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Kentuckians Value Fairness Day Takes on Frankfort

Michael Aldridge,
ACLU of Kentucky
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February 27, 2009

The ACLU of Kentuckyhad a big presence at LGBT rights day at the Kentucky state capital Wednesday, which was a HUGE success! Kentuckians Value Fairness Day is an annual lobbying event organized by our friends at the Fairness Campaign. This year it was sponsored by over a dozen organizations and groups from around the state, including the ACLU of Kentucky, the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights, the Kentucky chapter of the National Association of Social Workers, Kentucky Fairness Alliance, and various churches, foster and adoptive advocacy groups, and LGBT rights groups. We filled the rotunda with hundreds of supporters from all corners of the state and we honored the state legislators that have supported our efforts over the years. You can check out video of WHAS 11’s coverage of Wednesday’s activities can be here.

It’s a pretty exciting time in our state right now. The Kentucky Commission on Human Rights issued proclamations this year for the first time ever encouraging the state to add sexual orientation and gender identityto our non-discrimination policies, as well as one opposing this unmarried adoption bill.

In the legislature, statewide non-discrimination bills to add sexual-orientation and gender identity to our state non-discrimination policies were re-introduced this year. There has also been a big uproar here over an adoption bill that would bar unmarried couples from adopting or fostering children. While the bill has only one sponsor and looks like it might not move at all this year, it really got people motivated to speak up. Over the past few weeks we’ve had numerous LGBT couples with children contact us to see what they could do and, in about a week, a Facebook page set up to oppose SB68 gained over 4,000 members!

Among those who visited the capitol Wednesday were one ofour ACLU of Kentucky board members, Keith Elston, and his teenage son Kelly, who has done a bunch of stuff with our youth program. They were featured in a Lousville Courier-Journal story about the proposed parenting ban. And Dora James, our very recent ACLU Youth Scholarship winner, spoke about starting a gay-straight alliance at her school in a very rural, small town in western Kentucky. We’ve brought programs down to her Ohio County school to talk about student rights, LGBT rights, and ways to stay involved on civil liberties issues.

We couldn’t be prouder of all of the ACLU members and otherKentuckians who took the time to be heard. There’s nothing quite like going right to the center of power and making your stories and your voice heard.

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