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City disciplines two workers for ejecting gay couple from pool

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The City of Hazard, Ky., has suspended an employee for ejecting two gay men from a public recreational facility citing the Bible as his reason for doing so.

The suspended city employee Kim Haynes told investigators that the two men were engaged in an excessive display of affection June 10, and that he would have told any other couple to leave had he seen similar behavior.

Haynes, however, also acknowledged he said “We don’t tolerate that kind of activity around here” and cited the Bible in an argument with Laura Quillen, a member of the social service group Mending Hearts, which was overseeing the group.

The gay men, who were not identified, had been swimming at the Hazard Pavilion with a group from Mending Hearts, which provides care to people with mental retardation and developmental disabilities.

In addition to the five-day suspension without pay, Haynes was ordered to undergo “sensitivity training.”

The city has also ordered a sign be posted stating all official rules and prohibiting excessive public displays of affection, be it same-sex or opposite-sex couples.

Jordan Palmer, president and co-founder of the Kentucky Equality Federation, which organized a protest outside the Hazard Pavilion on Saturday, said the city’s actions are “a step in the right direction,” but suspending Haynes is “still not sufficient for us.”

“He’s got to be moved to another area of government,” Palmer said.

The manager of the Hazard Pavilion, Charlotte Pearlman, also was reprimanded for unbecoming conduct for using “inappropriate and obscene language” when declining comment to a television news crew, the city said.

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Filed under: Kentucky

8 more reader comments:

  1. Hey Bible Bangers…. At Jonathan’s funeral, David declares that he loved Jonathan more than any woman. This is just one of several Bible passages that describe and celebrate an intense love between these two men that went well beyond friendship.

    Posted on Sunday, June 19, 2011 at 2:51pm
  2. Like hell. You can’t go fucking anywhere without straight couples making out to prove to the whole world, who doesn’t give a shit, that they’re dating or whatever. Gays have earned the right to do what they want after being forced into silence for so long.

    Posted on Sunday, June 19, 2011 at 2:54pm
  3. GREAT! A whopping 5 day suspension for crapping all over two people’s dignity and self respect. :: eye roll::

    Hell at that rate Mr. Hater can trample on another 102 people’s human rights over the next year.

    Posted on Sunday, June 19, 2011 at 2:57pm
  4. And I’m proud to be an American.. where at least I know i’m — ?

    Posted on Sunday, June 19, 2011 at 3:21pm
  5. I agree with Palmer; definitely NOT good enough. Both employees should be terminated. Suspension is barely more than a slap on the wrist for a slap in the face of both the LGBT community and those who are disabled. Neither behaviors are acceptable.

    I would counsel Hazzard County to define clearly on any posted signs what constitutes an ‘excessive display of public affection’ – or the County can be embarassed (and possibly sued) a second time on the national stage.

    Posted on Sunday, June 19, 2011 at 3:36pm
  6. Gay..and proud.

    Posted on Sunday, June 19, 2011 at 4:08pm
  7. My fiancée and I had someone call the mayor and complain about us for “being too affectionate” at a public swimming area last summer…in reality all we did was hold hands and hugged…there may have been a peck on the lips. Nothing would have been said if it were a straight couple. Really what were we thinking,we live in TN!

    Posted on Sunday, June 19, 2011 at 4:14pm
  8. I’m Gay & Proud!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Posted on Monday, June 20, 2011 at 2:55am