Category Archives: In the News

Fairness is Coming

slave drew pointed out a story to me today in the local paper, the Courier-Journal.

The online link to the story, Kentucky — it’s a state of Fairness, is here, but I want to quote some of it, too.

“As our coalition of organizations has worked across the commonwealth over the past several years to advance lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) anti-discrimination protections, that’s what we’ve been hearing. Most folks seem to agree everyone deserves the opportunity to earn a living, put a roof over their head, and eat at their favorite restaurant without the fear of being turned away just because of who they are.

This week Vicco, a small Appalachian town of just over 330 residents, confirmed everything we’ve heard by becoming the fourth municipality in Kentucky and smallest city in America with an anti-discrimination Fairness law.

When this Eastern Kentucky community’s city commission met Monday morning, they calmly and rationally laid forth the potential pros and cons of elevating LGBT members of their community to the same protected class status afforded women, people of color and others who have historically been the targets of discrimination.

Following a frank and transparent dialogue that got to the heart of the issue — that LGBT Americans lack the basic civil rights afforded other minorities — the commission concurred that a Fairness law would reflect the values Vicco already held. Though one commissioner preferred not to sign the ordinance for personal religious beliefs, he adamantly agreed with other community leaders in the room that no one — including LGBT people — should be treated differently from anyone else in the workplace, housing or public accommodations.”

I was and am genuinely moved by this story.  Part of what I liked the very best was, “Though one commissioner preferred not to sign the ordinance for personal religious beliefs, he adamantly agreed with other community leaders in the room that no one — including LGBT people — should be treated differently from anyone else in the workplace, housing or public accommodations.”

Isn’t that the way it should be?  That a person might disagree on a religious basis, personally, still believed “adamantly,” that no one should be treated differently than anyone else?

It also makes me proud that people who have spent their lives being stereotyped as bigots, idiots, and racists – people from a tiny town in Appalachia – became the smallest city in America to have a Fairness Law.

So often, being southern is shorthand for being stupid.  That has always bothered me.  I don’t always like the political persuasion of the state in which I live – hell, I often despise it, living as I do in a thankfully very blue city in a regrettably red state – but the south is no more homogenous than the rest of the country is.

It is beyond me, genuinely so, why anyone CARES who the rest of the world is sleeping with, on a general basis.

If I’m sleeping with you, then I have a personal interest.

If you’re sleeping with my best friend(s), then I have at least a general interest, but really only as a topic of conversation.

Beyond that, though, at some level I just don’t understand.

How can my relationship, whatever it is, threaten yours?

The neighbors on one side of my home are clearly and obviously having marital issues and have for the last few years.

Sometimes at night I can hear them screaming at each other, from my bedroom upstairs, down to their house which is not terribly near.

Shane called me one night, late, when we were at an event, to say that they were fighting so loudly and apparently violently that he wanted to know if I thought he should call the police.

There is no love lost between us, alas.  He has cut down some of my plants he thought were too wild that were close but not at all on his property, his wife reported us to the code violation department for not opening our pool one year, complaining of mosquitoes.

I planted thorny roses in a pass through that their son used, to prevent him trampling my garden.

You know.  Neighbor crap.

I said, well, if you do, they’ll know it was us – even if it wasn’t – and that’s not going to make things better.  So unless you hear them actually killing each other, I guess not.

One night a couple of weeks ago, when it was in the low 30’s, she was sitting outside in her yard.  Alone.  Not smoking.

He seems to move out sometimes, sometimes she does.

A month or two ago, I was wakened in the night by a loud noise.  I believe it was actually a branch that had fallen in the alley due to the wind.

But when it woke me, the first thing I thought was that one of them had finally shot the other.  I spent a few minutes speculating on whether he had shot her or she had shot him, and I do not say that blithely.

I honestly lay in bed and tried to decide which was more likely.  I considered, for a few brief moments, getting up to look and then thought, no, they both hate us, if one of them HAS killed the other one, they’re sure not going to have any problems shooting me.  I am going to stay put.

I would not have been in the least surprised had I seen cop cars at the house the next morning.

I did not, or I’d already have written about it, but still.

These people are not a threat to traditional marriage.

These people who have a ten year old kid who has to know about this, they’re not a threat.

These people who, I think, have a relationship in which they shove each other around, then torture the other for having done it, no threat.

Their lives and their relationship is so fucking miserable that she would rather sit outside alone in the dark when it is below freezing rather than go into her own home.

But they are no threat.

The neighbors just across from them are Robert and Ziggy, the gay guys.  They’ve lived there a couple years, renting, but they apparently this past summer made some decisions about staying there, and they went a little crazy with gardens and fences.

I took them some plants.  I took them cookies at Christmas.

drew noticed one windy day that the ferns on their porch were swaying wildly, and that their storm door was slamming, so he ran over and took down the ferns and closed the door.

They have a pug.  Of course.

They brought us a tin of really good popcorn as thanks for the cookies which, Ziggy said, had disappeared amazingly quickly.

They trade plants with June, the indefatigable gardener who lives behind them.  She’s didn’t use her mailbox once for about three months because a wren had built a nest in it.  She had a plastic box on her porch with a note to the postal carrier to please leave her mail in that rather than open and disturb the nest.

They keep their lawn mowed and their dog quiet and I have never had to speculate on whether or not one has murdered the other, or pondered if I needed to call the police on them.

THEY, however, are a threat to marriage, by the very fact that they exist.

It warms the hearts of slave drew and me both that the fighting duo, who routinely have political signs in their yard for whoever we’re voting against, probably despise that the queers have moved in.  And are better liked than they are.

And clearly, their son is getting a wonderful example of a good, healthy, heterosexual relationship.