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Disabled Gay Couple Kicked Out of Kentucky Public Pool, Because “It’s In The Bible”

Disabled Gay Couple Kicked Out of Kentucky Public Pool, Because “It’s In The Bible”

Earlier this week, a disabled gay couple were kicked out of a public pool in Hazard, Kentucky. A staff member at the Hazard Pavilion recreation center told the two men and their aids that they needed to leave because “‘gay people’ weren’t allowed to swim there.” And why not? Apparently, because “it’s in the Bible.”

The two men, who are developmentally and intellectually disabled, arrived at the pool accompanied by staff from Mending Hearts Inc. The organization provides support for people with certain disabilities and helps guide their behavior in public. “Neither of these young men was exhibiting inappropriate public behavior as witnessed by their direct support staff,” said Julia Oiler Spiegel of the Kentucky Equality Federation.

Shirlyn Perkins, Mending Hearts’ Executive Director, told the Kentucky Equality Federation that “Pavilion staff immediately entered the pool area and asked my clients and their staff to leave the Pavilion.”

“My staff asked The Pavilion staff why they were being asked to leave, and they were informed that ‘gay people’ weren’t allowed to swim there. [They] told this man that what he was trying to do was discrimination,” Perkins continued. “The man stated that what he was doing was in the Bible and he could do it. My staff continued to argue with this man, but was ultimately forced to leave.”

The Kentucky Equality Federation called the incident “completely outrageous.” “The Pavilion is owned by the City of Hazard and paid for by our tax dollars,” said Jordan Palmer, the organization’s president. “[Religion] has no place in government.” The Advocate reports that Palmer’s group and others are planning to protest at the Pavilion and Hazard City Hall.

“My clients, whom already feel ridiculed and different, left the city-owned facility crying and embarrassed for trying to participate in ‘normal’ activities that everyday ‘normal’ people do,” Perkins said of the incident.

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Photo credit: Eric Skiff (Creative Commons Share Alike)

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368 comments

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12:56PM PDT on Sep 9, 2012

I think I missed that Bible verse about swimming pools. I just can't seem to find it in my Concordance.

8:31PM PDT on Jul 1, 2012

I am pleased to see the offensive poster is no longer a member, but if these posts are moderated, it would be good to pull the post as well, it is a disgusting post. 4:04PM PST on Dec 29, 2011 on the name it just says past member. Thank you.

11:41AM PDT on Jul 1, 2012

The world would be a better place if the Bible never had been written and Christianity had never come to be. It would be one less crazy religion putting stupid ideas into the heads of people too gullible to think for themselves. Well, there is one good thing looming on the horizon: more and more Christians are rejecting homophobic biblical nonsense and are becoming more accepting of homosexuals. Let's hope the trend continues to the point that they reject the entire Bible as irrelevant.

12:06AM PST on Jan 19, 2012

I agree with Annmari L.

4:04PM PST on Dec 29, 2011

I'd kick them out too, in there with their butt plugs and leaky poo bums, matter of hygiene

8:35PM PST on Nov 12, 2011

Um, I've read the Bible quite a few times, and I don't remember anything that said, "Thou shalt not allow homosexuals in public pools."

6:50AM PST on Nov 9, 2011

OH-- so that must have been one of the commandments on the tablet Moses dropped on his way down from the burning bush--because I never heard that one before.

12:09PM PDT on Sep 14, 2011

Not only does the gay aspect call for a serious demonstration, but the lifeguard was in violation of the Americans With Disabilities Act since the men were cognitively impaired.

Ok, all you drag queens get out the bikinis and push the handicapped folks along in their wheelchairs. This kind of thing has to stop NOW.

11:01AM PDT on Aug 28, 2011

I seem to remember Treat your fellow man as you yourself would want to be treated.

10:55AM PDT on Aug 26, 2011

That's ridiculous. What happened to an unbiased government. No public facility (besides churches etc.) should judge their customers by race, gender or sexual orientation.

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