Disabled Gay Couple Kicked out of Public Pool

Lacye - posted on 06/15/2011 ( 13 moms have responded )




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.


This is disgusting. When are people going to figure out that just because a person is gay doesn't give them the right to treat them like shit. What the hell is wrong with these people. The Bible teaches to love your fellow man. The Bible says not to judge others. Stop using the Bible to excuse your ignorance and intolerance!


[deleted account]

F the bible..that staff member has no right to force his beliefs on others.He was wrong.To many love to force the bible on others and i can't tolerate that.It makes me so mad.I honour peoples difference's but when it comes to them crossing the line esp with religion, i won't accept that or honour you in that area.

Jodi - posted on 06/16/2011




It was actually ONE maintenance technician who took it upon himself to do this. From what I gather he is merely a staff member, and does not represent the views of the facility itself. I suspect that he knew they were gay, perhaps because he knows them (or of them?). Anyway, it wasn't the facility that banned them. All it took was a single bigotted employee. They DEFINITELY should fire his arse. I also read that the mayor of the city has apologised and has undertaken to investigate the situation. I did have the article up that stated all of this, but my stupid Windows update decided to shut down my computer, and now I am just too damn lazy to go find it again :P


View replies by

Constance - posted on 06/16/2011




Ignorance. I mean really who were they hurting? I hope they sue him and The Pavillion better fire him. If I had been there I would have gotten kicked out as well because he would have known how I felt.

Tara - posted on 06/16/2011




How did they know they were gay?
Do they wear signs?
Developmentally delayed and gay and disabled and kicked out of a publicly funded pool? Sounds like a human rights law suit is in the future.

Jodi - posted on 06/16/2011




The town has a population of around 4,700 (looked it up, and that is ballpark). Everyone knows everyone......ever lived in a town that small? EVERYONE knows EVERYONE'S business......

Every village also has its idiot, and it sounds to me like the idiot was employed by The Pavillion.

[deleted account]

Oh come on, i would of drowned the staff member lol..just joking..were do some people get off tho.That's sad.:-(
I would not of left either..if i were there aid..no way would of allowed them to leave.I would of stood my ground for the couple and for my own principles.

Becky - posted on 06/15/2011




The Bible says gays can't swim? Hmmm. I missed that one! Must be in the book of Hezekiah!
This is totally wrong! I hope they sue too. Out of curiousity, how did the facility even know they were gay? The article says they weren't displaying any inappropriate behavior, so I'm guessing they weren't pawing at each other (which I would find inappropriate from any couple at a public pool). Even if they were holding hands or something, I've seen groups of disabled people holding hands before. I've always assumed it was for safety, not because of their sexual orientation! At any rate, just plain wrong to kick them out. So cruel!

JuLeah - posted on 06/15/2011




You can find most any passage in the bible to back up what you personally believe, but "People who are gay and struggle with a disability must not swim in a public pool" So sayth Your God. ... yah, that's number 11 right?

Actually, what I am more interested in is the other swimmers. Where were they? I mean, do you stand by and say nothing as you watch such a scene unfold, or do you step up and intervene? It is not a question really, as the answer is clear. There must have been others there. Did they just let this happen?

Amber - posted on 06/15/2011




This is one circumstance that I'm hoping for a lawsuit too. They did not deserve to be treated that way.

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms