Vicco, Kentucky became the smallest town in America to ban discrimination against homosexuals, after a 4-1 vote by the city commissioners.
Vicco’s mayor, Johnny Cummings, is gay. Cummings said he hoped the new law would, “Change the reputation of the town. It’s always been something people made fun of – just a small, little town, redneck rough and tough.”
Interestingly (or perhaps obviously) the only commissioner to vote against the ban, Tim Engle, cited his religious views as the reason for his opposition. Engle said that despite his close friendship with Cummings (he noted that when his father died, Cummings was the first one who came to pay respects) that, “I am a Christian, and I don’t believe in that lifestyle.”
A pentecostal laypreacher who lives in Vicco, Truman Hurt, claimed, according to USA Today, that he hadn’t spoken with anyone in favor of the measure. In fact, everyone quoted in the article in USA Today noted their disapproval with homosexuality, even if they specifically liked Cummings or opposed discrimination against homosexuals.
What’s worrisome about the semantics of Vicco’s residents is that they indicate how hard it will be for homosexuals to gain full acceptance in communities, even as they acquire political rights. When religion gets attached to hatred, it makes that hatred all the harder for people to let go of.