Rev. Todd Eklof, minister of Clifton Unitarian Church in Louisville, was fired in 2004 by Kentucky Farm Bureau for speaking out in support of gay marriage. Eklof, a heterosexual, vowed to stop performing marriage and commitment ceremonies for all couples until the anti-gay marriage amendment of 2004 is overturned.
In September 2007 we published a deposition of former KFB president Sam Moore in which he admitted under oath that Eklof was fired for being supportive of gay marriage. Read all about that by clicking here.
That brings us to today…
In what could be considered one of the biggest stories ever about the historic Fairness Ordinance that protects individuals from discrimination on several fronts, the 8th District Circuit Court in Jefferson County has ruled that Todd Eklof can sue Kentucky Farm Bureau for violating the ordinance.
See the court opinion and read the rest after the jump…
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The court’s opinion, released in mid-June, states that:
Mr. Eklof’s claim alleging violation of the Fairness Ordinance is properly before the Court. A person aggrieved by an unlawful practice prohibited by the Louisville/Jefferson County Metro Government Fairness Ordinance may either file a written complaint with the Human Relations Commission or file a civil action in Jefferson County Circuit Court. Louisville Metro Ord. Title IX Chapter 92.06. Mr. Eklof has, and must be permitted to, opt for the latter authorized means of asserting a Fairness Ordinance complaint.
Further, the court opinion states that Kentucky Farm Bureau’s assertion that it does not meet the requirements of being an “employer” under the Family and Medical Leave Act is unsubstantiated:
Federation argues that it does not meet the requirements of “employer” under the FMLA, as it employed fewer than fifty (50) people at the time of the alleged discriminatory conduct. However, the Court previously concluded that, insofar as Mr. Eklof and other Federation employees performed work for Kentucky Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company pursuant to a formal Communications Agreement, Mr. Eklof was jointly employed by both businesses … As a result of this joint employment relationship, Federation may in fact satisfy the requirements of an “employer” for purposes of the FMLA. If so, then Federation, as Mr. Eklof’s primary employer, would be responsible for providing FMLA leave.
What the Court cannot determine from the available record is how many employees Federation had at the time of the alleged discrimination or how many employees were encompassed by the Communications Agreement. Absent this additional information, the Court cannot conclude that Federation does not qualify as an “employer” for purposes of the FMLA.
So long story short: Todd Eklof can sue Kentucky Farm Bureau for violating the Fairness Ordinance and KFB may indeed be liable for granting him leave under FMLA.
That was two months ago. It’s now the middle of August and neither the mainstream media nor the various fairness organizations have said a word about the developments in the Eklof case.
We’ve made the court docs available and hopefully WHAS11 and other media outlets will step up to the plate. Maybe we’ll finally see a story or two about Kentucky Farm Bureau’s anti-gay ways and how KFB will be held accountable in the court of law for outright and admitted discrimination.
This is a huge step forward.