LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Several activist gathered outside the annual Kentucky Farm Bureau’s Country Ham Breakfast to protest the organization's anti-LGBTQ policies.
What You Need To Know
- Fairness Campaign and other activists were among protestors at Kentucky Farm Bureau's Country Ham Breakfast Thursday
- The Fairness Campaign claims the farm's organization policies are discriminatory against sexual orientation and other social issues
- During 2019's protest, Chris Hartman and others were arrested and taken out of the annual event.
- The Kentucky State Fair's 2021 grand champion ham sold for $4.8 million
A mix of political speeches, pork and an auction drew in thousands of people during the farm organization's popular event.
However, the event was also met with a group of Kentucky advocacy members and unions who positioned themselves outside to target one of the state’s largest companies.
Chris Hartman, executive director of the Fairness Campaign, said it's time for Kentucky Farm Bureau to "stop the hate."
"We’ve been protesting Kentucky Farm Bureau’s discriminatory policies for over a decade now," Hartman said.
He and others demonstrated outside the signature Kentucky State Fair event to say the farm bureau’s practices are discriminatory against sexual orientation and abortion rights.
"Why does an insurance company have positions on these polarizing political issues and most importantly why are they not being honest with their customers about where their money is going?" Hartman added.
He has long claimed the farm organization’s handbook has discriminatory policies against the LGBTQ community – including opposing gay marriage, as well as promoting anti-teacher and anti-union sentiments.
"The reality is that their values, Kentucky Farm Bureau’s values, do not reflect the values of the vast majority of Kentuckians," Hartman said.
The Fairness Campaign leader and others were placed in handcuffs at demonstrations in 2019 and 2015 after trying to enter the event.
To counter the controversial policies, the groups are currently running radio ads at the state fair and on two radio stations in Louisville.
"Change them. There’s no reason to have them," Hartman said. "We’ll stop protesting if Kentucky Farm Bureau will just change the discriminatory policies."
We reached out to the Kentucky Farm Bureau for comment and have not received a statement at this time. Hartman said he's still awaiting trial for the 2019 arrest that includes charges of disorderly conduct, menacing and resisting arrest.