Monday, September 15, 2014

Hateful Homophobes Lying and Lawbreaking to Kill Civil Rights in Shelby County

Public commission members violating Open Meeting laws by meeting privately to discuss how to kill a popular proposal? Check.

Commissioners lying about their communications with elected officials?  Check.

Commissioners stonewalling and lying to avoid fulfilling their public duties and thus committing criminal malfeasance? Check.

The Shelbyville and Shelby County Human Rights Commission, and particularly its arrogant and unaccountable chair Gary Walls is desperately pulling every immoral and illegal stunt it can to stop Shelbyville from acknowledging the human and civil rights of its LGBT citizens.

From the Shelbyville Sentinel-News:

After being told by the Shelbyville City Council to approach the Shelby County Human Rights Commission for a recommendation on a Fairness Ordinance, members are now perplexed after being told by the commission that they would only give a recommendation at the council’s request.

“I asked them to go to the Human Rights Commission [for a recommendation to the council],” council member Shane Suttor said. “[Council members Mike] Zoeller, [Donna] Eaton…we all asked them to go to the Human Rights.”

For more than a year, McBride and members of the Shelby County chapter of Kentuckians for the Commonwealth along with members of the Fairness Campaign have been asking the council to accept a Fairness Ordinance, which would protect members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. The council has declined to vote yes or no on the subject, only voting to take no more action.

So Leslie McBride approached the Human  Rights Commission chairman, as requested by the council.

But she did not get the recommendation she hoped for.  In fact, she heard no recommendation whatsoever.

Gary Walls, serving as chair of the Shelby County Human Rights Commission, said the commission would not share their recommendation unless the council formally requested it in writing.
“We as a commission decided that we needed a formal request from the council before we would act on that,” Walls said. “We will not respond unless we are formally requested by the council.”
But Suttor said that leaves him a bit confused.
“I was under the assumption that we made that request publically at that meeting,” Suttor said.
Oh, it gets better.  Walls came up with that excuse after he and the other commissioners met privately, in blatant violation of the state's Open Meetings Law, to discuss how to respond to the City Council's request prevent those icky gays from getting civil rights like normal people.
This is a new procedure, that Walls said they put in place specifically for this issue, but Walls said he did not alert the Shelbyville City Council, Simpsonville City Commission or Shelby County Fiscal Court of this decision to require a formal written request.

“That’s not for me to do,” he said.

When asked if the Human Rights Commission had ever made a change like this before, Walls would not answer, stating only “There has never been an issue like this.”

Walls went on to explain that the commission has put together a recommendation, one that was formulated during a special called meeting on Sept. 1.

“It was an emergency situation,” he said explaining that the commission met “prior to the parade, behind the Baptist Church.”
Walls, by the way, is a former repug-lite Blue Dog Democrat who publicly deserted the Democratic Party after it nominated Barack Obama for president in 2008.

No surprise a confessed racist is also a vicious homophobe.

I think Suttor is sincere in his attempts to work the system in a way that will "force" the City Council to adopt a non-discrimination ordinance that council members want nothing to do with.

But I would not be surprised if other council members are in cahoots with Walls to kick this issue back and forth until Fairness proponents give up.

Good luck, assholes; we're never giving up.

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