Richmond gay-rights activist Scottie Wayne Saltsman dies at 44

aroberts@herald-leader.comJune 11, 2013 

Scottie Wayne Saltsman, 44, of Richmond, who had been honored as Ambassador of Goodwill by the Kentucky Equality Federation last week, died Sunday of cancer.

Mr. Saltsman was a former Eastern Kentucky University police officer and had been a supervisor at the Kentucky Department of Criminal Justice Training and a law enforcement instructor at EKU, his alma mater.

He was co-chair of the Bluegrass Chapter of the Kentucky Fairness Alliance and volunteered for various other fairness organizations and movements.

Mr. Saltsman had been secretary of the Richmond Human Rights Commission but resigned last year when the commission refused to extend protections to include sexual orientation and gender identity.

Kentucky Equality Federation President Jordan Palmer said goodwill ambassador is the organization's highest honor.

David Corbett, chairperson of the Kentucky Fairness Alliance, said Mr. Saltsman "did everything and anything he could do to help" the alliance: "lick envelopes, send letters, and (he) was always there when you needed him, but he never really took the limelight."

Mr. Saltsman was alive to receive the goodwill ambassador distinction June 3, but the plaque was presented to his mother Linda Pedigo Saltsman at his request, Palmer said.

"It's an amazing feeling to accept something for my son and to get that plaque honoring him," Linda Saltsman said.

Other Kentucky goodwill ambassadors include former state Treasurer Jonathan Miller and Rep. Ruth Ann Palumbo, D-Lexington.

Originally from Glasgow, Mr. Saltsman graduated from EKU, where he was described as being an "open, compassionate and accepting educator" by ex-EKU professor Marta Miranda.

Mr. Saltsman is survived by his parents, Jimmy and Linda Pedigo Saltsman, and a brother, Tony Saltsman

The funeral is at 1 p.m. CDT Wednesday at Hatcher & Saddler Funeral Home in Glasgow with burial in the Big Meadow Cemetery. Expressions of sympathy may be made to the Kentucky Law Enforcement Memorial Fund at www.klemf.org.

Anyssa Roberts: (859) 231-1409. Twitter: @LexGoKy.

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