’s Dismantling Racism Committee is hosting “A-Z’s of Prejudice.”  The community conversation is especially focusing on the recently enacted discriminatory immigration law in Arizona and how that effects the LGBT community.  It will be held on 8 September at 6:30pm in the Louisville Main Public Library’s Centennial Room.  Admission to the conversation is free and open to the public.  Read more... 

 

August 26, 2010 - Why Does the Kentucky Farm Bureau Loathe Gay People? - Change.org

When you hear the words Kentucky Farm Bureau, what comes to mind? Agriculture, farming, and rural America, perhaps? Indeed, the Kentucky Farm Bureau has been around for generations, working with farmers in Kentucky to improve the quality of life and the economy, as well as offer insurance.  With such a deep and historic focus on agriculture, it makes one wonder why the Kentucky Farm Bureau also has some disturbingly anti-gay and homophobic positions. For an organization supposedly dedicated to "serving as the voice of agriculture" in Kentucky, does it make much sense for them to weigh in on issues related to gay rights?  Read  more... 

 

August 25, 2010 - Down on the Farm - LEO Weekly

The first car Hampton “Hoppy” Henton ever drove was a Chevrolet Biscayne.  “It was an ugly thing,” recalls the 62-year-old Woodford County farmer, “but it ran.”  The Hentons insured the Biscayne with Kentucky Farm Bureau Insurance, the commonwealth’s largest property and casualty insurance provider, because, as Henton puts it, “The Farm Bureau is just something you’re born into. My father was a member, and I’m a former director at the state and county levels.”  But the self-described “yellow dog Democrat,” whose 200-year-old family farm pre-dates the commonwealth, finds himself regularly chafing against the Farm Bureau’s conservative political stances, which he claims distract from the bureau’s true agenda, which increasingly favors big agribusiness over family farms like his own.  Read more...

 

August 24, 2010 - Walk aims to fight sex discrimination - The Richmond Register

The Kentucky Fairness Alliance is hitting the streets to raise awareness and fight discrimination against sexual orientation and gender identity in jobs, housing and public places.  Walk for Fairness is scheduled for 11 a.m. on Saturday at the Alumni Coliseum parking lot at Eastern Kentucky University.  Registration begins at 10 a.m.  “Our main focus is to get a statewide law to protect the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community from discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations,” said Travis Myles, of Louisville, who is the chair of the Kentucky Fairness Alliance.  Read more...

 

August 13, 2010 - A cringe moment - Courier-Journal

President Obama and his policies are fair game for right-wing radio hosts — and anyone else. But Mandy Connell of 84WHAS upset a lot of people last week when she described the President, the son of a white American mother and a black Kenyan father, as a “young half-breed.”  Chris Hartman, director of the city's Fairness Campaign, e-mail blasted an audio link of the show that included Ms. Connell, apparently aware of her faux pas, explaining, “I say half-breed not in a derogatory way. It was just the first thing I thought of.”  Read more... 

 

August 11, 2010 - Rational Nation - LEO Weekly

I’m all for committed relationships, but personally I’m just not the marrying type. When same-sex marriage is (eventually) legalized on the federal level, I don’t know that I will be running to City Hall in my wedding dress, or white tux, or whatever it is I might choose to wear. What I have a problem with is that some dude with a “God Hates Fags” sign has more rights than I do. That just doesn’t make any sense.  Read more...

 

August 10, 2010 - Tweets could shed light on 'half-breed' comment - LEO Weekly

The uproar over 84 WHAS radio personality Mandy Connell calling President Barack Obama “a young half-breed man” has subsided, but it seems those racially insensitive comments may not have been the first the conservative host has used. A Twitter account that appears to belong to Connell contains attacks on Obama and possible racist language, including talk of wearing a white sheet.  Read more... 

 

August 6, 2010 - Mandy Connell apologizes for calling Obama, 'half-breed' - WHAS11.com

84WHAS Radio's Mandy Connell is apologizing for calling President Barack Obama a "half-breed" on her mid-morning show this week.  Radio station management says it has accepted her apology for the slur and she will not be disciplined.  The comment prompted a facebook driven protest by the Fairness Campaign.  The Courier-Journal's Tom Loftus spoke to Connell and to the Fairness Campaign's Chris Hartman.  Read more... 

 

August 6, 2010 - WHAS Radio talk show host Mandy Connell apologizes for Obama remark - Courier-Journal

WHAS Radio talk show host Mandy Connell said Friday that she regrets and cannot explain how she came to use the phrase “half-breed” to describe President Barack Obama on the air Wednesday morning.  “I was embarrassed and shocked that it came out of my mouth, and I sort of stumbled when I said it. I don’t know why I said that,” Connell said in a telephone interview. “It’s not a word I use on any occasion, ever.”  Connell’s use of the term has prompted about 50 complaints to WHAS management, some of them asking that she be fired.  Read more... 

