Friday, June 26, 2009

Thoughts on Fairness and Equality in Lexington

I want to thank AceWeekly for allowing my guest blog on their web site. To read my thoughts on Fairness and Equality in Lexington, visit

Also, don't forget about the Lexington Fairness Awards on June 26 and the Lexington Pride Festival on June 27!



Tuesday, June 9, 2009

June Fairness Celebration!

This month is a momentous month. President Obama has declared it to be LGBT Pride Month and Lexington will celebrate it's pride. The city has had 10 years under the protection of a Fairness Ordinance and continues to be one of the most progressive and equality-driven metro areas in Kentucky.

I am proud to be working with Lexington Fairness for this year's Lexington Fairness Awards and Pride Festival. Do you know someone who has exhibited leadership in the LGBT community? If so, please take a few minutes to visit and nominate someone for one of four awards presented annually by Lexington Fairness. The awards are titled: 1) Ally for Fairness Award, 2) Fairness Leadership Award, 3) The Jennifer Crossen Out for Fairness Award and 4) Political Leadership Award. If you know someone who fits within one of those categories (and you can learn more about the criteria for each on the link above), please let us at Lexington Fairness know so we can consider them to receive praise at this year's awards ceremony.

Along with that, please celebrate with us at the Fairness Awards Ceremony! It will take place on June 26th at the Lexington Downtown Hotel (formerly the Radisson). Will call will open at 5:30 p.m. and the ceremony and entertainment will begin at 7 p.m. There are varying price ranges for tickets, so you can select what you can afford. As a prospective table captain, I am looking for 9 people to sit with me! Let me know ( if you want to take a seat at my table and I can arrange for the ticket!

Finally, the month of June LGBT Pride celebration is capped off with the Lexington Pride Festival, being held on June 27th at Cheapside Park. This is the time for those part of the LGBT community to come together and celebrate together, as well as show the rest of the city that we are here, and we want to help make the city prosper and become diverse in all ways possible. You can find details of the festival at

Again, always feel free to connect with me at and I can fill you in on details of the mentioned events. I look forward to meeting as many of you as possible and talking with you on the ways we all can work together to make Lexington, Central Kentucky and the entire state a more equal, tolerant and progressive place to live.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Lexington rights and giving back...

Lexington Pride Festival is coming up and I hope everyone is eager to help celebrate how far our country has come since the 40 years following Stonewall. Lexington, in particular, is a great city to be in for equal rights. However, Kentucky still lags behind in equality.

I began my fight for equality in fighting Senate Bill 68, which was proposed to ban same-sex adoption. We won our fight, and now it's time to move on. Don't get me wrong, I am fully expecting the bill to be re-introduced during the 2010 legislative session, but there are other fish to fry in the meantime.

So, equal rights... it goes beyond the big picture of adoption and marriage. Visitation is another big item. Shouldn't you be able to visit your partner, if they are in a coma, in the hospital? In many cases, that is not possible.

Equal rights goes beyond the gay aspect as well. Everyone should have equal access to support under the law. We know social mores and norms fight against this daily, but the law is the law and it should be followed. However, when anti-rights legislation is passed, the law gets side-swiped and people use it to their advantage to continue discrimination.

This has been my first post in a long time and I hope to keep up my blogging regularly, as time allows. I'm currently formally representing the Lexington Art League, Lexington Ballet and United Way of the Bluegrass' Get on Board program as a board member. Additionally, I am volunteering with Lexington Fairness and The Living Arts and Science Center. This, of course, is on top of my full-time job with IMG Associations.

So, regularity of posts will entirely depend on activity with my community commitments. I am proud and happy to have the access to serve with these organizations and look forward to giving back to Lexington. The Art League and Get on Board are all about equal rights to respective aspects of the community (art and board service). Lexington Fairness continues the fight for marriage and civil rights for the LGBT community. The Lexington Ballet and Living Arts and Science Center provide equal access to educational programming for the younger generation in Lexington.

I am striving to help make Lexington a better place to live and hope you will help support my endeavors!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Here is an awesome video production of a speech by Harvey Milk:

We have won the battle...

You know how it goes (we may have won the battle, but who will win the war?). It looks as though SB 68 has no chance of getting to the Governor's desk anytime soon! Congratulations to everyone who has joined me in the cause to stop discrimination in Kentucky! The sources that I've heard from say our legislators were overwhelmed with calls and messages of opposition to the bill sponsored by Senator Tapp. In the end, even though the bill passed committee (in a practically secret meeting), the message of reason was heard and the legislation moved no further... all thanks to our hard work.

