Same-sex couples challenged by discrimination
Over the past 10 years, and despite a 2004 state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, the number of same-sex couples in Kentucky has increased 63 percent, according to the 2010 U.S. Census.
Lesbian and gay couples live in all Kentucky counties. Twenty-four percent are raising children — up from 15 percent 10 years ago.
What the data make clear is that despite the lack of support from their government, more and more Kentuckians are living their truth. And for many, that includes accepting the responsibilities of love and family.
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Public policy, at its best, promotes strong families. Unfortunately, public policy isn't doing much to address the numerous vulnerabilities faced by the growing numbers of families led by same-sex couples.
Kentuckians, including those in same-sex relationships, can be fired from their jobs, forced to leave a restaurant or denied housing based on real or perceived sexual orientation.
Same-sex couples have no guarantee their relationship will be acknowledged by hospitals in their most desperate times.
Same-sex parents cannot gain and share legal custody of their children, unnecessarily and indefensibly disadvantaging Kentucky children.
The lack of employment protections and parenting rights for lesbian and gay Kentuckians is an issue for all who stand for the right of hard-working people to earn a living and care for their families.
Families, communities and indeed our commonwealth could and should be strengthened by the adoption of public policy that supports all families. Continuing to ignore same-sex couples and their families serves no practical or constructive civic purpose.
Former executive director
Kentucky Fairness Alliance
Separate but equal
In Kentucky, a teacher accepted into an alternative teacher-preparation program who is still working on the requirements for certification is equal to a fully certified teacher for hiring purposes.
A person with a bachelor's degree can gain acceptance to an alternative teacher-certification program and immediately look for a position as a special-education teacher.
While working as a special-education teacher, they can work on the teacher-certification requirements. This teacher in training works under a temporary provisional certificate for teaching exceptional children. This person is not really fully certified, but is considered an equal candidate to fully certified teachers for hiring purposes.
The Education Professional Standards Board and Kentucky Department of Education say this is not emergency or probationary certification.
It appears to be a form of it. We just don't call it that.
I speculate that in some cases there might be no difference in people initially issued a temporary provisional certification and those with initial emergency certification, except that the one with the temporary certificate is accepted into an alternative preparation program.
If you don't value people, people have no value. We celebrate the heroes of every disaster in the news who step up and make a difference in the lives of the victims they save. They make a difference because the people they help matter, even though they are strangers.
It is easy in the busy days and lives that most people are plugged into to forget how much other people need us, to postpone spending time with others or discount our value to the community.
Put down your toys; the electronic gadgets you think you can't live without, the expensive machines that take you places by yourself, the food you don't need to eat. Reach out and make a difference in someone else's life. Talk to real people in real time.
Spend your electronic time as human-interaction time instead. The world is full of interesting people, standing next to you in the line at the store, sitting next to you in the café, out and about in the parks. Sometimes it just takes a "Hi."
Don't let it be an emergency before you reach out.
I love the new trash and recycling containers at all of the area parks. Recycling helps to protect our environment.
Did you know that Americans use 4 million plastic bottles every hour, but only 25 percent of plastic bottles are recycled?
Please recycle all of your glass, metals, aluminum, steel cans, cardboard, paper, phone books, magazines and plastic bottles.
Let's recycle, Lexington.
We have a little problem here, folks. Lexington is spending money on the silliest of projects while people are hungry and homeless.
The Springs Inn was demolished because the owners didn't want to keep it up, so a beautiful Lexington landmark was razed. I saw rooms for people just trashed. Meanwhile, some goofus(es) decided to ruin Triangle Park and render it unusable for the homeless now — and maybe from now on.
I see a lot of waste here, and to what avail? Until the people who rely on those park areas are looked after and provided new adequate space, I won't be happy with the results of such a foolish and political adventure.
Where did we get all this money?
Donna C. Jennings
Germs show us
I read with interest the recent Los Angeles Times editorial you published concerning the excessive use of antibiotics causing new diseases to develop. It is obvious to any unbiased thinker what is at work here is natural selection. Many germs die from the antibiotic but there are a small number of germs that have a natural resistance. These germs reproduce and their descendants have this resistance in their genes. The more antibiotics used, the more resistant germs will develop, until the germs are all resistant to the treatment used.
Germs are the only life that reproduces fast enough for humans to see evolution happening. Is it intelligent design or the "E" word at work here?
A startling moment
The evening of Sept. 11 I had every intention of coming home to watch football with friends and to remember the fine Americans we lost that day 10 short years ago. Unfortunately, a store in the Hamburg area had a different plan for us.
Let me preface by explaining that I am a soldier in the Kentucky National Guard and have been for seven years. After a very long day of training and meetings at drill, I was finally able to head to the homestead. I decided on the way home to grab a six-pack for the game.
Admittedly, it was approaching closing time at about 10 minutes to 9 p.m., but I was turned away by an employee. I was in uniform, on Sept. 11, and was turned away 10 minutes before the posted time the establishment was said to close.
I am hoping the employees understand that all of us in the military do what we do so that they have the freedom to turn us away 10 minutes early. You are welcome.