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Today is Wednesday, November 28, 2007


Anti-gay Mailings Sent to Kentucky Homes

[COVINGTON, KY] - As the City Commission of Covington, Ky., prepares to vote on a revised human rights ordinance, a right-wing group sent an anti-gay mailing on Tuesday to some 20,000 homes in the community, roughly 75 percent of the population, the Cincinnati Enquirer reports.

According to Susie Bookser, a GLBT activist based one town over from Covington, the figure of 20,000 came from the group itself, Citizens for Community Values (CCV).

The mailing features a 24-page booklet by the Family Research Council explaining the "dangers" of homosexuality. In a cover letter, Phil Burress of CCV writes that ordinances such as the one under consideration in Covington, "are about forcing all of us to accept homosexual behavior as normal, healthy and natural about capturing the minds of the next generation -- our children!"

If the figure of 20,000 is accurate, the campaign would have cost at least $20,000.

In a separate letter mailed to Catholic churches in the area, another CCV member asked recipients to lobby the commission against the ordinance. Gina Bondick told her audience that the Vatican has called gay-inclusive, anti-discrimination laws damaging to families.

The mass mailing may have little impact, coming as it does at the very end of a lengthy political debate in Covington. Public hearings are now over, and the City Commission may vote as early as April 29, assuming no further changes are made to the proposal.

The plan would expand the Human Rights Commission from five to nine members, add sexual orientation, gender identity and other new categories to anti-discrimination coverage, and extend anti-discrimination law to protect against bias in the workplace and public accommodations.

According to Bookser, who serves on the steering committee of the Kentucky Fairness Alliance, the two public hearings drew overwhelming support for the new law. Of the 90 people who spoke on both nights, roughly 70 were in favor of expanding human rights in Covington.

The high numbers surprised even local activists, Bookser said, and capped a period of "extraordinarily open public dialogue." Bookser added public support for the law remains strong in the polls, but declined to predict the vote of the five-member Commission.

"We're hopeful, but we gotta wait for the fat lady to sing," she said.

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