April 16, 2006

Advocacy group to Gov. Fletcher: Veto funding to University of the Cumberlands

The Kentucky Equality Organization has joined the Kentucky Fairness Alliance in calling on Governor Ernie Fletcher to veto the $11 million dollars currently allocated to the University of the Cumberlands. The college recently expelled a student for revealing his sexual orientation on the social networking web site myspace.com.

According to the Kentucky Constitution, sending funds to this school could be illegal. Section 189 of Kentucky's Constitution states: "No portion of any fund or tax now existing, or that may hereafter be raised or levied for educational purposes, shall be appropriated to, or used by, or in aid of, any church, sectarian or denominational school."

The University of the Cumberlands is not a public college; it is a private college associated with the Southern Baptist Convention and is clearly not open to all citizens of the commonwealth.

Association founder and President Jordan Palmer stated that he had been very supportive of the governor in the past, but failure to veto funding for the university might change that. “I don’t see how the governor could possibly not veto the funding for the university in the budget, approving it would be unconstitutional,” Palmer said. “I realize that the governor is a Baptist Christian, and I personally have no objection to funding schools that are spiritual as long as the school follows Biblical teachings, and those teachings tell us not to judge others, and to follow “The Greatest Commandment” as stated in Mark 12:28 – 12:34,” stated Palmer. “The Greatest Commandment tells us to love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. It also says to love your neighbor as yourself.”

Palmer, whose father is a minister, also attended a Methodist High School. He founded the Kentucky Equality Association in November 2005. The Kentucky Equality Association currently has more than 1,300 members and supporters throughout the commonwealth.