January 16, 2013

Tiny Appalachian city enacts gay rights ordinance

Written by AP reports and Advocate.com

A tiny city in southeastern Kentucky has enacted an LGBT rights ordinance that prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. The city commission of Vicco in southern Perry County passed the new law on Jan. 14. The population, according to the last census, is 334 people.

Three of four commissioners voted in favor of the ordinance, which bans discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations in the city. City attorney Eric Ashley says the community believes all people should be treated fairly.

Meanwhile, an effort to pass an LGBT civil rights law at the state level has stalled in Kentucky House of Representatives.

"The commonwealth of Kentucky was the first state south of the Mason-Dixon line to pass a civil rights act, the Kentucky Civil Rights Act of 1966,” stated Kentucky Equality Federation president Jordan Palmer. “The Kentucky Civil Rights Act was signed into law by Gov. Edward T. Breathitt, and prohibits discrimination and protects people from discrimination based on race, national origin, color and religion."

Since then, the civil rights law has been amended and expanded, but repeated efforts to include sexual orientation and gender identity failed.

Palmer said, "I urge the commonwealth’s lawmakers to willfully place Kentucky back in the forefront of civil rights… .If our lawmakers want to show Kentucky sovereignty and freedom, do it now before the order to do so is handed down by the courts."

Complete News Link: http://www.wisconsingazette.com/national-gaze/tiny-appalachian-city-enacts-gay-rights-ordinance.html

Complete News Link:  http://lezgetreal.com/2013/01/ky-equality-federation-starts-petition-to-change-state-civil-rights-act/

January 15, 2013

Paducah middle school receives high marks for responding to school bullying

By Amber Ruch, KFVS12
By Lez Get Real

KFVS - CBS Affiliate

MCCRACKEN COUNTY, KY (KFVS) - Kentucky Equality Federation officials recently contacted Paducah Middle School about bullying complaints.

According to KEF, the complaint was pulled from the School Bullying Committee and handled directly by KEF President Jordan Palmer and Attorney Jillian Hall, vice president of legal due to the severity of one of the complaints. They say that complaint was a child saying she was considering suicide.

For a copy of the letter Kentucky Equality Federation sent to the school, you can click here.

"School officials immediately responded and took swift action," said Kentucky Equality Federation President Jordan Palmer. "We cannot stress enough the impact school bullying has on the Commonwealth's youth and sincerely thank Paducah Middle School, from the school attorney, school principal, guidance counselors, and other members of the school in administration for their immediate action. Paducah Middle School should be a model to the rest of the schools in the Commonwealth for their swift action and immediate response. It is possible a life was saved due to their immediate response to our letter.”

Palmer continued: "Regardless of the circumstances, children need to know they can go to school officials with bullying. It must be reported to the principal who must then report it to the County Attorney for investigation. The attitude to enforce Kentucky law however is set from the principal down and we again applaud Principal Tim Huddleston, Paducah Middle School's faculty and staff, and their legal representation, Mark Whitlow, an outstanding individual."

Complete News Link: http://mccracken.kfvs12.com/news/news/60775-paducah-middle-school-receives-high-marks-responding-school-bullying

Complete News Link: http://lezgetreal.com/2013/01/after-lgbt-group-gets-involved-paducah-schools-tackle-bullying-problem/