Target: The Kentucky state legislature
Goal: Pass a statewide Fairness law to protect LGBT people from homophobic discrimination.
When Cheri Chenault and Destiny Keith recently hired a photographer to take their maternity photos in a local Kentucky park, they never expected to be asked to leave simply for being a lesbian couple. But the unthinkable happened when an E.C. Million Memorial Park gatekeeper told the two to leave the park, stating that “those type of people were not welcomed” to remain on the grounds. Cases like these serve as proof that state lawmakers must take action to defend LGBT people from hate-fueled discrimination. Tell the Kentucky legislature to pass a statewide Fairness law protecting LGBT people.
According to the Fairness Campaign, a Kentucky-based LGBT rights movement, the Fairness law would protect “all Kentuckians from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in employment, housing, and public accommodations.” Currently, the Fairness Campaign calculates that three-quarters of LGBT people in the state are not protected from discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
In Chenault and Keith’s case, the park where they staged their shoot was privately owned; however, the Richmond Register reported that it was open to the public. In addition, the photographer taking the shots of the lesbian couple regularly takes photos of heterosexual couples there. Jessica Miller-Poole, the local photographer, told Register reporters:
“The man said, ‘If you come back and bring those type of people, you will be removed from the park… It really bothered me and upset me to witness someone be so cruel.”
The gatekeeper also called a quick kiss between the two partners “inappropriate”. Unfortunately for this couple, and for the LGBT people in much of Kentucky, this man’s hatred is perfectly legal. As Richmond Human Rights Chairperson Sandra Anez-Powell explained to the Register, “They can be kicked out of public places, fired from their jobs and denied housing, a right that heterosexual people like me enjoy.”
The Huffington Post pointed out that this is hardly the first time that a same-sex couple was treated unfairly in Kentucky. In June 2011, a disabled gay couple was removed from a pool in the state.
Clearly, much work needs to be done before LGBT couples are adequately protected in the state. By signing the petition below, you will tell Kentucky legislators to take the first step by voting to pass a statewide Fairness law.
Dear Kentucky state legislators,
Cheri Chenault and Destiny Keith expected a photo shoot in their local Kentucky-based park to be a fun and memorable experience. Instead, they were kicked out by a gatekeeper for being a lesbian couple. Similarly, in 2011, a disabled gay couple was removed from a state pool simply for being gay. Cases like these are evidence that you must act to ensure that LGBT people aren’t routinely discriminated against in Kentucky.
LGBT people in the state of Kentucky deserve to be treated with fairness and equality. In order for that to happen, you must approve a statewide Fairness law to ensure that discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity is put to an end.
It is imperative that you take meaningful steps to defend LGBT people in Kentucky. Please commit to taking action immediately.
[Your Name Here]