"When I first came to Kentucky, my employer did not have domestic partner benefits, and we couldn't pay all our medical bills. As a lesbian/member of the LGBTQ community, I am proud to belong to an organization that fights for equality for all Kentuckians."
As KFTC has grown, expanding our vision of equality for all Kentuckians has been a labor of love and a transformative internal process. While many members shared this vision of equality for decades, in 2004 our Steering Committee shared a series of deeply emotional conversations, meetings, and personal reflections and eventually adopted language to our platform to include our LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered and Queer or Questioning) communities. Since then (and well before), our local chapters and statewide members have contributed to a growing movement for fairness, safety and celebration of diversity in Kentucky and beyond.
From offering our staff domestic partner benefits to lobbying our elected officials for fairness ordinances and anti-bullying legislation, KFTC members continue to prioritize our vision for a better Kentucky all Kentuckians deserve. As you can read in our blog feed below, our local chapters have recently prioritized LGBTQ equality through Fairness Ordinance organizing in Berea, safe restroom campaign in central Kentucky, creating LGBTQ support networks in Perry County, and much more.
What is a Fairness Ordinance: A Fairness Ordinance would prohibit discrimination in the workplace, housing, and public accommodations based on sexual orientation or gender identity. We believe that all Kentuckians have a right to live without fear of unjust discrimination, regardless of their race, religion, sexual orientation, or gender identity. As written, Kentucky law does not guarantee this right, and must be changed. We support a statewide Fairness law and also Fairness ordinances at a local level until a statewide law is establish.
Georgetown College has changed for the better in a lot of ways, in the last few years.
- We have a thriving diversity initiative.
- For the past five years we have had written policies in place that prevent discrimination against gay students, and anti-harassment policies that protect people of all sorts.
- Recently we hired our first openly gay faculty members.
So we honestly believed it was a matter of mere housekeeping to extend the College’s nondiscrimination policies for faculty and staff to include such things as sexual orientation. In April 2012 the faculty approved such a policy for faculty. This proposal passed with 90% of the vote and a big round of applause.
But last year the Board of Trustees voted down the new policy. We are here today to ask, in public, that the Board reconsider its decision, and to make the case for our proposal.
This afternoon, over 100 Georgetown College students, faculty, staff, alumni, and allies came out to a powerful rally in support of a non-discrimination policy protecting members of their community who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or trans-gender.
Throughout the semester, there has been a growing campaign to put pressure on the Georgetown College Board of Trustees since they declined to vote on the policy after the faculty overwhelmingly passed it last year.
The work has been spearheaded by the Non-Discrimination Work Group on campus, but is supported by many organizations including Kentuckians For the Commonwealth members in Scott County.
A number of media outlets came today generating stories like this piece from the Herald-Leader.
And although the semester is almost over, there's more work to do to pressure the Georgetown College Board of Trustees, including prior to their meeting tomorrow morning.
Please join us at 8am at East Campus (at the edge of Georgetown College farthest away from downtown or main street - near the Georgetown College football field. ) to hold some signs at Board of Trustees members arrive for their monthly meeting.
Some students are camping out in tents and sleeping bags there over night, but other supporters are invited to join them in the morning. Can you make it out in solidarity with them?
Also, over 300 people have signed the petition in support of a non-discrimination policy. If you haven't already, please take two minutes to do it!
Yesterday was Earth Day at Georgetown College, sponsored by the Georgetown Sustainability Initiative.
KFTC tabled, talking to people about Appalachian Transition, coal mining, and recycling, plus our work in solidarity with the campaign for a non-discrimination policy at Georgetown College. KFTC member Cristian Nunez also made a membership ask from the stage, and we managed to recruit 5 new KFTC members!
You can find a few other pictures of the event here.
This is one of an exciting series of events at Gerogetown College this week focused on non-discrimination work. Other events include a big rally on Friday and many, many other activities.
Additionally, we recently started an online petition here for a non-discrimination policy at Georgetown College. Please sign it and pass it along to others.
Students, faculty and staff at Georgetown College have been organizing for the past few months to put pressure on their Board of Trustees to enact a policy not to discriminate against people just because of their sexual orientation for either employment or enrollment.
Scott County KFTC members have been working in solidarity with activists on the campus, helping to think through strategy and pitching in as we can – and there have been a series of great events, meetings, and local communications work to help move the campaign forward.
But for the next 10 days, the campaign is kicking into high gear with an incredible series of events including speakers, a concert, a day of silence, a vigil, rally, silent disco, and even a camping expedition on campus' main lawn.
If you're in the area, please join us for one or more events. And look for pictures afterwards on this blog to see how things turn out.
KFTC has sent a letter to Gov. Steve Beshear thanking him for his "wise decision" to veto House Bill 279.