Now there are still two days left for the legislature to meet, but that makes it virtually impossible for this bill to become law. Again, thank you for all of your support in defeating this discriminatory bill and showing Kentucky that the age of unequal rights is coming to its end.

Now, we must not move on and think the fight is over. Senator Tapp has already claimed to support sponsoring the same bill next session. We must continue to show all representatives and citizens that we will no longer allow hate-filled ignorant policy stand in this state.

For the future, my activism and Facebook groups (which you can find links to over to your right) will continue. In the meantime, do a few things:
1) add me to your friend list on Facebook, or follow me on Twitter (craigcammack) so I can keep you updated
2) support other groups and organizations that help our fight
3) never forget what we have been able to accomplish together... we altered the course of history in our state and helped Kentucky's children.

Thanks again for joining and always feel free to reach out to me.

Craig Cammack

Monday, March 9, 2009

My argument opposing Kentucky Senate Bill 68

Senate Bill 68, sponsored by State Senator Gary Tapp (R), works to ensure that any unmarried couple is not able to adopt. Supporters of the bill believe it strengthens the family unit and provides a secure home for an already fragile child.

Here are my arguments against this bill (take a look at a video produced by a member of my Facbook page that backs up the arguments):

1. Being married does not mean you provide a stable home. We have all heard the many stories of abuse, drug use, alcoholism, neglect that occur in "secure heterosexual married homes". The rate of divorce continues to be astronomical... this argument doesn't make sense. Just because you are married to someone does not mean you are a capable parent for a child.

2. This bill STILL allows for single parent adoption. Really?... this doesn't support the proponents of this bill at all. It is not better to have a single parent than two that aren't married, or of the same sex. The argument, traditionally, for a married couple household is that they provide both "roles" of a husband and wife. This bill does not support this argument.

3. Same sex couples cannot get married in Kentucky. There was a constitutional amendment passed several years ago keeping this from happening. This bill is the only way, without looking blatantly antagonistic, of keeping same sex couples from adopting children. If a heterosexual couple is cohabiting and decided they wanted to adopt a child, all they have to do is get married, job done, they can adopt. This is not an option for same sex couples... and from what I can tell, will not be ANYTIME soon. Therefore, this bill is clearly another move to discriminate and deprive the LGBT community from rights.

4. The bill will cause brain drain in Kentucky. Why would unmarried heterosexual and same sex couples want to stay in a state where they can't have a child via adoption? Imagine you have been in a same sex relationship for 15 or 20 years and you are at a point in your life where you are thinking about starting a family. Well, if you live in Kentucky, that's not an option with this bill. Therefore, if having a family is more important than where you live (and it is to many Americans) you may very well choose to leave the state. There is no plausible argument I can find where this would help the state (loss in taxpayer income, loss in human capital, etc).

5. What about the children... really! There are already over 7,000 of Kentucky's children in foster services, with 2,000 of them up for adoption. Should we REALLY limit the homes that could provide them with love and stability? That's what this bill would do... reduce the amount of homes a child could be living in and keeping them in state-run protective services.

6. According to the Williams Institute, this bill would cost the state over $5 million within the first year of its passage. This comes from less children being placed in foster and adoptive homes and being "stuck" with the state to take care of them. With Kentucky facing such huge economic crises, a failing education system and the health care system slowly dying... is this really what we need right now?

7. Kentucky continues to regress. Times have changed and we need to understand that to remain viable in America, we need to adapt to its needs. Kentucky continues to develop an image of intolerance and bigotry. This bill does not help that at all! Let's progress into a state that promises equal rights to all, promotes a healthy lifestyle where all citizens are welcomed and allows every voice to be heard without hesitation.

These are my arguments against Senate Bill 68. Unfortunately, they were not heard when the originating committee passed the legislation. I'm hoping, by having them on this page, they can be heard by someone who can carry the arguments and torch to stop this bill.

The Social Blogging has begun...

Okay, so this is my first foray into blogging... I've generally just stuck with Facebook and Twitter. A quick little bit about why I'm blogging:

1. I've started some online activism with my Facebook group "STOP SB 68 in Kentucky", which was developed to stop the passage of an adoption law banning all unmarried couples from having access to adopt in Kentucky. This will be my continuation of this fight, as well as any other issues/items I feel the need to expand upon.

2. Since using Facebook and Twitter, I have found I enjoy getting my views out there, and lets face it, writing in a paper journal just doesn't do it anymore.

3. A blog is a great tool to have your voice heard, even if I only have two or three subscribers!

Okay, so that's my reasoning... hope you will follow my venture into this medium.