Friday, November 7, 2014

Official Statement on the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals Decision (Bourke/Love vs. Beshear)

This decision is a temporary setback in the march to equality and true justice for the LGBTI community, and we encourage all civil rights activists within the states of the district (Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee, and Michigan) to continue the fight for equality.  At this point, it appears that the issue of marriage equality must addressed by the Supreme Court, which has so far dodged the issue.

"The decision is filled with blatantly self-serving and speculative premises and reasoning," said Kentucky Equality President Joshua Koch.  "It is extremely callous, ignores the needs of a much-wronged segment of the population, and upholds partisan-tinged, fictional needs of the well-being of the court system over the needs of the populace that supports the courts with its tax dollars.  This may be the most blatant recent example of a government institution hiding behind an argument of cowardice to defend its decision not to relieve injustice it is causing.  Governor Beshear's legacy as an active oppressor of the LGBTI community in Kentucky has now been solidified by a decision which echoes Chief Justice Taney's rationale for enslaving entire classes of people in the 1857 Dred Scott decision."

"The ruling in the 6th Circuit is disappointing," said Kentucky Equality Federation Board Chairman Brandon Combs.  "While this will likely catapult Marriage Equality to the Supreme Court of the U.S., it will likely be 2016 before the issue will be addressed. In the mean time, all the loving, committed families effected by this ruling will continue to have their rights' diminished. We must continue to work towards developing allies. There is no guarantee SCOTUS will rule in favor of Marriage Equality."

Media outlets are encouraged to take note that the U.S. Circuit Court uses similar rationale to pro-slavery Supreme Court opinions in the 1857 Dred Scott case, where the court effectively grants states the protection to remove human rights protections from classes of people, as long as the classes aren't recognized.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Kelo in the Bedroom: The Government Thinks of Us As Livestock

One of the more controversial aspects of the legal fight for marriage equality is that it has forced the government to reveal that it views taxpayers and citizens as a form of livestock.  In the name of tax revenue and stabilizing civilization, governments are claiming the right to control breeding, love, and marriage, abridging fundamental individual rights to self determination.

We agree with the founders: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."  Kentucky's Governor Beshear and his legal team disagree.

The brazenness of Gov. Beshear in phrasing his beliefs on the matter are particularly shocking.  This is an excerpt from Kentucky Equality Federation/Hardee v. Steve Beshear:


Whether or not you support LGBTI rights and marriage equality, you should recognize the individual right to determine your own plans for your life.

In Kelo v. City of New London, the state demanded the right to confiscate private property (eminent domain) from citizens and give it to big business for "economic development."  Kelo was a bad decision, and its rationale that the individual loses property rights when the state can "do better"by giving the property to someone else have an eerie echo in Gov. Beshear's belief that the government can control your life and reproductive organs to force you to create the next generation of taxpayers.

Beshear's appeals to foreign law make it clear that this argument is stretched very thin, that it violates human decency, and that it violates American values and legal tradition which should and must always defend the rights of the individual.  Kentucky Equality Federation believes that your heart and your life are your own, that they are not your state's assets to dispose of as the governor sees fit.  We call on the governor to renounce these arguments by his tax-funded private legal team.

-Joshua Koch

-> Posted by a volunteer Community Blogger of Kentucky Equality Federation. This is the official blog of Kentucky Equality Federation. Posts contained in this blog may not be the official position of Kentucky Equality Federation, its volunteer officers, directors, management, supported organizations, allies or coalitions, but rather the personal opinions or views of the volunteer Community Bloggers. The opinions or views expressed in the blog are protected by Section 1 of the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Kentucky as non-slanderous free speech; blogs are personal views or opinions and not journalistic news sites.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Lawmakers: Gay marriage fits Republican values

Young Republican activists are imploring their party to support gay marriage, saying the GOP is destined to continue losing elections if it doesn't get behind an issue that's gaining traction around the country. Some activists say Republican opposition to gay marriage is driving young voters to the Democrats. They made a conservative case for supporting gay marriage, saying the government shouldn't be telling people whom they can marry.

"As Republicans, we believe in a free market and the freedom to make your own way. Our government certainly has no place defining our families or our marriages. When two people find each other and enter into a committed relationship, we should honor that commitment. In America, freedom means freedom for everyone, including the freedom to marry the person you love.

We also believe our party is committed to strengthening families. When two people find each other and enter in a committed relationship, we should honor that commitment. The traditions that follow, including the merging of two families and the celebration of the union, give our lives stability and purpose – something we need more of in today’s uncertain world. Family is the foundation of America. But that doesn't mean that all families are the same.

We strive to teach our children to treat others the way we wish to be treated. And in this case, all loving and committed couples deserve to be treated with respect by members of their community and in the eyes of the law.

