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Gay men ejected from public recreation center because the Bible said it was OK

Monday, June 13, 2011
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The Kentucky Equality Federation on Monday condemned Hazard, Ky., Pavilion for ejecting two gay men from their facility, because the Bible said they could.

A maintenance technician told the couple and the group present “we own this place and can tell you to leave if we want to.”

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

“The Pavilion staff immediately entered the pool area and asked my clients and their staff to leave the Pavilion,” Shirlyn Perkins, executive director of Mending Hearts, said in a news release issued Monday by the Kentucky Equality Federation. She said her staff “were informed that ‘gay people’ weren’t allowed to swim there.”

Perkins said Mending Hearts staff members argued that their clients were being discriminated against, but the Pavilion staff member “stated that what he was doing was in the Bible and he could do it.”

City attorney, Paul Collins said that a lifeguard said he saw the two men repeatedly hugging and kissing in a corner of the pool.

Will Taylor, the Equality Federation’s assistant regional director for Southern Kentucky, said he is planning a protest of city hall and the Pavilion unless “an official apology” is issued and “immediate corrective action” is taken.

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