 

August 6, 2010 - Talk show host apologizes for remark about Obama - Lexington Herald-Leader

A radio talk show host in Louisville has apologized for calling President Barack Obama a "half-breed" on the air.  Mandy Connell of WHAS apologized Thursday after making the comment Wednesday, saying "I was embarrassed for myself."  The group "The Fairness Campaign" complained about the remark, and WHAS operations director Kelly Carls said Friday the station had received some calls about it.  Read more... 

 

August 4, 2010 - Jerry's kids - LEO Weekly

If Louisville voters have reasons to hesitate in supporting Republican mayoral candidate and Metro Councilman Hal Heiner, R-19, this November, his opposition to the Fairness ordinance could be chief among them.  Following a decade of heated protests and high-profile discrimination incidents, the Louisville Board of Alderman passed a historic city bill prohibiting discrimination against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals in 1999.  Read more... 

 

August 4, 2010 - Papers, please? - LEO Weekly

Just after noon, as the lunchtime crowd at Fourth Street Live is beginning to swell, dozens of demonstrators — many of them clad in white T-shirts emblazoned with the word “immigration” — ask to see the citizenship papers of patrons and passers-by.  “Can I see your papers, please?” they inquire.  Their audience, mostly white business-types en route to the food court, answers with quizzical looks and furrowed brows. Most just shake their heads, wave their hands “no” and keep walking, never bothering to make eye contact with the faux Gestapo.  Read more...

 

July 29, 2010 - Demonstrators opposed to Arizona law try to make a point in Louisville - Courier-Journal

Dozens of protesters denounced Arizona's pending immigration law outside federal offices in Louisville Thursday, then marched to the 4th Street Live district for "street theater" in which they confronted white passers-by with demands to see their citizenship papers.  "Sorry to disturb your walk, but you look like you're running across the border," demonstrator Shelton McElroy said to one woman on a brisk exercise walk through the restaurant district. "You have glasses on — are you hiding something?" he said to another woman wearing sunglasses.  Read more... 

 

July 28, 2010 - Louisville Groups to Protest AZ Immigration Law - LezGetReal.com

Over a dozen Louisville social justice organizations will join cities across the nation to protest the unjust Arizona immigration law, SB1070, set to go into effect on Thursday, July 29, 2010. This event is in solidarity with people facing anti-immigrant attacks in Arizona, and is intended to continue building a community here in Kentucky to say “No to Hate” directed at anyone.  Read more... 

 

July 21, 2010 - Fairness Over Louisville - LEO Weekly

There’s something intriguing about partying on the roof of a tall building. The lights of the city mix with the sky’s flickering orbs and passing UPS planes to create an intoxicating atmosphere of mischief and delight. The Fairness Campaign will tap into this energy at the second annual “Fairness Over Louisville” fundraiser on Saturday, taking over the rooftop of the Frazier History Museum.  Read more... 

 

July 12, 2010 - MSNBC anchor to speak at 'Fairness Over Louisville' fundraiser - Courier-Journal

MSNBC political news anchor Contessa Brewer will speak at the second annual "Fairness Over Louisville" fundraiser on the roof of the Frazier International History Museum on July 24.  Brewer, host of the program "Caught on Camera," is scheduled to speak on the need for a statewide anti-discrimination law.  The event to benefit the Fairness Campaign will be held from 8 p.m. to midnight at the museum, 829 W. Main St.  Read more...  

 

July 7, 2010 - Staffpicks - LEO Weekly

Augusto Boal, a Brazilian director, writer and politician, believed theater could be used for more than entertainment and artistic expression — it could be a vehicle to give a voice to and empower members of oppressed communities, so he developed a performance style in the 1970s known as Theatre of the Oppressed. This week, the Fairness Campaign and Women in Transition are joining forces and exploring this theatrical form, hosting a workshop and performance, addressing social justice problems, and working out possible solutions.  Read more... 

 

June 30, 2010 - NAACP says race is a factor as council chooses Unseld replacement - Courier-Journal

After interviewing ten applicants who have applied to fill the seat vacated by the death of Metro Councilman George Unseld, the Louisville Metro Council is set to name a successor in a vote late Wednesday afternoon.  Council members say they have been lobbied to consider various factors and applicants, including a hard press from the NAACP and CFAIR, the political action committee of the Fairness Campaign.  Read more...  

 

June 23, 2010 - Jerry's kids - LEO Weekly

With 20 applicants seeking to replace the late George Unseld, who died earlier this month after collapsing in his third floor office at City Hall, residents in the 6th District are anxious to hear from the councilman’s would-be successors.  “I’m eager to hear their plan for Old Louisville. The neighborhood needs a lot of work,” says Ron Harris, vice-chairman of the Old Louisville Neighborhood Council. “And Councilman Unseld did a great deal for this community and for the California neighborhood as well.”  Read more...

 

June 23, 2010 - Council weighs race vs. gay rights to choose Unseld replacement - Courier-Journal

Should a candidate's race or stance on gay rights determine who the Metro Council will select to replace the late George Unseld, who was black and who was a proponent of gay rights?  The NAACP says the seat needs to be filled by an African-American.  Yet, the Fairness Campaign is endorsing one of its co-founder's, Ken Herndon, who is white.  Herndon narrowly lost to Unseld in the 2008 Democratic primary.  Read more...

