Jordan Palmer is the son of divorced parents. His father, is a chief minister with the Church of Christ though Jordan attended a Methodist boarding school. His relationship with his father ended when he told him he was gay.
At 16 Jordan left the small town in Kentucky he was born and raised and moved to Lexington, KY. From there he founded several successful companies including the Hotel Ivy lodging chain. Jordan is currently invested in more than 29 hotels in 3 states.
In early 2006 Jordan founded Kentucky Equal Rights (later renamed Kentucky Equality Federation by majority vote of its members) to advance the interests of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. An advocate for states' rights, the Kentucky Equality Federation currently has more than 9,000 members.
On May 06, 2006 Palmer led members of the Kentucky Equality Association in a protest outside the Governor's Mansion during the Governor's Annual Derby Breakfast Celebration.
Governor Ernest Lee Fletcher angered the Kentucky Equality Federation by not vetoing $11 million in funding to the University of the Cumberlands, a Baptist school that expelled a student it learned was gay, and when Fletcher removed protections for LGBT civil servants from an Executive Order signed by his predecessor.
In May 2008, Palmer was unanimously elected to the Board of Directors of Marriage Equality USA.
Palmer is also an active member of the International Lesbian and Gay Association.