Commission on Human Rights
A statement from the Human Rights Commission upon the death of Galen Martin
“The Kentucky Commission on Human Rights expresses its deepest sympathy to the family and friends of the patriarch of the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights,” said executive director, Linda Strite Murnane.
Galen Martin, the first executive director of the commission and a renowned champion for civil rights, died Tuesday at his home at the age of 79, according to media reports.
"Galen Martin greatly served our commonwealth and our nation with his steadfast commitment to the principles of equality," Ms. Murnane said.
Mr. Martin led the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights from the time of its formation in 1960, until 1989. He was one of the leaders in the fight for the passage of The Kentucky Civil Rights Act in 1966. He continued to work for civil rights in many capacities until the end of his life.
"It has been a tragic year for those committed to the cause of equality in Kentucky," said Priscilla Johnson, chair of the commission. "In addition to losing our beloved Galen Martin," she said, "we have also lost civil rights leaders Sterling Neal, Anne Braden and Henry Wallace."
The Kentucky Commission on Human Rights is the state government agency that enforces The Kentucky Civil Rights Act and the policies of federal civil rights laws. These are the laws that make discrimination illegal.