As if President Barack Obama’s mention of America’s gay community in his inaugural address wasn’t moving enough, Kentucky activists are hoping their own state will similarly embrace equality.
The Kentucky Equality Federation (KEF) is petitioning to alter the commonwealth’s Civil Rights Act of 1966, amending it to include protection for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. The LGBT advocacy organization has launched a petition, which currently has over 800 signatures, in support of the effort via Change.org.
“The continued pursuit of equality ordinances throughout the commonwealth is not a logical use of time, resources, and skills of equality advocates and their allies,” stated KEF Chairman of the Board Brandon Combs. “With 120 counties and 15 major cities in Kentucky, if we get one local equality ordinance a year, it will take over a century to achieve equality, but this doesn’t include smaller cities and unincorporated areas of the Commonwealth.”
The KEF’s president Jordan Palmer echoed the same sentiments.
“Local ordinances are a waste of time and they don’t do any good,” he told Huff Post Gay Voices. “Amending just one law to add sexual orientation or gender identity will change it all…We’re not against these city ordinances, but we would like unity.”
Palmer added that the KEF has been trying to amend the act since 2005. “It’s so simple to just change one law. We’ve been trying for years, but we just can’t get it passed,” he said. “People are screaming about the sovereignty. If you want to protect sovereignty, then change this one law.”
Combs said he believes the atmosphere hasn’t changed much since 2005, but Kentucky is nonetheless advancing.
“It’s not a totally different atmosphere, but the commonwealth is evolving,” Combs said. “The people of Kentucky are ready to move forward on a state-wide level."