 

June 22, 2010 - CFAIR endorses Herndon for vacant council seat - LEO Weekly

The political action committee of the Fairness Campaign, C-FAIR, has endorsed former Metro Council candidate Ken Herndon for the appointment to fill the 6th District seat left vacant by the sudden death of George Unseld.  “Given Councilman Unseld’s legacy of service to his district and commitment to civil rights, C-FAIR urges the Metro Council to appoint the candidate who best reflects George’s passionate devotion to his constituency and to social justice,” says Nick Wilkerson, the committee’s co-chair. “We believe that person is undeniably Ken Herndon.”  Read more...

 

June 18, 2010 - Downtown Pride Parade includes call for statewide fairness - Courier-Journal

Chris Hartman readied his 50 volunteers at the head of the annual Pride Parade, taking moments to call instructions through a megaphone.  Hartman, director of the Fairness Campaign, a Louisville group that promotes rights for gay and transgender people, and others marched in silent protest, calling for a statewide anti-discrimination law based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The volunteers wore costumes of white balloons and put duct tape over their mouths to symbolize their lost voice without such a law, as Hartman said has been done in similar displays across the country.  Read more...

 

June 18, 2010 - KY Fairness Launches “NOH8 in Our State” Campaign - Lez Get Real

Led by Faith Leaders for Fairness, more than 50 Kentucky Fairness Campaign volunteers will silently march with their mouths duct taped shut and bearing the iconic “NOH8” face paint to call for passage of a statewide anti-discrimination Fairness law now in the annual Kentuckiana Pride Parade tonight, 8:15 p.m. from Preston and Market Streets to the Belvedere, 5th and Main.  Read more...

 

June 16, 2010 - Recovery program seeks OK for new site - Courier-Journal

An agency that operates a faith-based, women's substance-abuse residential recovery program out of a three-story Victorian home on East Broadway in Phoenix Hill is applying for a permit to move the program to a larger site on Payne Street in Clifton, where it has already sparked a controversy.  Teen Challenge of Kentucky is "going to cautiously proceed," Clayton Arp, the agency's state director, said last week. Teen Challenge serves women 18 and older at Priscilla's Place, 1151 E. Broadway.  Read more...

 

June 16, 2010 - Pride and prejudice - LEO Weekly

When the Kentuckiana Pride Fest parade rolls down Main Street Friday night, you can be certain of two things — there will be rainbows, there will be smiles. KPF is celebrating 10 years of the Pride Festival this weekend, a milestone by any measure. But all was not always rainbows and drag queens — many members of the Louisville LGBT community remember the days when protests and bullhorns took the place of floats and glitter. And to truly take pride in how far we’ve come, it’s important to look at where we’ve been.  Read more...

 

June 16, 2010 - Open and affirming - LEO Weekly

When the Rev. Ryan Kemp-Pappan began calling around to area churches in 2008 to solicit membership for the then-dormant group Faith Leaders for Fairness, the response was mixed. Clergy — at least the ones who returned his phone calls — said that while they supported gays, lesbians and transgender people showing up in the pews on Sunday, they couldn’t say so from the pulpit.  “Some would say, ‘I support this, but I can’t openly say this in my community,’” says Kemp-Pappan, associate pastor at Douglass Boulevard Christian Church. “Their community is being more conservative.”  Read more...

 

June 16, 2010 - Unwaivering Unseld - LEO Weekly

With the passing of George Unseld, Fairness has lost one of the most persistent, wise and genuine “friends in high places” we have ever had.  George was never an elected official we had to “convince” of every human being’s right to equality. He never put his finger to the wind to see if supporting justice for LGBT people was the “smart” thing to do politically. What mattered to George was whether it was just.  Read more...

 

June 16, 2010 - That was George - LEO Weekly

Whenever George Unseld was about to make a point in City Hall, the usually reticent lawmaker stood up slowly. Known to be reserved and introspective, the 6-foot-7, all-state center from the Newburg neighborhood understood that in politics, as with basketball, size does matter.  “George certainly knew how to use his large stature and persona in a political way,” says state Rep. Reginald Meeks, D-Louisville, who served with Unseld on the Board of Aldermen. “I’ve seen him stand up and over people purposefully. And he knew how to use that effectively, but it was tactfully done.”  Read more...

 

June 15, 2010 - Fairness Committment - Courier-Journal

Louisville's Fairness community has been struck a profound blow this month with the loss of two of our movement's pioneer leaders -- Rev. George Edwards and Councilman George Unseld -- who both fought selflessly for the rights of others. The volume of notes and messages the Fairness Campaign has received from supporters marking the significance of these two men's passing has been incredible, and for good reason.  Read more...

 

June 8, 2010 - Edwards 'was a justice teacher'- Courier-Journal

With the passing of George Edwards, the peace and justice movement in Louisville has lost one of its most persistent, consistent, and fiercely love-motivated voices for a better world.  I was six when I first heard George speak, at a gathering against the Vietnam War outside the old federal building on Broadway. And what a voice it was. For over half a century, when it came to war, exploitation, Occupation, discrimination, inequity -- each and every one of the various hypocrisies of U.S. democracy -- his booming bass of a preacher's voice was never silent.  Read more...

