the bible, the pavilion, hazard, kentucky pool, gay men pool, disability gay men pool

Kentucky Kicks Two Men Out of Public Pool For Being Gay

the bible, the pavilion, hazard, kentucky pool, gay men pool, disability gay men poolTwo gay men with developmental disabilities enjoying a trip to a public pool in Hazard, Kentucky (Seriously.) were ejected by a maintenance technician at the facility and told “gay people were not allowed to swim there.”

Oh. Hell. No.

The two men were guests on Mending Hearts, Inc. – a group receiving Medicaid funding from the Commonwealth of Kentucky. When they entered the pool, they were ridiculed and told that “we own this place and can tell you to leave if we want to” by the staff at The Pavilion, a public pool funded by tax dollars. When pressed for a reason for the ejection, the two were told that the Bible justified banning gays from sharing public pools.

Kentucky Equality Federation reports:

“The two gay males with developmental and intellectual disabilities were discriminated against by the staff of The Pavilion based on their sexual orientation,” added Kentucky Equality Federation Children of LGBTI Parents Outreach Director Julia Oiler Spiegel. “Not only was this an irreprehensible act by the staff, it was humiliating to these young men and their direct support staff. Both men are clients of Mending Hearts, Inc. which provides support for individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities. Mending Hearts is diligent in providing ongoing support for their clients regarding appropriate behavior within the community and neither of these young men was exhibiting inappropriate public behavior as witnessed by their direct support staff.

Spiegel continued: As a gay parent of a child with a developmental challenge, I am outraged by this complete act of ignorance directed at these young men and their staff. As a public community service, the The Pavilion has a responsibility to provide equal treatment to all members of their facility and to properly educate their staff accordingly. A Biblical comment is totally inappropriate. All citizens of the Commonwealth of Kentucky should be treated with equality and respect, based not only on their intellectual abilities but their sexual orientation as well. This was a humiliating experience for both of these young men and will not be tolerated. I demand a public apology, not only these young men, but to the clients and staff of Mending Hearts, Inc. as well as the LGBTI community of Perry County.”

The Pavilion staff should be ashamed of themselves, and we’re betting they will be soon because what they subjected these two men to is completely illegal. When pressed for a comment, Hazard’s mayor stated that all were welcome at the public pool, which really only reiterates how completely screwed the employee and city of Hazard are going to be when this matter makes its way to court shortly. It’s almost as if Kentucky is taking discrimination lessons from Tennessee.

Our thoughts go out to the two men who were met with humiliation and ridicule for just trying to participate in a normal, everyday activity.

  • Byron Outlaw

    1-606-436-4200 — that’s their number. The woman on the phone explained to me that she wasn’t there on the day in question, and that it is not their policy to discriminate. She then hung up on me when I asked how the employee in question is being reprimanded.

    People should take a moment to call them and let them know exactly how the community feels about this situation.

  • Scott Richmond

    I am so sick of this shit. I have to say, that I’ve been a very lucky gay man. I’ve never had any issues whatsoever. But if I did have issues, I’d bloody well fight back. You wouldn’t see me cooperating with these bigots. I’m not suggesting violence or anything of the sort, but there have been too many times where I see members of the LGBT community simply accepting their demands when we should be standing up for our equality individually as well as a collective.

  • Byron Outlaw

    I hear you, Scott. One of my uncles recently found out that I’m gay, and he took it upon himself to call my mother and tell her that I’d still be welcome in his home. …Three years ago, he sat in a hospital waiting room and went off on a tirade about how until every single gay and lesbian was drug into the street and burned, God would continue to punish the country.

    Obviously, he must not remember that I was in the room.

  • WOW. Now, I’m not about to bash an entire state for what one public pool did, but I honestly cannot believe it! Not only were the two men gay, but they had developmental disabilities! Do you know how hard it is for people with developmental disabilities to fit in anyway? And now this “regular” guy decides to ban them, and take them that much further away from society? This just…GUH. Honestly the treatment of people who have developmental disabilities makes me madder than homosexuals treatment. We can have the ability to understand that these guys are just biggots so we need to ignore them…but what if those two guys can’t? I mean, I hope they do understand (because I don’t know the extent of it), but i do know there are some people out there who wouldn’t be able to understand it. 

