Tag Archives: Covington KY

Covington, KY Mayor Joe Meyer: "Bigotry, Discrimination and Hatred Won't Be Tolerated"

Covington, KY Mayor Joe Meyer: “Bigotry, Discrimination and Hatred Won’t Be Tolerated”

Via The River City News

Two days before the holiday honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., an intense discussion took place following breakfast at a Catholic church in Covington’s urban core. 

The crowd listened as five courageous young women talked candidly about growing up in Northern Kentucky being, as it were, a bi-racial student in high school, an African-American of Jewish faith, an African-American of Muslim faith, a Mexican immigrant, and the Kentucky-born daughter of Mexican immigrants. 

I left the church feeling buoyant: Over the years, the City of Covington has taken strong stances on issues pertaining to diversity, and here were people in Covington taking a leadership role in continuing to discuss issues of race, discrimination, and favoritism. 

I felt very proud of this City’s commitment to being a place of opportunity for all people. 

But my feelings of pride were soon tempered. I learned that Covington was being linked across the nation to intolerance and ethnic intimidation. Why? Because teens from a local high school were filmed surrounding and mocking native Americans participating in the Indigenous Peoples’ March in Washington D.C. The disrespect shown to a Native American elder, who happens to be a Vietnam Veteran, was particularly offensive. 

Videos of the confrontation are disturbing, discouraging, and – frankly – appalling. And they are rightfully inspiring a tidal wave of condemnation, even on the City of Covington’s own social sites, leaving the impression that these are the values of the City of Covington.

Yes, the ironic thing – as people keep pointing out to me – is that the school isn’t even located within Covington. But that’s not the point. 

The point is that because of the actions of people who live in Northern Kentucky, our region is being challenged again to examine our core identities, values, and beliefs. Regardless of what exact town we live in, we need to ask ourselves whether behavior like this DOES represent who we are and strive to be. Is this what our schools teach? Are these the beliefs that we as parents model and condone? 

Is this the way we want the rest of the nation and the world to see us? 

In answer, let me – as Covington’s mayor – be absolutely clear: No. The videos being shared across the nation do NOT represent the core beliefs and values of this City. 

Covington is a diverse community, in areas of race, national origin, ethnicity, religious preference, sexual orientation, and income

  • We are one of the few cities in Kentucky with a Human Rights Ordinance that protects ALL people, including those with diverse gender identities and sexual orientation. And we have urged our fellow cities in Northern Kentucky to follow our lead. 
  • In fact, this past summer I joined Covington’s police chief leading Northern Kentucky’s Pride Parade. City vehicles drove in the parade, and department heads marched with a banner proudly proclaiming our beliefs. 
  • The City also is led by elected officials and top administrators at the highest level who represent the diverse makeup of Covington. The people who make decisions here are not homogenous in racial background, ethnicity, age, gender, religious beliefs, or sexual orientation. Far from it. 
  • We welcome the recent opening of the Esperanza Latino Center in Covington as a resource center for all of our residents with roots south of the Rio Grande, and I was proud to attend their opening ceremony. 
  • We financially support our local Human Rights Commission and take seriously any complaints received. 
  • Our police and other public safety officials enforce the law fairly across the board on behalf of all people. 
  • And by our ordinances and by the implementation of programs, we have made it clear that all people should enjoy the opportunity for a good and successful life. 

No, we’re not perfect. More progress needs to be made, and we will continue to work diligently on making it. In the meantime, Covington is proud of being a welcoming City where bigotry, discrimination, and hatred will not be tolerated. – Mayor Joe Meyer

Kentucky House Waters Down Religious Liberty/Freedom To Discriminate Bill Over Fear of Backlash

Kentucky House Waters Down Religious Liberty/Freedom To Discriminate Bill Over Fear of Backlash

Kentucky lawmakers rewrote a bill Wednesday that scaled-back an egregious  “Religious Liberty” and “Freedom to Discriminate” law with a substitute wording that simply clarifies that only churches and ministers do not have to provide wedding services for same-sex couples if they have religious objections.

State Rep. Jason Nemes, who offered the substitute, said he didn’t want the legislation to go too far. Other states, including North Carolina, have suffered economic boycotts by wading into controversial battles over sexual orientation and civil-rights protection in the three years since the Supreme Court’s marriage same-sex marriage decision in 2015 which already established that clergy have a First Amendment right to not participate in same-sex weddings if they object.

“I wanted to make sure that the (legislation) that passed out of the House of Representatives protected churches and ministers and didn’t go further than that,” said Nemes,

The Kentucky Chamber of Commerce. also stood against the original version of the bill that would have allowed churches and religious organizations the right to ignore civil-rights protections offered by Lexington, Covington, and several other Kentucky cities to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.

“We do business in a number of other states, and had concerns, frankly, about how it would appear to those outside Kentucky if we seemed to be discriminating against any one particular group,” said Dave Adkisson, the chamber’s president.

Several Republicans on the committee said they were disappointed because they supported the bill as originally written, but they preferred getting something to nothing.

“The religious liberty and religious freedom of our country are under constant attack,” state Rep. Stan Lee, R-Lexington, told the committee as he testified for the bill.

Democrats said the original bill promoted intolerance added that they had no problem with Nemes’ version, because clergy already are not required to marry anyone under the law.

“Honestly, I haven’t heard any outrage from any of the churches in my district about having to participate in anyone’s weddings, so I don’t know what problem this is supposed to be solving,” State Rep. Joni Jenkins, D-Louisville, said adding that she thinks this might just be an easy pass for the Republican controlled state that so far has nothing to show for getting anything done. “Pension reform isn’t happening. They’re struggling to get any kind of a budget passed. So now it’s ‘Hey, let’s do another religious liberty bill.’”