 

June 7, 2010 - Lally hopes Tea Party, DADT will help unseat Yarmuth - LEO Weekly

After easily beating three other Republican challengers in the GOP primary, UPS pilot Todd Lally is set to challenge U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth for Kentucky’s 3rd congressional district seat. And despite being in a race that was largely under the radar, the political newcomer enters the contest with a noted boost from the Tea Party movement and a set of firm conservative principles to match.  Read more...

 

June 1, 2010 - Blood Shortage Could Eliminate 27-Year-Old Ban - WLKY 32

Every year, there is a shortage of donated blood somewhere in the country, sometimes reaching a critical stage, and that's why a federal agency is looking at lifting a ban that prevents homosexual men from donating blood.  For 27 years, gay men have been banned from donating blood. AIDS and the HIV virus first came under the microscope around 1983, but since that time, medical insight has changed, and some say the ban should, too.  "It's time to lift this archaic ban," said Chris Hartman of the Louisville Fairness Campaign.  Read more...  

 

May 31, 2010 - FDA to reconsider ban on gay men donating blood - WHAS 11

Since 1983, there's been a ban on gay men donating blood.  Some call the lifetime-deferral antiquated, while others say it's a health issue.  But after 27 years in existence, the FDA is reviewing the ban.  WHAS11’s Adrianna Hopkins was at the American Red Cross in downtown Louisville with the story.  Read more...

 

May 26, 2010 - Where we have been, where we can go - LEO Weekly

Twenty years ago, the LGBT community in Louisville was planting seeds of political activism that have grown to make our city the gay-friendly home it is today.  In 1990, gay rights activists persuaded the Louisville Board of Alderman to pass a hate crimes ordinance that included the category of sexual orientation. For the first time in Louisville, the law would protect gays and lesbians. That same year, The Letter, Louisville’s gay newspaper, began publication. It was first distributed in June 1990 at the “Pride Picinic,” which, at the time, was a fledgling LGBT festival held on the lawn of the Water Tower. The picnic has since grown into The Kentuckiana Pride Festival, the region’s only annual festival focused on celebrating the fact that the LGBT community plays an important role in the region’s social, cultural and economic landscape.  Read more...

 

May 23, 2010 - Support ENDA anti-discrimination bill - Courier-Journal

The Employment Non-Discrimination Act, or ENDA, (H.R. 3017) would prohibit employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. This is hardly a radical notion since already 40 percent of the U.S. population is protected from such discrimination by virtue of laws in 12 states and over 100 localities. Over a million Kentuckians are protected through local ordinances in Covington, Lexington and Louisville, thanks to the combined efforts of the Kentucky Fairness Alliance, our allies (such as the Fairness Campaign) and fair-minded individuals.  Read more...

 

May 19, 2010 - Guess who's coming to Clifton - LEO Weekly

When Michael O’Leary learned a faith-based drug and alcohol recovery group was looking to move its rehabilitation center for women into his Clifton neighborhood, he welcomed the idea. The 52-year-old grew up in the South End, but he and his partner moved into the diverse community more than a decade ago because it was so inclusive.  Upon reviewing the group’s literature, however, O’Leary found, among other things, a questionnaire that raised the issue of sexual orientation. The material asked interested participants if they were wiling to recognize that being homosexual is sinful, end any lesbian relationships, and abandon being gay altogether.  Read more... 

 

April 12, 2010 - Dallas Official Visits, Learns About Police Chief - WLKY

A top city leader from Dallas was in Louisville to get feedback on Metro Police Chief Robert White.  White is one of six finalists to be the next police chief in Dallas.  His future here in Louisville is uncertain, in part, because the term of his current boss, Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson, will be over at the end of the year.  Three of the candidates for the Dallas job are from within that police department. The other three, including White, are from other cities.  Only WLKY News was there as Fairness Campaign director Chris Hartman greeted Dallas city manager Mary Suhm.  Read more...

 

April 6, 2010 - Fairness Campaign endorses Tandy for Mayor - LEO Weekly

The political action committee of the Fairness Campaign, C-FAIR, has endorsed Metro Councilman David Tandy, D-4, for mayor of Louisville, along with several other candidates seeking public office in the upcoming May primary. The gay rights group’s endorsement process engaged the mayoral candidates in wide-ranging discussions of issues important to both the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, according to its press release.  Read more...

 

March 4, 2010 - Kentucky should lead on fairness - The Winchester Sun

In January of 1966, with Gov. Edward T. Breathitt’s signing of a law Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., called “the strongest and most comprehensive civil rights bill passed by a southern state,” the Commonwealth of Kentucky became the first state in the south to adopt a Civil Rights Act with enforceable repercussions for acts of discrimination.  Two years later, Kentucky was again first in the South, this time in the passage of a statewide fair housing law, which cemented our commonwealth’s legacy as the nation’s southern civil rights leader.  Read more...

