June 18, 2011
An employee at a public swimming pool in eastern Kentucky was suspended for a week without pay after telling two disabled gay men to leave, city of Hazard officials said Saturday.
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.
According to a report released by city attorney Paul R. Collins, summing up the conflicting accounts, at least one witness saw the men "standing 'man to man' or 'belly to belly' in the pool . splashing each other with water and pushing each other under the water." The witness "also said he observed them hug each other on at least one occasion" and give each other a kiss, the report said.
Meanwhile, dozens of people rallied at the pool Saturday in support of the gay men.
Jordan Palmer, president of the Kentucky Equality Federation, said the men were discriminated against.
The manager of the Hazard Pavilion also was reprimanded for unbecoming conduct, The Courier-Journal reported. Charlotte Pearlman used inappropriate and obscene language when declining comment to a television news crew, the city said.
Read more at the San Francisco Examiner: http://www.sfexaminer.com/news/2011/06/2-punished-after-disabled-gays-told-leave-pool#ixzz1PwlmvWSN