Between us, we represent constituents who have entrusted us to be their voice on issues they care about. Some are struggling to find work. Some are building businesses. And some want their loving and committed relationships to be legally recognized through marriage.

Nationally, majorities in support of marriage continue to grow. Last week, a group of prominent Republicans – including former U.S. Sen. Alan Simpson – filed an amicus brief in support of the freedom to marry with the 10th Circuit court.

As arguments begin early next month on a challenge to Utah’s marriage ban, the court’s decision could have a serious impact on all states in the 10th Circuit.

Public opinion continues to shift, and in an attempt to muddy the waters, opponents are eager to change the conversation to topics that are not relevant. To be clear, we are discussing civil marriage for loving and committed couples. No clergy, church or religious organization will ever be forced to perform a wedding that violates their religious beliefs. We all strive to treat others the way we wish to be treated."

Signed by 7 Republican Representatives.

--> NOTICE: Posted by a volunteer Community Blogger of Kentucky Equality Federation. This is the official blog of Kentucky Equality Federation. Posts contained in this blog may not be the official position of Kentucky Equality Federation, its volunteer officers, directors, management, supported organizations, allies or coalitions, but rather the personal opinions or views of the volunteer Community Bloggers. The opinions or views expressed in the blog are protected by Section 1 of the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Kentucky as non-slanderous free speech; blogs are personal views or opinions and not journalistic news sites.

Friday, February 14, 2014

#KY #KYGA14: Condemnation of Kentucky's federal delegates responses to Bourke v. Beshear

BY: K. Joshua Koch

NOTE: This was originally part of a press release and moved here as opinion and protected by Section 1 of the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Kentucky as non-slanderous free speech; blogs are personal views or opinions and not journalistic news sites.

I condemn the responses of Secretary of State Grimes, Candidate Bevin, and Senator McConnell's comments covered in a recent edition of the Courier Journal.

Secretary Grimes has no right to claim an opinion which she will not support in practice. It is not sufficient for an elected official to allow these injustices to persist as Governor Beshear and Attorney General Jack Conway, allies in her own party, defend these practices in federal court, and then use her position as a bully pulpit to chastise individuals seeking redress of grievance.

Candidate Bevin cheapens the issue when he uses it to score petty political points against a party rival. This is a case of rights being denied to a significant segment of Kentucky's citizens, not something worthy of such flippant treatment.

Senator McConnell's statement openly defies the Kentucky Constitution's Bill of Rights, claiming a shield of protection behind the "legislative process." Rights are recognized by legislation, not granted by the state or nation. They are inherent to the individual, whether the legislative process recognizes that or not.

---> Posted by a volunteer Community Blogger of Kentucky Equality Federation. This is the official blog of Kentucky Equality Federation. Posts contained in this blog may not be the official position of Kentucky Equality Federation, its volunteer officers, directors, management, supported organizations, allies or coalitions, but rather the personal opinions or views of the volunteer Community Bloggers. The opinions or views expressed in the blog are protected by Section 1 of the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Kentucky as non-slanderous free speech; blogs are personal views or opinions and not journalistic news sites.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Chair Update: Equality and Political Parties

Letter from the Chairman of the Board
Equality and Political Parties

To my fellow citizens-

In reviewing several items of interest, I determined it is time for an update from the Office of the Chair. I would like to begin by sending my commendations out to our President, Mr. Jordan Palmer. We have filed a lawsuit, Kentucky Equality Federation v. Commonwealth of Kentucky, which challenges the constitutionality of the amendment banning marriage equality. Behind closed doors I have played witness to the countless hours, triumphs, and misgivings this process has caused. If you get the opportunity, please remember to thank him for his continued efforts in the fight for Equality throughout the Commonwealth.

Today I want to talk about politics and the fight for Equality. We, at the Kentucky Equality Federation, do not align ourselves with a particular political party. Instead, we aim to build bridges across all parties. It is true that in most states, the Democratic Party has a better track record than Republicans with regards to marriage equality. It is also true that the smaller parties, Libertarians and Modern Whigs, also support marriage equality, and Marriage Equality Kentucky, a member of Kentucky Equality Federation.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Kentucky Attorney General opposes same-sex marriage

Kentucky Attorney General opposes same-sex marriage though the lawsuit remains on-going after months of briefs and motions. In Kentucky Equality Federation v. Commonwealth of Kentucky (for marriage equality), Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway claims a married same-sex couple, "does not have standing to challenge Kentucky's definition of marriage," and that our claim, as well as that of our individual members, does not qualify as an "injury." Likewise, Governor Steve Beshear's attorney asked the Court to "deny that Plaintiffs are entitled to the requested relief or any other relief whatsoever."

Reactions at Kentucky Equality Federation on this ongoing court case are as follows and released by the Department of Policy & Pubic Relations: