"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.
Wednesday, February 19 is Fairness Lobby Day and Rally in support of House Bill 171 and Senate Bill 140. These bills would prohibit discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
It’s been a busy couple of months for members in the Wilderness Trace chapter.
In December, the chapter held its second annual holiday event, Cheers for Kentucky, at V the Market in Danville. Members took the opportunity to not only celebrate the great work the chapter had accomplished over the year, but to also educate people about the shifting political landscape in the chapter area. Because of redistricting, Boyle County is now represented by a new senator. Members posted large printouts of the new district maps and had conversations with people about the shift in legislators.
On December 9, Morehead became the sixth city in the Commonwealth to pass legislation to protect the rights of LGBTQ people in their community.
Over the summer, members of the Rowan County KFTC Chapter, in concert with representatives from the American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky, the Kentucky Fairness Coalition and Morehead State University students, began working on strategies to promote fairness legislation. Racehelle Bombe, a Morehead resident, diligently gathered more than 300 signatures in favor of fairness in the past year, while members of the Rowan chapter met individually with city council members to share information regarding statewide movements toward fairness.
Members of the Rowan County Chapter of KFTC helped organize the record turn out for the first reading of the proposed Fairness Ordinance at the Morehead City Council meeting on Monday, November 11.
Morehead State University President Dr. Wayne Andrews, who had been in contact with the Rowan chapter regarding the proposed ordinance, spoke eloquently for its need and thanked the council for its work in this matter. Individual council members voiced their commitment to Fairness, and thanked members of the community for coordinating such an impressive show of support, before unanimously voting to approve the first reading.
The ordinance will have its second reading at the council’s December meeting. If the second reading passes and the ordinance becomes law, Morehead will become the sixth city in Kentucky have a Fairness Ordinance on the books.
In January of this year, the Rowan County KFTC Chapter voted to begin working with the Kentucky Fairness Coalition on a fairness ordinance for the city of Morehead.
After educating themselves on the issue, chapter members met with members of the city council to express their support for fairness and provide useful information from the Kentucky Coalition. At the end of August and beginning of September, the chapter helped organize the impressive turn out for the September 6 city council meeting, where chapter members Annie Adams and Cody Montgomery and Maria Horn, a student representative from Morehead State University’s Gay Straight Alliance, spoke in favor of the legislation.