Confused in Kentucky

Dear Mick,

Angry soldier I'm genuinely confused. You've drawn my attention to this article, If He Can Fight for His Country, Why Should He Have to Fight for a Job in Kentucky?. Despite the title, though, the article has nothing to do with anyone fighting for his country. It has to do with attitudes about homosexuality in Kentucky. It begins,

Yes, yes, yes! You might not immediately think of gay rights when you think of Kentucky, but a recent survey found that over 83% of Kentuckians favor anti-discrimination laws protecting gays and lesbians in the workplace. Booya!

The poll, conducted by the Fairness Coalition – composed of groups like the ACLU, the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights, and The Fairness Campaign – polled 600 Kentucky residents.

The author of the post, identified as "KFarrell in Politiko," quotes the Courier-Journal, which reports,

Coalition leaders said they hoped the results would prod state lawmakers to approve — or at least debate — two General Assembly bills that would add legal protections for gay and transgender people by amending the state’s civil rights laws.

and concludes,

Wow! We’re completely surprised by these statistics. The Blue Grass State has flown under the radar as a bastion of gay rights, as far as the voting public is concerned. It’s time for the state legislature to reflect what Kentuckians already know – Gays and lesbians deserve the very same rights as their straight peers.

It appears from the results of the poll that, despite vitriolic rhetoric to the contrary, Kentuckians don't hate gays. A large majority of them actually agree with KFarrell – Gays and lesbians deserve the very same rights as their straight peers.

So here's what puzzles me. If 83% of Kentuckians look upon discrimination against gays with disfavor, can't it be reasonably assumed that they won't discriminate against gays? What then, is the purpose of the push for legislation requiring them to do what they're willing to do voluntarily?


Confused in Kentucky