Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Kentucky swimming pool bans gays citing the Bible. I called the City of Hazard and asked if this was normal.

By Maurice Lacunza
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No gays in this Hazard pool
dang nab it!


The Advocate reports today that two gay men accompanied by a mental health case manager were blocked from entering a city owned swimming pool in Hazard, Kentucky. The city employee cited the Bible as the reason that he could bar them from using the facility. He told the case worker that "it was in the Bible." He said that "they" own the place and could do whatever they wanted. No amount of intelligent arguing would dissuade him. The worker told him that it was discrimination. He didn't care. The worker and two men eventually left the premises. No word was mentioned from the Public Recreation Director, Bill Morgan. Their website only lists a fax number. Therefore I called the city of Hazard and asked to speak with the City Manager, Carlos Combs. I was told that he was in a meeting and maybe I could call back tomorrow.
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Lady on the phone:
I just file paperwork here


I asked the lady on the phone if she was aware of this incident. She said that "they just heard about this morning" and "didn't know anything." I was referred to the city manager, Carlos Combs, who was in a meeting all day and wouldn't be available until tomorrow. I asked if turning away gay people was normal. She said that she just "files paper work" and I would simply have to talk to the manager...who is in a meeting until tomorrow. 


Not to be defeated, I called again and asked for Benny Chandler, the Hazard Director of Public Works. I was put through to his office and he spoke with me. Chandler said he was aware of the incident. I asked him if this was normal; using the Bible to refuse access to city owned resources. He said, "I can't say anything about it. I didn't have anything to do with that. Ya gotta call city hall or one of those people down there."  
ClipArt
It says right here:
Thou Shalt Not Allow Gays
In Thy Swimming Pool


It is hard to believe that this kind of thing can still happen but it does. Perhaps these are the dying gasps of a withering group of folks that refuse to embrace equality for all Americans. Perhaps it is the result of Christian pastors erroneously teaching church goers that God hates gays. Perhaps it is people like Georgia pastor Eddie Long who get up in front of 25,000 people and preach against gays. We know today that Eddie Long was self-loathing by his attack on gays. He was judging himself but in the process he hurt thousands of people and especially the four boys that he had sex with


The two men who wanted to swim at the city owned pool were flat out told that gay people were not allowed to swim there. It was in the Bible. A quick Google search of swimming in the Bible reveals absolutely nothing.  What we do know is that for 100 years the town of Hazard was cut off from the rest of the country due to their isolation in the mountains. From the years 1795 to 1912, there was virtually no outside contact until the railroad came through. This is the same town that the show, Dukes of Hazzard was based on.
Oliver Hazard Perry
If this guy isn't gay then my middle
name isn't Blossom


 It is easy to understand how a small isolated and perhaps a bit backwards town could allow city employees to mis-quote the Bible. It is their church inspired  zeal to "obey God's Word" even if it is wrong. For a further discussion on the Bible and homosexuality read this article on CTP. The 2000 census shows 4,806 people in Hazard. I reckon some of them are first cousins. The town was named after an 1812 naval hero, Oliver Hazard Perry. My Gaydar went into the red zone when I saw this picture of Oliver. 
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Hazardous Health Risk:
Gay guy hurrying to gas up in Hazard 


We all know from experience that bullys often times turn out to be gay themselves. Pastors are no exception. The more they preach against something, the more likely they are working out some private sin or issue in their own life. In a small town like Hazard, it is no surprise to find blatant discrimination. However, it is not acceptable. My advice:  for now, just drove through Hazard and don't even stop for gas. And god forbid you take a Deliverance style vacation! 







4 comments:

  1. First off, what the janitor did was wrong. He had no right/authority in kicking anyone out of the facility PERIOD. He should have reported the incident to Pavilion managers and they could have consulted the Mending Hearts Organization.

    You are way off base in a lot of what you are saying. Not all people in this area (I'm working in Hazard, just a few blocks from the pavilion) are like that guy. You perpetuate hate and bigotry by assuming its like Deliverance. You are a bully and are just as deplorable as the janitor.

    Also, the Dukes of Hazzard was absolutely NOT based on this city. It was just supposed to be about rural Georgia in the 80's. I know not a whole lot has changed since then, but there has been a little progress.

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  2. This comment is more directed at the other anonymous individual. Sir/Madam you are ignorant. The south (which I unfortunately live in) is very much like this, segmented from normalized society or not. This is a very unfortunate event event and I believe these people who mistreat other humans in such a terrible way deserve something just as terrible brought unto them. As far as your biggot comment, well i believe the actions of the majority in the south bring this "stereotype" upon themselves. maybe if parents didnt teach these actions to their children then there wouldnt be such disgust towards rednecks and hill-folk.

    OUT!

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  3. I am the OP.

    Far from ignorant, and if you unfortunately live in the south you should fortunately pack it up and head to friendlier waters. One bible thumping janitor does not speak for an entire community. The city managers don't know all the facts yet, so they are probably hesitant to speak to anyone, especially someone who only called to complain from a thousand miles away. Making blanket stereotype statements will not solve this problem.

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  4. I appreciate the comments above. I can understand why the OP thinks that my reaction is bullying. I tend to think of it as standing up in defense of the two gay men that were denied access. The city budget is 150 million dollars a year. There are 240 employees. They have a responsibility to enforce non-discrimination laws.

    I didn't call to complain. Far from it. I asked what was there position on using the Bible to deny access to city owned resources. At no time did I judge them or behave rudely. I was very gentle as a matter of fact. I don't want to hurt the city of Hazard. I want to raise their awareness.

    That phone call could have come from a few blocks from the Pavilion instead of a thousand miles away. We both share the responsibility. It is my hope that OP will call as a citizen and express his support for equal access.

    So, lets agree to dialogue about this for the common goal of raising awareness and helping people become better. The goal is to bring positive change not negative accusations.

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