 

March 1, 2010 - Ky. should keep leading on fairness for all its citizens - Lexington Herald-Leader

In January 1966, with Gov. Edward T. Breathitt's signing of a law described by the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., as "the strongest and most comprehensive civil rights bill passed by a southern state," Kentucky became the first state in the south to adopt a Civil Rights Act with enforceable repercussions for acts of discrimination. Two years later, Kentucky was again first in the south, this time in the passage of a statewide fair-housing law, which cemented our commonwealth's legacy as the nation's southern civil rights leader.  Read more...

 

February 24, 2010 - Unlearning homophobia (Part 2) - LEO Weekly

My best friend growing up was an African-American boy named Bobby. He looked like all the members of Boys II Men rolled into one, with the mischievousness of Bobby Brown and a smile like Theo Huxtable. We got along well and went everywhere together. He taught me the moves to Janet Jackson’s “Rhythm Nation” video in my parents’ garage and taught me how to do the running man in my Hammer pants.  Read more...

 

February 24, 2010 - Call to support two fairness bills in Kentucky legislature - Fox 41

Make it fair for all Kentucky residents -- that was the message during a rally in Kentucky's Capitol Rotunda Wednesday.  As John Johnson of the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights put it, "On this day my friends -- we call upon our lawmakers to recognize the dignity of human rights of all people in the Commonwealth, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans-sexual and transgender people, for they are all precious in God's sight."  Read more...

 

February 24, 2010 - Gay rights advocates rally for anti-discrimination law - Lexington Herald-Leader

Cries in the Capitol Rotunda Wednesday called for an end to discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Kentuckians.  A rally sponsored by the Kentucky Fairness Alliance filled the Rotunda and featured speeches from two officials with the state Commission on Human Rights and several state lawmakers.  Read more...

 

February 24, 2010 - Gay rights advocates back statewide law - Courier-Journal

Businesses and landlords in Kentucky shouldn’t be allowed to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation, gay rights supporters said at a Capitol rally Wednesday.  They acknowledge that they have a long way to go before passing legislation to achieve that goal. But Christopher Hartman, director of the Louisville Fairness Campaign, said the group is gaining supporters.  Read more...

 

February 16, 2010 - Three decades of change in Louisville's gay and lesbian community - Courier-Journal

Louisville, 1981. No Humana Building. No Center for the Arts. No Waterfront Park. No Galleria (Fourth Street Live). No international airport. Appliance Park was still a major presence. UPS was not. The Watterson Expressway was still a four-lane nightmare. Jerry Abramson was still just one of 12 members of the board of aldermen.  What was happening in Louisville's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community that year? Nothing. There were no annual festivals, no health organizations, no political activism. The community remained pretty much what it had always been: quiet, unobtrusive, sedate, closeted.  Read more...

 

February 15, 2010 - Community Challenge | Promote Fairness, support HB 117 - Courier-Journal

In January of 1966, with Gov. Edward T. Breathitt's signing of a law Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., called “the strongest and most comprehensive civil rights bill passed by a Southern state,” the Commonwealth of Kentucky became the first state in the South to adopt a Civil Rights Act with enforceable repercussions for acts of discrimination. Two years later, Kentucky was again first in the South, this time in the passage of a statewide fair housing law, which cemented our commonwealth's legacy as the nation's southern civil rights leader.  Read more...

 

February 14, 2010 - Love creates one story from 2 people sharing - Courier-Journal

One day last May, two well-dressed, middle-aged men from Louisville stood on an Iowa bluff overlooking the Mississippi River. They were not alone. Charles Raith's father was there as his best man, and Sam Dorr's daughter from his previous marriage stood up with him. Other family and friends filled out the wedding party, as the men prepared to exchange vows.  Read more...

 

February 10, 2010 - Unlearning homophobia - LEO Weekly

Do you use birth control?
No.

Are you sexually active?
Yes.

(Pause)

So why don’t you use birth control?

Awkward! You’d think the gynecologist’s office would be a safe enough place to disclose the intricacies of my sexuality, but this situation proved to be more challenging than I expected. The doctor was basically a stranger, and I had no idea if she was cool with the gay. What if she disagreed with my “lifestyle” and refused to continue with our appointment? What if she saw homosexuality as a sickness? What if she tried to cure me? What if she kicked me out of her office while a crowd formed around me, holding torches and screaming, “Diagnosis lesbian!”  Read more... 

 

February 2, 2010 - How faith speaks to fairness - Courier-Journal 

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.  Read more... 

 

January 2010 - Fairness Director Reflects On First Year & 2010 Legislative Challenges - The Letter

Chris Hartman is just completing his first year of serving as the director of Louisville's Fairness Campaign. We recently interviewed him to ask about highlights of his first year on the job and to give us an idea of what to expect during the 2010 Kentucky legislative session.  Read more...


January 27, 2010 - Alms for the poor? - LEO Weekly

The words “Women in Transition” — written in black marker across the glass door — have faded and are barely legible. Inside, the office is cluttered with used furniture, archaic computer monitors and worn cubicles. The building rumbles, and noticeably aging pipes poke through holes in the ceiling.  Located in the basement of a senior community center in Old Louisville, the nonprofit economic justice group’s headquarters is decorated with pictures of iconic anti-poverty advocates. The modest space is adorned with dozens of poster boards listing handwritten phone numbers and PowerPoint lessons on everything from capitalism to state government.  Read more...