The new re-written watered down bill will  proceed to the full House for a vote

Anti-Gay Kentucky Mayoral Candidate Drops Out Of Race After Massive Outcry From Citizens

The state of Kentucky has never been a bastion of LGBT tolerance and support but one exception has always been the city of Covington,  whose citizens rose up and spoke out forcefully against Mayoral candidate Dara McDowell , whose stated election plank was economic issues, job creation, tourism and to fight the  “homosexual agenda”

After announcing her anti-gay  election platform McDowell created a firestorm of emotions among the citizens ofCovington,KY which is known as one of the few cities inKentuckywith a progressive, all inclusive city charter.

“I’m concerned about leaving behind a town for my children, for all children, that is pro-homosexual agenda.” McDowell had said according to the River City News who has been covering this story.

“(Homosexuality) is a choice, I think it’s important to respect choices, but to promote it? I see the undercurrent of that (in Covington).” McDowell has also said that she would oppose gay pride festivals in the city which has held such an event the past two years. “I see what happens at gay pride parades and I don’t want them in my town,” she said.

Immediately after the River City News broke the story about McDowell’s and for weeks afterwards of continued online debate on  The River City News Facebook pages.  The citizens of Covington fought back against McDowell and her statements that Covington was faced with moral depravity by the city its human rights ordinance that offers protections to gay citizens, annual gay pride festivals, and the recent passage of domestic partnership benefits that would cover the same-sex partners of city employees.

McDowell finally relented last week and dropped her Mayoral bid.

“I realize that I am being biased, I can see that in myself and I do want to be that way. I do need to come to terms with that myself and I recognize that.” McDowell said “For me, I do want to advance the city economically nd I do feel like I have some good ideas, some very good ideas because Covington is such an untapped resource.  I do feel like I had a vision for the city but the moral issue held me back. I am deficient in that area and I do need to work on that but I’m not ready to yet.”

Despite her statement though McDowell who admitted to being an “ex-lesbian” hasn’t changed many of her anti-gay views though. “(The agenda) is basically masterminded by Harvard graduate individuals that just have an agenda to basically promote homosexuality and that’s what I’m against. When I was a homosexual, I just believed that I was born that way and that kept me trapped in that and I don’t want that for anyone. I feel like I am so much better off in understanding that was a choice. It is a lie that you don’t have a choice, but it comes across as hateful and not accepting and I don’t want that to happen.”

McDowell does intend to further her studies on the issue of homosexuality by reading her Bible more, asking God for insights, and talking with pastors and other Christians.

But thankfully that will not be happening as Mayor of Covington, Kentucky thanks to its many LGBT supportive citizens.

*Source: The River City News

We Got Trouble Right Here In River City, Ex-Gay Religious Bigot Runs For Covington, KY Mayor

You can go almost anywhere in Kentucky with the exception of bigger cities like Lexington, Louisville, and the likes and swing a stick and find someone who’s anti-gay.

So it’s surprising that Covington, Kentucky which is the  fifth-most-populous city in KY, mostly Democrat, and is one of only 3 cities in the state that  includes sexual orientation and gender identity in its non-discrimination laws is having to deal with a bible thumping anti-gay religious bigot named Dara McDowell who is running to become Mayor of Covington.

McDowell who believes she felt God calling on her to run for Mayor of Covington hopes to focus primarily on economic issues, job creation, and tourism and the dreaded “homosexual agenda”

“I’m concerned about leaving behind a town for my children, for all children, that is pro-homosexual agenda.”  McDowell had said according to the River City News who has been coving this story.

“(Homosexuality) is a choice, I think it’s important to respect choices, but to promote it? I see the undercurrent of that (in Covington).”  McDowell has also said that she would oppose gay pride festivals in the city which has held such an event the past two years. “I see what happens at gay pride parades and I don’t want them in my town,” she said.

Okay now here’s the kicker!

After the River City News posted their original story about McDowell and many people took offense to her anti-gay rhetoric and left messages on  RCN’s Facebook page, McDowell responded on Facebook to the criticism of her positions, posting that she in fact “used to be gay” and  also a drug user.!

Man with a man is a sin. So is woman with woman. But so is lying and gossiping… and calling your brother a “fool”. Everybody sins. I’m a sinner. I used to be gay. I used to have illicit sex (any sex outside of marriage). I’m sure you did too. I used to take drugs. Perhaps you did the same. I’m sure I sinned as soon as a put my feet to floor, today. But when we tell children that it’s “good” to sin… that’s where we are asking God to bring judgement, I think. I absolutely LOVE gay people, gay people are my favorite people to hang out with. I can list the reasons why, but I’ll save it for later. I totally accept you where you are… as I would like you to accept me. I just fear that if we PROMOTE homosexuality as a good thing, such as the lewd sexual behaviors that we have ALL seen in those ridiculous gay pride parades and march it all in front of children and loudly proclaim “this is a good thing!” – I think we are just asking for trouble, not just in the form of judgement from God, but in the form of a confused generation. And I just don’t want to sit here watch it happen. The reason that you are so angry with me is because you are actually angry with yourselves. You know this is wrong. There is something wrong about it. But because you have been indoctrinated and brain washed into thinking it’s okay, you doubt your own heart… and thus you are inwardly angry… It’s okay. I’ve been there. I used to be gay and I HATED people like me… then. But like it or not, I’m here to offer a choice, and perhaps, maybe preferably, a wake up call.

And the scariest part?

McDowell is now the mother of 8 and is a mentor at Covington Independent Public Schools.

Now THOSE are the children that I REALLY worry about.

Ex-Gays are like ex-smokers.  They still want to have some but since they won;t they have to make life miserable for everyone else that still does.

Special thanks to River City News.