E.C. Million Park Incident Sparks Protest

Jul 17, 2012

RICHMOND, Ky. - The ejection of a young lesbian couple from a Richmond park has reignited calls for a local Fairness Ordinance. Concerned citizens plan to rally Wednesday night in front of Richmond city hall.

Cheri Chenault and Destiny Keith, the lesbian couple told to leave E.C. Million Park last week after sharing a kiss on the property, will join protesters in Richmond Wednesday in calling for a the passage of an anti-discrimination law. Chris Hartman, steering committee member of the statewide Fairness Coalition, says it’s not the first time residents have taken the issue to city hall.

"So many times when local residents have come and told their personal stories of discrimination to the city commission they have been met with silence," he says.

Richmond Mayor Jim Barnes has called the incident “unfortunate,” but also notes it took place on privately owned property.

"It's their park and they have it for a purpose. If they thought it was inappropriate, I guess they thought it was inappropriate," Barnes says.

Still Hartman contends that a local or statewide Fairness law would have protected the couple because both the public and private sides of the park would be considered public accommodations open to everyone. Demonstrators plan to gather Wednesday night at 5:30 with the goal of pressuring the city commission to act.