January 27, 2010 - BU students join the fight for fairness - The Concord

On January 16th, several members of Bellarmine University's GLASS (Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Society) attended a Fairness Summit hosted by the Kentucky Statewide Fairness Coalition in Frankfort, Kentucky. The Fairness Coalition is an alliance of five organizations based in Kentucky focused on protecting the rights of LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered) citizens in the state. It is comprised of the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights, Fairness Campaign, Lexington Fairness, Kentucky Fairness Alliance Foundation, and the American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky Foundation.  Learn more...

 

January 19, 2010 - In all Fairness, Mayoral candidates invited to forum - WHAS11

Ten local "social justice organizations" are inviting Louisville mayoral candidates to answer questions specific to the groups' goals at a forum on February 2 at the Metro United Way.  A release from the gay rights group The Fairness Campaign says each organization is non-partisan and that all candidates are invited, regardless of party affiliation.  An earlier news release from the same group announced a $30,000 grant for the Kentucky Statewide Fairness Coalition.  Read more...

 

January 18, 2010 - More forums set for Mayoral candidates - Courier-Journal

Two more forums for candidates for Louisville mayor have been scheduled, one sponsored by social-justice organizations and the other focusing on “the Future of the Arts in Louisville.”  Ten social-justice groups are joining to sponsor a forum from 6 to 8 p.m. Feb. 2 at the Metro United Way Building at 334 E. Broadway. Admission is free.  It's billed as “The People's Forum,” and the sponsoring groups are the ACLU of Kentucky; the Community Farm Alliance; the Fairness Campaign; the Hispanic/Latino Coalition; the Jefferson County chapter of Kentuckians For The Commonwealth; the Kentucky Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression; Kentucky Jobs with Justice; Making Connections Network; the Metro Housing Coalition; and Women in Transition.  Read more...

  

January 6, 2010 - Keith Brooks, 25, Fairness Campaign board member, blogger - Courier-Journal

When Louisville native Keith Brooks moved home after graduating from the University of Kentucky, he looked for ways to continue the activism work he started with UK's Gay-Straight Alliance. Brooks found his voice with Louisville's Fairness Campaign and online as creator of a blog dedicated to GLBTQ (gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer) issues.  Read more...

 

December 28, 2009 - Kurtz's political activities - Courier-Journal

As a lifelong Catholic and product of 16 years of solid Catholic education (St. Stephen Martyr, St. Xavier, Bellarmine), where I learned invaluable lessons about charity, compassion and justice, I am deeply saddened by Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz's recent political actions, tapping into the Louisville archdiocese's financial resources to help fund a secular political pursuit of inequality — in Maine, no less — while countless families in our own city are in need of food, shelter and health care.  Read more...

 

November 12, 2009 - Green Party candidate to address Unity Dinner - Courier-Journal

The keynote speaker at the 12th annual Unity Dinner will be Cynthia McKinney, who served six terms as a Democratic congresswoman from Georgia and was the 2008 Green Party candidate for president of the United States.  The theme of the dinner, which will be held Saturday, Nov. 21 at Masterson’s Conference Center on South Third Street, will be “Transforming Hope Into Reality: Organizing for Racial Justice and a Better World.” The dinner will be sponsored by the Kentucky Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression.  Read more...

 

November 10, 2009 - After Maine, the Battle Lines Over Gay Marriage Harden - Time

When America's Catholic bishops gather next week in Baltimore for a four-day conference, they will hear an update on the Catholic Church's ongoing fight to convince the country that marriage as an institution should never include gay couples, and they'll get a sneak peek at how that fight will be waged in the coming year. Videos aimed at priests and deacons are being produced in English and Spanish to give the pastors better tools to reach their parishioners, especially young people, whom the church fears need reminding about its basic teachings on marriage, love and sex. Indeed, the Catholic hierarchy in the U.S. is increasingly unapologetic about engaging in the debate over the issue.  Read more...

 

October 22, 2009 - Hate Crime Bill Passes - LezGetReal.com 

The Senate has passed and sent to President Obama for his signature, an expanded federal hate crimes law that would make it a federal crime to assault an individual because of his or her sexual orientation or gender identity.  Democrats lawmakers and supporters have hailed the vote as the culmination of a years long effort to curb violent expressions of bias such as the murder in 1998 of Matthew Shepard, a gay Wyoming college student, for who the bill is named after.  Read more...

 

October 21, 2009 - Ten years of Fairness - Leo Weekly

Diane Moten’s voice cracks and tears stream down her face as she recalls that cold January evening outside City Hall in 1999, as she waited to learn whether the Louisville Board of Alderman would pass the Fairness Ordinance.  Almost eight years earlier, a co-worker at the daycare center where Moten worked asked why she never mentioned having a boyfriend. In response, Moten was unashamedly honest, saying she is a lesbian.  In the coming days Moten began to notice co-workers staring and whispering. Three weeks later, she was fired — the daycare supervisor said Moten couldn’t be trusted around kids.  Read more...

