According to recent news reports two city workers in Hazard, Kentucky were reprimanded for asking two men who were kissing in a public pool to leave. One of the workers, Charlotte Pearlman, the manager of the Pavilion facility from which the men were ejected, was reprimanded specifically for "conduct unbecoming a city worker" and for using "inappropriate language" over the phone with a staff member of CNN's Anderson Cooper 360 who was trying to conduct an interview with her.
I don't know what exact language Mrs. Pearlman used (we're guessing it was something along the lines of , "@!#?@!."), nor the exact nature of the hand signals she used while saying it, but under normal circumstances, telling off CNN should get you some kind of medal. I have fantasized about doing the very same thing many times. In fact, we just got rid of our old TV set which sported numerous dents incurred by airborne remote controls over the course of a number of years while watching CBS News with Dan Rather.
According to the report in the Louisville Courier-Journal:
City employee Kim Haynes, who was given a week’s suspension without pay for his role in the incident, told investigators that the two men were engaged in an excessive display of affection, and that he would have told any other couple to leave had he seen similar behavior.The two men had "development disabilities" and were clients of the Mending Hearts, Inc., a local social services agency whose services apparently do not include teaching its clients about socially acceptable public behavior and common courtesy to those around them. Anyone who wants to contact the organization might want to consult their local public bathroom wall: "For a good time, call Mending Hearts, Inc."
What exactly is wrong with telling two people making out in a public pool--no matter who they are--to leave in order to spare other swimmers from having to watch?
At least one witness saw the two men “standing ‘man to man’ or ‘belly to belly’ in the pool … splashing each other with water and pushing each other under the water,” Collins reported. The witness “also said he observed them hug each other on at least one occasion” and give each other a kiss.Not a spectacle likely to attract swimmers to the local swimming hole.
But Mending Hearts Director Shirlyn Perkins called the Kentucky Equality Federation, which swung (pun--which we just noticed as we were typing this, but are now very pleased with--intended) into action, charging the city pool with discrimination against the two bellied smoochers.
The Kentucky "Equality" Federation is the same group that last year charged that two Eastern Kentucky girls had committed a hate crime when they conducted a mock kidnapping of a gay friend--despite the fact that the girl giggled during the entire episode and gleefully filmed the whole thing on her cellphone. Local law enforcement officials finally just dismissed the case because it was obviously a good-natured prank. But to the Kentucky "Equality" Federation it was a federal crime.
The Hazard City Manager issued an apology to CNN and the staff of Anderson Cooper 360 for Mrs. Pearlman's charge that their staff was a bunch of "@!#?@!" "@!#?@!s" who "@!#?@!ed" their "@!#?@!" "@!#?@!s," although these charges were never actually denied by the network.
In addition, the City Manager ordered that a new pronouncement would be posted at the pool:
As soon as practicable, a new sign will be installed within the Pavilion complex to reinforce the commitment of the City of Hazard that the Pavilion will be open for the benefit of the public and that the services, benefits, and facilities of the complex are available for use without regard to race, ethnicity, color, creed, national origin, age, sexual orientation, or physical/mental disability as required by federal and state law.Um, can we point out that "sexual orientation" is not currently included in any of the relevant federal or state laws? And that putting them there will require the workings of something called the "democratic process"? You know, that thing we have to use in order to pass laws?
And that just because the Kentucky "Equality" Federation (which lays awake at night worrying that somebody, somewhere might disagree with it on the issue of homosexuality) threatens to sue you does not mean that you have to lay over and play dead--and pass gay rights ordinances that no elected body has ever approved?
And what exactly does this new sign have to do with what happened at the pool with the two men who were smooching "belly to belly"? Does this mean that, if you're gay, you can make out at the pool, but that if you're heterosexual you can't? After all, prohibiting the former is "discrimination," while the other isn't.
That's what the Kentucky "Equality" Federation calls "equality."