Being named a member of the Honorable Kentucky Order of Colonels is akin to receiving a knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II. It is an honorary title bestowed upon those who do great service for the community. Jordan Palmer, head of the LGBT group Kentucky Equality Federation, has been named to this Order by Governor Steve Beshear.
Palmer was nominated by senior Representative Ruth Ann Palumbo, chair of the House Standing Committee on Economic Development, senior Representative Tom Burch, chair of the House Standing Committee on Health & Welfare, and attorney Jill Hall Rose, former Law Clerk for the Supreme Court of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
Perhaps the most famous Kentucky Colonel was Colonel Harland Sanders, best known for creating Kentucy Fried Chicken.
Rose stated that “I have known Mr. Palmer for over 10 yrs. and found him to be a tireless passionate advocate for equality and civil liberties across the commonwealth of Kentucky. Through the nonprofit organization he co-founded, Kentucky Equality Federation, he has successfully lobbied at both the State and Federal level for fair treatment of for all people regardless of their gender or sexual orientation. His specific work on hate crimes has brought these serious issues into the spotlight. Kentucky is fortunate to have such an outstanding individual working for us.”
Rep Palumbo added that “Jordan Palmer is a dear friend and outstanding Kentuckian. I was honored to nominate him to be a Kentucky Colonel, the highest award given by the commonwealth of Kentucky. Mr. Palmer works very hard for equality.”
Representative Burch described Palmer as being a compassionate advocate of equality and a role model for the community.
KEF Press Secretary David Jones said “From Mr. Palmer protesting Governor Fletcher and later Representative Fischer (twice, click here the second protest) for saying ‘ gays had not suffered enough,’ sponsoring a Soulforce Equality Ride at the University of the Cumberlands for kicking out a gay student, forcing school boards to allow Gay-Straight Alliances, rallying at Northern Kentucky University and the city of Hazard, FORCING policy changes, organizing Kentucky’s 1st Gay Marriage License Day, assisting in restoring the Kentucky AIDS Drug Assistance Program (KADAP) to successfully pushing the first federal hate crime, Mr. Palmer’s place in Kentucky history is secure.”
For his part Colonel Palmer said upon receiving the honor that “I am honored to receive the commission and will continue the work I do across Kentucky. I am honored Governor Beshear commissioned a LGBTI civil rights leader and humbled by the wonderful people who nominated me. I have always been fascinated by titles of honor, from Colonel to Companion and Knight in other countries. It is an award in recognition of a person’s deeds and merits. I plan to join the Honorable Order of the Colonels because I think the work they do is important, but not recognized as much as it should be.”