 

October 16, 2009 - 'Energy and enthusiasm'- Courier-Journal

I got the treat of joining just under 50 local folks on the Fairness Campaign-sponsored bus trip to the National Equality March in Washington last weekend. For me, it was a life-changing experience, so kudos to the FC, the generous donor who subsidized it, and especially Kyle Riggs' hard work for organizing the trip.  Read more...

 

October 14, 2009 - Road trip for rights - Leo Weekly

At the intersection of 15th and H streets in Northwest Washington, D.C., rumbles of excitement aand anticipation fill the air. The massive crowd is dressed in an array of colorful garb, creating a fitting backdrop for today’s event.  Louisville resident Chiquta Baker, 53, and her two children, Yana, 30, and Daniel, 22, stand with a group of fellow Kentuckians waiting for the National Equality March to begin.  Read more...

 

October 12, 2009 - Thousands march for gay rights - Courier-Journal

 Tens of thousands of gay rights supporters marched Sunday from the White House to the Capitol, demanding that President Barack Obama keep his promises to allow gays to serve openly in the military and work to end discrimination against gays.  Rainbow flags and signs dotted the crowds filling Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House as people chanted, "Hey, Obama, let mama marry mama" and "We're out, we're proud, we won't back down."  Read more...

 

October 9, 2009 - Fairness boycott gets national coverage - Leo Weekly

The Fairness Campaign’s call to boycott Woody’s Tavern over another alleged racial incident involving the bar’s owner, David Norton, was covered in The Advocate this week. The national news magazine is the oldest continuing LGBT publication in the country.  Read more...

 

October 9, 2009 - Ten years of Fairness - Courier-Journal

Ten years have passed since the old Louisville Board of Aldermen passed the “Fairness” ordinance, which provides basic protections for citizens regardless of sexual orientation. Covington and Lexington now have such ordinances, too.And after the city and county merged in 2000, the Metro Council folded the law into the new statutory scheme, extending its protections to Jefferson County outside the old city limits.  Read more...

 

October 9, 2009 - 'Marching for our rights' - Courier-Journal

This Sunday, tens of thousands of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and allied individuals will descend on our nation's Capitol for the National Equality March to once more demand the fair and equal rights we all deserve, and the Fairness Campaign from Louisville will be right there with them.  Read more...

 

October 8, 2009 - Equality marchers set plans - Courier-Journal

The Louisville Fairness Campaign’s “Equality Express” bus bound for the National Equality March in Washington, D.C., will leave Louisville at 8 p.m. cq Friday from the Mellwood Arts Center, 1860 Mellwood Ave.  “Every seat on the bus is now filled,” said Chris Hartman, spokesperson for the Fairness Campaign.  The group includes University of Louisville and Bellarmine University students, Fairness Campaign leaders and community supporters. The bus will stop in Lexington around 10 p.m. Friday to pick up some University of Kentucky students, Lexington Fairness leaders, and other supporters at Euclid and Rose streets before the all-night drive to Washington.  Read more...

 

October 7, 2009 - Fairness protections don't apply to all - Courier-Journal

On Oct. 24, supporters of Fairness will celebrate the 10th anniversary of the passage of the Fairness Ordinance by the Board of Aldermen. This Ordinance protects all Louisvillians from discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations based on perceived sexual orientation and gender identity.  Read more...

 

October 7, 2009 - Kentucky Gay Group Works to Shut Down Homophobic Bar Owner - Towleroad.com

The Louisville, Kentucky-based LGBT group Fairness Campaign is working to put a local bar out of business after its owner drove out customers using homophobic and racist slurs, WHAS reports:  Read more...

 

October 6, 2009 - Fairness Campaign pushing for boycott of Woody's Tavern, says owner did it again - WHAS 11

After apologizing in August for racist and sexist comments made a year ago, the Louisville Fairness Campaign says a local bar owner, David Norton, has not learned his lesson. David Norton, owner of Woody’s Tavern, went public in August to apologize for comments made a year ago to University of Louisville students and a professor, saying “What came out of my mouth was pure filth.” Now, the Fairness Campaign is pushing for a boycott of his bar, Woody’s Tavern, because of more racist comments he allegedly made there last month.  Read more...

 

October 5, 2009 - Fairness Campaign to boycott Woody’s Tavern - Leo Weekly

The Fairness Campaign is calling for a full boycott of Woody’s Tavern in response to another alleged racial incident involving the bar’s owner that took place last month. The LGBT rights organization is demanding that David Norton, who also owns Magnolia Bar & Grill in Old Louisville, sell Woody’s — a popular gay bar near U of L’s campus — and if he will not that its doors close.  Read more...

 

October 1, 2009 - “Fairness X-travaganza” Celebrates 10 Years of Civil Rights in Louisville Saturday, October 24

Ten years ago this October, the Jefferson county Fiscal Court passed the first comprehensive anti-discrimination Fairness Ordinance, protecting all Louisvillians from discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations based on sexual orientation and gender identity. To mark that historic occasion in Louisville’s advancement, Fairness Campaign supporters are hosting a series of Fairness X-travaganza fundraising dinner parties across the city on Saturday, October 24, that will end in Fairness X-plosion, a community celebration and dance party held at The Monkey Wrench, 1025 Barret Avenue, from 10pm-2am.  Read more...

