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Protest in Hazard, Kentucky on Saturday for gay men kicked out of public pool

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I interviewed Jordan Palmer, President of the Kentucky Equality Federation regarding the disgusting incident of two developmentally disabled gay men being kicked out of a public pool because an employee told them gay people weren't allowed to swim in their public pool, because it was "against the Bible."

I've been so furious about the treatment of the two men I would go up there to Hazard, KY and participate in the protest, myself, but I have an important local progressive political meeting that requires me to remain in Oklahoma. The protest is going to be on Saturday, June 18 from 2:00pm - 4:00pm at the Pavilion on Deaton Street where the crime took place in Hazard, KY.

He also mentioned the nurses who were with the victims had been accused of lying regarding this horrific incident. Question: What motivation would the nurses have for lying about the incident?

Jordan didn't have long on the phone because a severe thunderstorm was striking the area and he wanted to go take cover. Since I'm from tornado alley, I more than understood, but he did have time to assure me Kentucky is ready for a peaceful protest to try to change the hateful culture so prevalent in that area. Some of the personal hate crimes Jordan has experienced as a gay leader in Kentucky is that he had been hit in the head with a baseball bat, and he recited a homophobic threat from someone that they would like to rape "your President Obama with a machete." Definitely words to remember when some might think our problem dealing with hate groups doesn't extend to other minorities, and is summed up perfectly by the mention of the World War II "Niemöller poem" he references below.

The following is an e-mail he has sent to announce the protest:

Forgive me for taking so long to respond, but I personally thank all of the countless people who have emailed us; it is late so please excuse any typos.

The protest information is below on Facebook:

We welcome everyone, please bring as many people as you can; we appreciate your support, as do the people at Mending Hearts and the two men asked to leave as Old Testament Bible Quotes was quoted to them as they left crying.

Please feel free to make your own signs, and again the website link above contains all the information you will need.

If you have questions, please email me or Mr. Josh Koch our Public Relations and Media Director:, or the Assistant Southern Kentucky Regional Director responsible for Hazard and surrounding areas, Mr. Will Taylor at

I have been in the phone over the past couple of days with newspapers and television stations that I didn’t even know existed.

Thank you all again, I’m sorry I could not respond to each person individually, but we have received nearly 240 contact requests; we sincerely thank you, and thanks also to the people who have donated to Kentucky Equality Federation and you kind words since this event began; your donations pay for our toll-free number, brochures, websites, etc. You will receive a thank you letter from our Treasurer as well as our Chairman of the Board, Richard T. Jones. We are all volunteers at Kentucky Equality Federation; no one is paid for anything.

If we allow the civil liberties and inalienable human rights of even one person to be denied, it opens the door to additional government oppression and the creation of secondary citizens who do not enjoy the same rights as the majority simply because we are the minority.

Every citizen of the Commonwealth should be outraged, because from denying people access to a public facility to being discriminated against because of sexual orientation or gender identity it chains us all together if tolerated by the people and begs the question, what group of people will be next? If could be anyone or any group.

My Grandfather and his twin brother served in World War II and have a chest full of metals fighting for our freedom and I am reminded of a poem of the time…… though the original author is disputed, and it has been changed many times over the past 50 years, it still holds true today if you do not stand-up for your fellow citizens and yourself.

However, this poem perfectly describes what happened in World War II, event by event. If history has taught us anything it is that it repeats itself: “First they came for the communists, and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for the Gays, and I didn't speak out because I wasn't Gay. Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak out for me.” We must stand-up for anyone discriminated against.

Section I of the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Kentucky grants us the right to peacefully assemble.

Section IV protects us from our Government: “All power is inherent in the people, and all free governments are founded on their authority and instituted for their peace, safety, happiness and the protection of property. For the advancement of these ends, they have at all times an inalienable and indefeasible right to alter, reform or abolish their government in such manner as they may deem proper.

Section V protects us from religious fanatics: “No preference shall ever be given by law to any religious sect, society or denomination; nor to any particular creed, mode of worship or system of ecclesiastical polity; nor shall any person be compelled to attend any place of worship, to contribute to the erection or maintenance of any such place, or to the salary or support of any minister of religion; nor shall any man be compelled to send his child to any school to which he may be conscientiously opposed; and the civil rights, privileges or capacities of no person shall be taken away, or in anywise diminished or enlarged, on account of his belief or disbelief of any religious tenet, dogma or teaching.”

I’m sorry this message is so long, but I hope to see the near 230 people blind copied on this email at the protest and because it has taken be so many days to respond to you all I thought you deserved a detailed message and response.

In service,

Jordan Palmer, President
Kentucky Equality Federation
He also stated that the town in which they were to protest has demanded they get a permit to protest even though Kentucky's state constitution allows them to protest. I suggested the two developmentally disabled men receive some kind of medal from the LGBT community for their bravery, and he thought it was a good idea. I hope they take up that suggestion because I think the two gay guys should be publicly honored and embraced for what they experienced simply because they happened to be part of our LGBT family.

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