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Kentucky Hub



04/19/2007


University of Kentucky Asks Gay Students If They’d Prefer to Be Straight

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University of Kentucky's student health services department is facing criticism for a campus-wide survey sent via email that included uncomfortable and intrusive questions about sexual orientation, including asking gay students if they would "choose to be straight" if given the option. 

Campus Reform reports:

UkStudents who identified as LGBT early on in the survey were presented with a unique list of statements to agree or disagree with, including “If it were possible, I would choose to be straight.”

Students who claimed to be heterosexual were presented with a different set of statements, including “Homosexuality is a sin,” “Male homosexuality is a perversion,” and "Homosexuality is a mental illness."

The survey fails to promise any sort of reassurance of confidentiality, but Jay Blanton, a spokesperson for the university, told Campus Reform the survey was indeed classified. […]

“Yes, this survey was distributed to students by our University Health Service enrolled this semester,” he said. “The intent of the survey was to understand better the utilization of university health services on the part LGBT students."

Via Back to Stonewall.


Former Miss Kentucky Djuan Trent Explains Why She Came Out As 'Queer' - AUDIO

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This March, former Miss Kentucky Djuan Trent came out of the closet after a federal judge ruled that Kentucky must recognize same-sex marriages from other states.

In a recent interview with Michelangelo Signorile, she explained why she came out as “queer” as opposed to “gay”:

”I think it’s one of those words that doesn’t put you in such a box… If you choose other labels, sometimes you feel like you’re in a bit of a box.

”My favorite example, that I always love to use, is that girls I went to college with, who ran all around campus waving rainbow flags -- they were like, ‘Lesbian for life! Yeah, forever!’ And now, how ever many years later, I’m seeing them on Facebook and they’re like, ‘He proposed, and I said, “yes!”’ And I’m looking, like, ‘What?!’

”So I think that 'queer' is one of those things that, it is more inclusive. It kind of opens to a whole other conversation about the fluidity of sexuality and being able to embrace that. Because I mean that’s the basic reason you see women who are hardcore lesbians one year and the next year they’re married to their husbands with three kids.”

The Huffington Post continues her explanation:

"When I originally wrote the blog, I wrote, ‘I am gay... And then, I went back and I looked at it and I decided I wanted to change it. I wanted to put ‘queer' there, because it’s a word that I like. I feel that a lot of people outside the LGBTQ community don’t know it’s a thing, that it’s okay.”

Trent has since become an honorary co-chair of Southerners For the Freedom to Marry.  

Hear her explanation AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Former Miss Kentucky Djuan Trent Explains Why She Came Out As 'Queer' - AUDIO" »


Recognition of Gay Marriages in Kentucky Put on Hold

A federal judge's ruling ordering Kentucky to recognize same-sex marriages performed from out-of-state has been put on hold pending appeal, the AP reports:

KentuckyThe ruling Wednesday comes just two days before gay couples would have been allowed to change their names on official identifications and documents and obtain the benefits of any other married couple in Kentucky.

U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn II of Louisville said in a four-page order that it is "best that these momentous changes occur upon full review" rather than being implemented too soon or causing confusing changes.

"That does not serve anyone well," said Heyburn, an appointee of President George H.W. Bush in 1992.

Heyburn said the delay would stay in place until the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati either rules on the merits of the case or orders the stay lifted.

Governor Steve Beshear has hired an outside counsel to defend the state's ban after Attorney General Jack Conway made an announcement that he would refuse to defend it.


Jack Conway: Bluegrass Courage!

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BY DAVID MIXNER

As the saying goes you are allowed no more than just fifteen minutes of fame. There are just too many people to absorb in our brave new world of social media. However, just hit the pause button for a minute. Take just an extra minute or two if you missed it earlier this week to see an endangered species that is available for viewing right now.

What kind? An elected official with real courage.

KyxKentucky Attorney General Conway, in one of the most homophobic states in America, held an astounding press conference refusing to use the powers of his office to defend the state's ban on gay marriage. (Watch the video of the conference here).

If you think that Conway is some old liberal who has nothing to lose you could not be more wrong. The Attorney General is the future of the Democratic Party in Kentucky and the rising star is viewed as very likely to be the next Governor. There is a real possibility in taking this position he could have seriously hurt his future chances in the Bluegrass State.

The latest poll out of Kentucky has 55% of the people opposing gay marriage, one of the highest percentages in the United States.

Conway is a good old boy handsome pol who is Catholic. He has had a presence in Kentucky politics for years. To make him even more Kentuckian, he and his father raised thoroughbred horses and actually had one run in the Kentucky Derby. When he ran for Attorney General the Louisville Courier-Journal found him to be a moderate to conservative Democrat who came out against marriage equality.

Said Conway  in an interview this week with TPM:

"Conway, who opposed same-sex marriage during his failed run for the U.S. Senate in 2010, wouldn't pinpoint when he changed his mind to support full marriage equality. He said he came around "over the last few years" after conversations with friends in the gay community, and after thinking about how his two daughters would come to view his decision.

"I thought long and hard. I thought about the arc of history," he said. "I thought about the fact that at one time in this country we discriminated against women. At one time we discriminated against African-Americans and people of color. At one time we discriminated against those with disabilities. This is the last minority group in this country that a significant portion of our population thinks it's OK to still discriminate against in any way. And I didn't think that was right."

***

"To discriminate and not allow two people to marry does not have a rational basis under the law, and therefore it cannot withstand scrutiny under the equal protection [clause of the 14th Amendment]," Conway said, arguing that laws against gay marriage are unconstitutional.

Barring a sudden and swift change in statewide public opinion, the decision poses potential dangers for the attorney general, who has served in the role since 2008, and told TPM he intends to run for governor in 2015 once Beshear maxes out his two terms.

"My wife Elizabeth knew what I wanted to do in my heart," he said. "And at one point she pulled me aside and said 'Jack, you stink when you're not authentic.' And at that point I knew it might cost me politically but I needed to ... make a decision I could be proud of."

So, those of you who think there aren't people of courage in politics, think again. For one shining moment in Kentucky, a man of real courage and conviction stood up against hatred and discrimination no matter what the political costs.

Take a minute and savor his courage because it just doesn't happen as often as it should in American politics.


Rand Paul Calls Federal Judge's Kentucky Gay Marriage Ruling 'Illegitimate'

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Kentucky Senator Rand Paul released a statement following U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn II’s ruling that Kentucky must recognize legal same-sex marriage from outside the state.

Said Paul:

"I believe in the historic and religious definition of marriage. I also believe this power belongs to the states and the people, not the federal government. It is illegitimate for the federal courts to intrude here."

Governor Steve Beshear is hiring an outside counsel to defend the state's ban in the appeal of the ruling after Attorney General Jack Conway, in an emotional and tearful announcement, said he would not.


Emotional Kentucky AG Jack Conway Chokes Up Announcing He Won't Defend State's Gay Marriage Ban: VIDEO

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Earlier today, Towleroad reported that Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway announced that he won't defend the state's gay marriage ban in an appeal of a federal court ruling handed down late last week. Governor Steve Beshear announced that he would hire outside counsel to appeal the ruling, which recognizes gay marriages performed out of state.

Conway became so emotional and choked up during the announcement he had to pause to collect himself.

Watch it, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Emotional Kentucky AG Jack Conway Chokes Up Announcing He Won't Defend State's Gay Marriage Ban: VIDEO" »


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