 

September 9, 2009 - Fairness Campaign endorses National Equality March, October 10-11, 2009 - Queer Louisville

Fairness Campaign has endorsed the National Equality March, set to take place on October 11th, 2009 in Washington, D.C. The march, sparked by the long-time activist and Harvey Milk confidant Cleve Jones, is set to be one of the biggest events this year targeting gay and lesbian rights.  Read more...

 

September, 2009 - Bar owner apologizes for remarks - The Letter

After several months of pressure from the Fairness Campaign and the community-at-large, Louisville bar owner David Norton publicly apologized on Saturday, August 15 for racist and sexist remarks he uttered during a heated exchange last year at Woody’s, a gay bar he operates in Old Louisville.  Read more...

 

August 16, 2009 - Owner of Woody's Tavern finally apologizes to professor and students - WHAS 11

David Norton, Owner of Woody’s Tavern, says, “I had a realization that this was all my fault from the beginning. I own this place. These people are my guests, it was all my fault from the beginning and I sincerely apologize to each one of them who are here.  ”It’s the apology Kaila Story and a group of students have been waiting to hear for over a year. For some, the moment was overwhelming, shedding tears as evidence of the pain that was caused.  Read more...

 

July 20, 2009 - In Kentucky, It's All About Fairness (Campaign) - LezGetReal.com


There is a perception among many gays and lesbians that the national groups such as the Human Rights Campaign and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force are ineffective, especially when dealing with the situation on the ground, as it were. According to Queerty, only one person even rated the HRC. Now, Queerty admits that there may be some biases built into their methodology, but there is a bit of an issue when it comes to many of these big groups. 
Read more...

 

June 30, 2009 - Gay Progress in Louisville - Courier Journal

In reading the June 19 "Lunch With ... David Williams" interview in The Courier Journal, in which he described the "Sam Dorr case" as Louisville's "Stonewall," I was caught up by the fact that it had happened almost 30 years ago. Although it was "my" case, I rarely think about it now. That was a long time ago.  Read more...

June 29, 2009 - Pursuing Fairness Across Kentucky - Courier-Journal

Just a decade ago, basic civil rights were denied individuals living in Jefferson County. Until 1999, someone could be legally fired from their job, denied housing or denied public accommodations if they were suspected of being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. If that seems shocking, know that for Kentuckians living immediately outside Louisville Metro, it is still a reality today.  Read more...

June 28, 2009 - Vigil to Mark Stonewall Riots Anniversary - 89.3 WFPL

Louisville’s Fairness Campaign will hold a vigil tonight to mark the 40th anniversary of the New York Stonewall riots.  Campaign director Chris Hartman says the uprising against a police raid at the city’s Stonewall Inn marked a defining moment in the struggle for gay rights.  Read more...

June 27, 2009 - Rally Protests Gay Marriage Ruling - Courier-Journal

Tracie Meyer said she cried when she heard yesterday that the California Supreme Court had upheld that state's ban on gay marriage.  "I feel guilty that I get to be married," said the 48-year-old Louisville resident, who held up a handmade sign reading "I love gay/civil rights" at a downtown rally protesting the court's decision last night.  Read more...

March 11, 2009 - Consider the Kid - LEO Weekly

It is just about two hours into the annual Brown School talent show. Outside, unseasonably warm weather has slashed open the Louisville winter to the smells and gusts of springtime. And though it may be premature, the kids here — there are hundreds — bounce around with the glee that a sudden lifting of oppressive weather can bring. Sitting in wooden bleacher seats inside the auditorium of Brown’s downtown campus, Randy Johnson and Paul Campion are holding cameras. Their equipment is state-of-the-art in a modern-dad kind of way: Johnson’s video camera, which operates on flash memory, fits snugly into his palm; Campion has the still-shooter, a compact device whose viewfinder has impressive surface area. The men, who met in 1991 and have been together without interruption since, are stoic and nonchalant about what’s happening onstage.  Read more...

 

March 30, 2009 - 'Kentucky Tonight' Debate on Adoption and Unmarried Couples in Kentucky - KET

Monday, March 30, 2009 at 8:00/7:00 pm CT on KET

Monday night, March 30, 2009 at 12:00/11:00 pm CT on KETKY

Tuesday, March 31, 2009 at 7:00/6:00 am CT on KETKY

Tuesday, March 31, 2009 at 6:00/5:00 pm CT on KETKY

Wednesday, April 1, 2009 at 2:00/1:00 am CT on KET

Thursday, April 2, 2009 at 5:00/4:00 am CT on KETKY

Guests:

State Sen. Kathy Stein, D-Lexington

State Rep. Tim Moore, R-Elizabethtown

Chris Hartman, director of the Louisville Fairness Campaign

David Edmunds, Louisville policy analyst for The Family Foundation

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