Thursday, April 13, 2006

The anti-fairness, "un-Brokeback spirit" of Kentucky

A hearty round of applause for the Lexington (KY) Herald-Leader, which came out with guns blazing today to ask for nothing less than basic fairness for the state's LGBT citizens.

In the first of two separate editorials, the newspaper first implored Kentucky’s Republican governor to veto $11 million in state appropriations for the private, religious college, the University of the Cumberlands.

Leaving aside, for the moment, the fact that no state Legislature should be in the business of appropriating money for private, religious schools, this university made a name for itself this week for expelling a student whose only crime was to be gay.
There is a slim hope that Gov. Ernie Fletcher, who still has line-item veto power over the budget, could preserve the Constitution and some shred of moral and fiscal sanity by simply cutting the school out of the budget.

The University of the Cumberlands has the right to deny an education or even employment on the basis of sexual orientation.

The state of Kentucky doesn't.

Fletcher must veto the appropriation.
In the second editorial, the newspaper took Fletcher to task for removing a anti-discrimination protection for gays from the state’s employment policy. The editorial is so good, I’m going to quote most of it.

Fletcher, who has sunk in the polls as his administration has foundered on almost every front, may have simply been pandering to his conservative base.

One Republican conservative called it "a good political move."

Whether Fletcher's motivation was political opportunism or another effort to spread a personal religious agenda, his action is a step back in every possible way. It can only made it harder to attract and keep exceptional people and institutions.

And it sends a message that some Kentuckians aren't quite as valuable as others.

No unbridled spirit in Kentucky for them.

It suggests a change to the state slogan. How about "un-Brokeback spirit?"

The Herald-Leader is also doing a good job of covering the college’s dismissal of the gay student. The small Baptist school kicked him out three weeks before the end of the semester, AND gave the honor student all F’s, now that’s Christian charity for you.

Here’s some of the coverage.

Ousted Student Tells His Story

Gays Challenge Schools Funding

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