June 18, 2011

Protestors Rally at Hazard Pool

The city of Hazard has now taken action against an employee who kicked two mentally challenged gay men out of a pool for acting inappropriately. About 100 people showed up Saturday from across Kentucky outside the Hazard Pavilion Pool to protest.

"I was more embarrassed that these issues are still prevalent in our region," says Pastor Edith Baker.

It's now been one week since a worker kicked out the two men, after one sat on the other's knee. The group "Mending Hearts" who was supervising the men, complained the cited the Bible and said that "gay people weren't allowed to swim there."

"It's important to let people know this happens everyday, and they can't do that," says Kevin Holmes.

Police officers kept watch on the protest to make sure things remained calm. While other protestors showed up to defend the pool worker. "I really don't think it was an issue of homosexuality, because I don't think these two men were asked to do anything that heterosexual couples wouldn't be asked to do. I mean this is a family facility, people bring their babies here," says Kristi Dixon.

The city attorney said the worker, Kim Haynes, will be suspended without pay for five days because his inappropriate language could imply the city enforces rules based on religion. But the president of the Kentucky Equality Federation who organized the rally, says that's not enough. "If he not issue an official apology, and is reassigned to another area of government, then we will sue the city of Hazard," says Jordan Palmer.

City officials say they will be posting signs at the pool stating the facility is open to all types of people, but that excessive public displays of affection will not be tolerated.

Lex18 - Lexington News Link:  http://www.lex18.com/news/protestors-rally-at-hazard-pool

Lex18 - Lexington Video Link: http://www.lex18.com/videoplayer/?video_id=16483&categories=233

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