Search form

Scroll To Top

Activist Handcuffed, Dragged from Protest of Homophobic Lobbying Group

kentucky farm bureau

Kentucky Farm Bureau lobbies against equality for queer citizens, workers.

State troopers blocked LGBTQ+ organizers from attending a political event in Kentucky Thursday morning, handcuffing and arresting the director of LGBTQ+ advocacy group The Fairness Campaign.

The incident occured at the Kentucky Farm Bureau's annual ham breakfast, attended every year by top state officials. The Farm Bureau, an agricultural lobbying group, has long opposed measures that would protect the rights of LGBTQ+ people, teachers, and farm workers.

The Fairness Campaign has long protested the Farm Bureau's policies, and this year director Chris Hartman purchased a ticket to the annual breakfast.

But rather than being allowed in, Hartman was forced to the ground by state troopers and then taken to a corrections facility in handcuffs. Along with two other protesters, Hartman was held on charges of menacing, second-degree disorderly conduct, and resisting arrest.

Harman was also arrested for protesting the event in 2015, though charges in that case were dropped.

In a book released to elected officials, the Farm Bureau expressed opposition to marriage equality, domestic partnerships, and access to education for transgender students. The Bureau also expressed support for state executions, opposition to minimum wage, and support for laws blocking agreements with unions.

Farm Bureau President Mark Haney told reporters after the arrests, "We discriminate against no one and we follow the law. Any assertions to the contrary are false."

That's not borne out by the Bureau's policy book, which states, "the institution of marriage should only be recognized as the legal union of a man and a woman," "we are opposed to any state-supported agency providing benefits to 'domestic'' partners," and "we oppose any government mandate that forces school districts to provide transgender bathrooms."

The Farm Bureau spent around $100,000 last year to lobby lawmakers.

Republican governor Matt Bevin spoke inside the breakfast, praising the the Farm Bureau for its religious values. Bevin is currently locked in a race for re-election against Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear, who has yet to express a stance on the Farm Bureau's anti-LGBTQ+ policies.

RELATED | WATCH: Kentucky Gay Couple Denied Marriage License, Get It All On Film

Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Fellow Travelers & Jamie Lee Curtis

From our Sponsors

Most Popular

Latest Stories

Matt Baume