Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Hope, renewal, and the reality of prejudice

I think both Christmas and the coming New Year must be a time of renewal, of hope and determination to work for a better Kentucky, United States, and world..... where people can experience all the liberties our founding fathers fought for. Therefore, wherever inequality exists and the leaders that are in control refuse to act, there is a greater responsibility for all of us to take a stand against all that dehumanizes the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered people.

The flag of the Commonwealth of Kentucky says it best: "United We Stand, Divided We Fall." Thank you to everyone who contributed and/or
donated to Kentucky Equality Federation.

An enormous fight is in front of us in 2008; front and center is the issue of domestic-partner benefits in the Kentucky Retirement System, as outlined by James:

I had hoped the New Year in Kentucky, with a new gubernatorial administration that has to be an improvement over that of the discredited Gov. Ernie Fletcher would start out in an encouraging manner for those of us who believe in equality for everyone regardless of sexual orientation.

Alas, that is not to be. Just as Gov. Steve Beshear and Lt. Gov. Dan Mongiardo were sworn in and starting to look around their respective offices, members of their own Democratic party were filing legislation to prevent state universities from offering health care benefits to employees involved in domestic partnerships.

I had hoped that the year 2008 might be a year where those of us who believe in gender and sexual orientation equity would be able to take some steps forward in adding on to rights already achieved --- things like hate crime protection, access to marriage/civil union rights, adoption, automatic rights of inheritance --- instead of having to backtrack and re-fight battles already won.

A few legislators --- led by Democratic Reps. Ancel Smith and Richard Henderson --- do not understand that Kentucky has always been --- and still is --- a place where all people should be welcome to live in harmony.

It is clear that Smith and Henderson, in bringing up a previously defeated proposal to block public universities in Kentucky from extending health benefits to unmarried, live-in partners of the institutions' employees, acted without the sanction of their own party. This has caused an embarrassing situation not only for party leaders, but for Democratic leaders and other party members within the Beshear administration.

Trustees at several Kentucky institutions, led by the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville, have approved offering health care to domestic partners of unmarried employees as a matter of good business. The policy makes the universities more competitive with other top universities nationwide, because it opens the pool of potential employees and appeals to the increasing number of private employers --- who can be drawn upon for financial support and to provide cooperative educational opportunities and investment with the universities --- who already extend health care benefits to live-in partners of workers, regardless of sexual orientation.

In other words, the universities' policies are good business for a state that is on the precipice of a new era of economic progress after four failed years of an administration that collapsed under its own prejudices and lack of vision.

The matter of inclusion is a moral and ethical issue. Moral, because all great religions preach that love and tolerance should trump all other rules for living. Ethical, because this country --- and the states that make it up --- was based on the premise that all people are created equal.

If our government creates policies that benefit its public employees, it should do so for all the employees, without discrimination based on race, gender, ethnicity, religion, disability, and yes, sexual orientation.

If these representatives --- and the other Democrats and Republicans who co-sponsored this legislation, which has its roots soaked in bigotry --- will not withdraw their sponsorship, then the people of their districts should look for gay-supportive candidates from either party to replace them.

Click here to read unedited comments from James.


Anonymous said...

I must admit Christians take first prize for hypocrisy; It is very sad, and probably the reason why I am not a Christian, that you have so much hate and intolerance in your Christian families. There is more ethics and morals in the small finger of Bertrand Russell than the entire Christian community. Please God save us from your followers.

The Family Foundation of Kentucky has my blessing in the hope you see the light of day.

Happy New Year

Robery Forrey said...

Save us, God, who don't believe in you,
Save us from the multitudes who do.
Save us, who just want a little peace,
From those who worship you, without cease.

Save us from those Holy Lands
Where descendants of nomadic bands
Wrap their heads in holy towels
And pray to Y*W*H, without vowels.

Save us from those faiths Abrahamic,
Whether Judaic, Christian or Islamic.
Save us from every hegira
Whether it starts in Mecca or Palmyra.

Save us, God, from Christians' anger
When we won't display their babe in a manger.
Save us from Muslims' wrath
When we follow not Muhammad's path.

Save us from those orgies of piety
That religiously follow every calamity.
Save us from every minaret and steeple,
Save us from every Chosen People,

Save us from the armed Muslim, Christian, and Jew:
Save us uncircumcised dogs, us unchosen few.
Save us from the crusade, the jihad, the pogrom,
Save us from wise men who are dumb.

Save us from all those believers
Who express their faith with cleavers,
Or who, with orders direct from heaven,
Fly into buildings in a 747.

Save us from televangelists with visions,
Save us from unmedicated Pat Robertsons.
Save us from zealots straight from hell,
Save us from bin Laden and Jerry Falwell.

We don't want you as our co-pilot,
We don't want your terrorists either;
Instead of all this religious rot,
What we really want is a breather

From God-Bless-this and God-Bless-that,
From General Sharon and Chairman Arafat,
From mullahs, rabbis, and popes
From Taliban sharp shooters with scopes,

From Massad agents with Bond-like flair
Who assassinate Palestinians in their lair;
From Palestinians who stand and wait,
Holy time bombs, wired by hate.

Save us from all sectarian strife,
Save us from that religious life
Where the individual neurosis
Gets collectivized in psychosis.

Save us, God, we unchosen few,
Neither Muslim, Christian , Jew,
Save us from your followers true,
But save us, above all, God, from you.

Righteous in Kentucky said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Righteous in Kentucky said...

What a complete load of shit.

Save us, God, from the sodomite sinners at Kentucky Equality Federation,
Save us from the self-righteous beliefs of their leader.
Protect us if we drop the soap in the shower,
Bless all that worship you and live the life of a Christian.

Burn all the "gay-affirming" churches that have let practicing homosexuals into their churches.

Kentucky Equality Federation is trying to change the minds of people who have been brought up by parents who trust in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

Anonymous said...

Jordan, I think we hurt his feelings ... lol!

Anonymous said...

Go to "Righteous in Kentucky's" Web site. He claims to be an "Independant" reporter --- what a joke. He can't even spell. He's just another garden variety bigot, pretending to be smarter than he really is and acting holier than everyone else.

Hey, he probably doesn't even think his own shit stinks!

Ignore the dude and keep up the good work! He's a dinosaur, he's history, and his line of thinking is going down the drain. And when and if judgment day comes, I'll bet there will be just as many hypocrites like him and Pat Boone going down the chute to hell as there are other sinners.

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