July 30, 2012

Equality Leader Jordan Palmer Named to Honorable Order

Being named a member of the Honorable Kentucky Order of Colonels is akin to receiving a knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II. It is an honorary title bestowed upon those who do great service for the community. Jordan Palmer, head of the LGBT group Kentucky Equality Federation, has been named to this Order by Governor Steve Beshear.

Palmer was nominated by senior Representative Ruth Ann Palumbo, chair of the House Standing Committee on Economic Development, senior Representative Tom Burch, chair of the House Standing Committee on Health & Welfare, and attorney Jill Hall Rose, former Law Clerk for the Supreme Court of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

Perhaps the most famous Kentucky Colonel was Colonel Harland Sanders, best known for creating Kentucky Fried Chicken.

Rose stated that “I have known Mr. Palmer for over 10 yrs. and found him to be a tireless passionate advocate for equality and civil liberties across the commonwealth of Kentucky. Through the nonprofit organization he co-founded, Kentucky Equality Federation, he has successfully lobbied at both the State and Federal level for fair treatment of for all people regardless of their gender or sexual orientation. His specific work on hate crimes has brought these serious issues into the spotlight. Kentucky is fortunate to have such an outstanding individual working for us.”

Rep Palumbo added that “Jordan Palmer is a dear friend and outstanding Kentuckian. I was honored to nominate him to be a Kentucky Colonel, the highest award given by the commonwealth of Kentucky. Mr. Palmer works very hard for equality.”

Representative Burch described Palmer as being a compassionate advocate of equality and a role model for the community.

KEF Press Secretary David Jones said “From Mr. Palmer protesting Governor Fletcher and later Representative Fischer (twice, click here the second protest) for saying ‘ gays had not suffered enough,’ sponsoring a Soulforce Equality Ride at the University of the Cumberlands for kicking out a gay student, forcing school boards to allow Gay-Straight Alliances, rallying at Northern Kentucky University and the city of Hazard, FORCING policy changes, organizing Kentucky’s 1st Gay Marriage License Day, assisting in restoring the Kentucky AIDS Drug Assistance Program (KADAP) to successfully pushing the first federal hate crime, Mr. Palmer’s place in Kentucky history is secure.”

For his part Colonel Palmer said upon receiving the honor that “I am honored to receive the commission and will continue the work I do across Kentucky. I am honored Governor Beshear commissioned a LGBTI civil rights leader and humbled by the wonderful people who nominated me. I have always been fascinated by titles of honor, from Colonel to Companion and Knight in other countries. It is an award in recognition of a person’s deeds and merits. I plan to join the Honorable Order of the Colonels because I think the work they do is important, but not recognized as much as it should be.”

Read more at Lez Get Real: http://lezgetreal.com/2013/07/kentucky-lgbt-activist-jordan-palmer-named-a-colonel/

- See more at: http://unitedwestandky.com/2013/07/equality-leader-jordan-palmer-named-to-honorable-order/#sthash.8PWqDLG8.dpuf

July 20, 2012

Teen attacked, police not in position to determine 'hate crime'

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A Louisville teen can barely talk, eat or breathe after an attack near Churchill Downs. Her family believes it was a hate crime. However, Louisville Metro Police Department investigators do not make that determination. It's a distinction handled by the Jefferson County Commonwealth Attorney's Office.

Fourth Division officers continue to investigate the apparent attack that occurred around 1:30 a.m. Tuesday that sent a 17-year-old girl to the hospital with a broken jaw, bruises and cuts covering her body. "Officers did receive a call of a possible assault. Upon further investigation, we've enhanced it to robbery," Public Information Officer Dwight Mitchell said.

The vicitm's family insists it wasn't a robbery, but an attack on the teen because she is gay. "This was a hate crime. There was hate slurs thrown. It was not a robbery," family friend Brenda Hickerson said. "She is a very proud lesbian girl and they were attacked for that very reason."

Police said two men and a woman approached the teen girl, along with two other boys, sometime during the early morning hours Tuesday. The men proceeded to attack the minors and grabbed a cell phone, according to Mitchell.

Police have not charged anyone with the crime. Mitchell said the details regarding the slurs will be included in charging documents if an individual is arrested.

"We may indicate that in the arrest once we've made the arrest - that any type of comments or slurs that were made could possibly enhance the charge if a court and a judge sees fit for that to happen," Mitchell told WAVE 3.

It's a story WAVE 3 broke Tuesday night. By Wednesday, The Kentucky Equality Federation issued a news release indicating the organization has made contact with the victims' families to "offer mental health services, legal services, or spiritual services after the attack."

In a prepared statement, Kentucky Equality Federation Regional Director Jeff Johnson said, "Obviously the people who did this have no fear of being prosecuted. We urge the Louisville Metro Police Department to throw every resource into finding those responsible, it is impossible to believe no forensic evidence was left at the scene of the crime."

Police have a vague description of the men who attacked the teens. If you or anyone you know has information regarding the incident, you're urged to call the anonymous tip line at 574-LMPD.

Story by: Scott Adkins, and Connie Leonard

Read more at: WAVE3 News

Read more at: 14 News

wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather

Brandon Combs Named Board Chair of Kentucky Equality Federation

By: Kathy Johnson

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 20, 2012) ― Brandon Combs, telecommunications supervisor for the University of Kentucky Police Department, has been named chairman of the board of the Kentucky Equality Federation, Kentucky’s largest all-volunteer grassroots lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) civil rights and advocacy organization for both social and political equality.

"Working in advocacy, especially in the LGBTI community, has been a consideration of mine for many years," Combs said.  "The Kentucky Equality Federation Board of Directors was a perfect fit, as it combines a strong advocacy voice and goal of equality in all aspects within the Commonwealth."

Combs is one of 10 members who serve on the board, and was elected chairman by his fellow members.

"I have personally welcomed Mr. Combs to the organization," said Jordan Palmer, immediate past president and founder of the organization. "I believe he will provide the leadership needed in my absence and beyond."

The current president, Joshua Koch, welcomed the new board members saying, "We are constantly moving forward, and this election is vital to shaping our strategy going forward. This team's recent sacrifices and capacity to seize the initiative portends great things for Kentucky Equality Federation and the Kentucky equality movement."

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