  • Byron Outlaw

    I don’t think he’s changed. I think he’s about as sincere in his welcome as Tracy Morgan is in his sudden support of gay rights.

  • Unbelievable.  Sick.  Immoral.  Unconscionable.   Clearly not Christian.  That facility should lose ever penny of its funding.  EVERY PENNY!!!

  • Im from Hazard. I live here with my fiance, Shane. We live just a couple of blocks from the Pavilion, and go their often. I assure you all, the gay community here will not stand for this. Every call we have made to them has ended in the same, “It’s our policy not to discriminate. If a complaint is made, we have to act on it.” Straight couples can be seen making out in a corner of the pool on a daily basis. Nothing is ever said to them. EVER. This place isn’t the most gay friendly, but this outrage just goes completely above and beyond the normal crap we put up with. The gay community is standing behind these two gentlemen. In ANY way.

         An Angry, Gay man.

  • if they are using a pat response, and it sounds like they are, it would be more useful to email them.  having to sort through any number of emails will undoubtedly make a bigger point. 

  • Kayla Garza

    Wow. Just wow.

  • It remind me of when black poeple werent allowed to do normal things like everyone.

  • Nathan Clymer

    This is sad… I know that this can’t be allowed for two reasons. 1: This is outright discrimination, and 2: The pool is a public facility, funded by tax dollars and so that means ALL are welcome. If they’re going to say that they own the place, they better seriously know that they do. Kentucky, I know that this isn’t everyone’s opinions, but it stories like these that represent your state so you better crack down on this one and get it under control… NOW!!! =/

  • Erika Beseda-Allen

    Byron,
    what do you supposed changed for your uncle? 

  • OK this is stupid as hell. I’m from Hazard, Ky and I go to the pavilion a lot too! And yeah, Bryan is right. Every time I go to the pavilion I always see some straight couple making out and practically having sex… in the pool! The staff don’t care. But they freak out when 2 gay guys come into the pool just to swim. I support whoever these men are and  I hope to see whoever kicked them out of the pavilion get thrown in jail or at least fired! And p.s. I am going to stop going to the pavilion just because I read this. Its stupid.

  • Stephanie Timmons

    Though I tend to take the more immature way about things, I honestly do hope that the gay community, as a whole or near whole, plans a day there at some point.

  • Are you freaking kidding me? I hope these people are ready for a law suit. 

  • Anonymous

    I called and said it wasn’t true, but told them about the quote from the foundation and said there were two sides to the story. I asked there side and they hung up on me. Just wow.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t live out there, but I am outraged by what has been done! This facility should be shut down immediately! When you say you don’t discriminate, that means you accept EVERYONE including the lgbti community! I just woke up and this makes me sick!
    I may not speak for the full straight community, but you def have my support!

  • Anonymous

    I don’t live out there, but I am outraged by what has been done! This facility should be shut down immediately! When you say you don’t discriminate, that means you accept EVERYONE including the lgbti community! I just woke up and this makes me sick!
    I may not speak for the full straight community, but you def have my support!

  • ShowMeGuy

    The title *maintenance technician* is just a fancy way to say JANITOR.  You are a civil servant to all taxpayers of Kentucky…including these two gay men with developmental disabilities and their parents.   Those two men are your BOSS, dear Mr. Janitor, so shut your bigot mouth and go clean a toilet.

  • ShowMeGuy

    I hope all the folks who show up for the *splash in*….get REAL *gay* and *lesbian* up in there.

  • Anonymous

    As a Kentuckian and recovering hate addict, I hope everyone can find it in our hearts to understand that this is their problem, not ours. 

  • This is so shameful, that we have to go through this all over again, its like the 1950’s all over but instead of black’s its the gay community, what gives this place to right to say who and who they love can’t come into there pool, what harm would it cause, i mean i would be more worried about the straight couple makeing out in the corner of the pool then two gay men, i mean seriously……

  • I suggest a “swim-in”  the gay community there in Hazard should all go to the pool and refuse to be refused service.  Enter the premises and be as publicly gay as is legally possible.

  • Anonymous

    Bunch of BS. They are people just like anyone. And don’t give me the aides crap, look it up ya can’t get it from them except through sex. And religion, I am an Ordained Minister and it says in the Bible JUDGE NOT LET YE BE JUDGED. Now take that to the bank.And I will stand by them to the end……..