Citing the Biblical chapter titled "Hazard, Kentucky's Municipal Code," a city employee kicked out two gay men with intellectual and developmental disabilities after observing them engaged in "an excessive display of affection." Now the employee's been suspended, and the pool's slated to become the least-affectionate in America.
There seems to be some dispute over what the two "excessively affectionate" men did to prompt their booting. Kim Haynes, the Bible-toting worker who kicked them out of the pool, explained to investigators that "he would have told any other couple to leave had he seen similar behavior." And just what was that behavior, anyhow? A city report describes it thus:
... 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.
But the president of the Kentucky Equality Federation, which has come to the men's defense, says, "[t]here was not kissing, and there was nothing of that sort. One of them sat on the other's knee and that was it." Does the Bible say anything about splashing or knee-sitting being against God's laws? Maybe the edition that the city employee uses mentions something about it (and also includes helpful chapters on pool safety and maintenance, which would explain why he had it at work?).
Meanwhile, Laura Quillen, a woman from the social services group in charge of overseeing the men, says she saw "nothing inappropriate" happen between them, but maybe she hasn't read the Bible. At any rate, she was told that "'gay people' weren't allowed to swim" at the pool.
As a result of the pool incident, people rallied, Haynes was suspended for five days without pay, and employees will have to undergo sensitivity-type training. The pool manager, Charlotte Pearlman, also got into trouble for using "inappropriate and obscene language" when CNN newsguy Anderson Cooper's people stopped by to do a story.
But that's not all: anti-discrimination signs will be posted at the pool, as will language warning against "excessive public displays of affection by patrons." The city's press release doesn't explain what "excessive" means, but hopefully it prohibits all forms of hugging and lusty splashing. [AP via Brattlesboro Reformer, Louisville Courier-Journal]