A Rainbow in the Kentucky Mountains

I don’t know if I’m going to be able to give a good legal roundup for a couple of weeks – I’ve been having trouble with my right hand, and what I thought was arthritis behaving badly has turned out to be a couple of gnarled tendons that are going to have to get cut on next week. I’ve installed a copy of Dragon Naturally Speaking® but I don’t know how to use it yet.

Nevertheless, I can’t let today go by without taking note of something wonderful.

Dateline - upvoteVicco, Kentucky, pop. 335.

This week, the city council met and decided to ban discrimination against people for their sexual orientation or gender identity.

This Republican stronghold in Appalachia has a mayor who happens to be gay, and at its first reading in December the proposed ordinance passed unanimously. When it came for the final vote this week, one city councilman, who has been a lifelong friend of the mayor, was compelled by his religion to change his vote.

So, yeah, religion still makes us behave badly toward even our friends, but it can be overcome. And there is hope – as one tiny burg in deepest, darkest Appalachia has demonstrated.


POLITICS: Boehner calls Obama an “anti-war President.”
MORNING HAPPINESS: Singing the music that speaks to you.
POLITICS & GAY RIGHTS: Arkansas about to pass an anti-gay law just like Indiana’s.
About Anne

Civil rights activist Anne Orsi is one of the spokespeople for the Arkansas Society of Freethinkers and is the primary organizer of Reason in the Rock, a conference on science, secularism and skepticism. Got a question? Email her at anne@aramink.com. She's a lawyer but may not be licensed in your state. Sending her an email or reading her blog posts does not create an attorney-client relationship. Find Anne on Twitter as @aramink, and read her regular blog at www.aramink.com.

  • invivoMark

    Yikes! I hope you have a speedy recovery – I would hate to lose my ability to write.

    I think the Vicco story is a sign of the times – people are rapidly recognizing that they are on the wrong side of this issue. I’m certain that it helps to have so many people become vocal defenders of gay rights, even those who don’t become activists. I can only hope that people like those people take that power further and use it for other social justice movements.

  • Glodson

    Here’s hoping you recover swiftly, and get the Dragon software to work. I don’t always comment on these postings, but I read them and enjoy them. I, being entirely selfish, would hate to miss out on them. ;)

    And that’s a nice story. And I think it is telling that it was his religion that caused the guy to change his vote. Goes to show what religion does to a man, and how that can squash empathy at times.

  • http://raisinghellions.wordpress.com/ Lou Doench

    Vicco, wow that’s deepest darkest Kentucky. If Vicco can join the light side, anywhere can.

  • https://twitter.com/Sageling Daniel Grey

    I’m in Appalachia too (Rockbridge Co, VA) and I’m glad to hear of this victory.