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Court Order Released in Case Against Kentucky Farm Bureau For Violating Fairness Ordinance

August 6th, 2008 · 7 Comments

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.

As a result of our coverage, WHAS11′s Mark Hebert interviewed Todd Eklof about his case and the rest of the mainstream media sat on its hands.

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.

-SNIP-

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.

Tags: Discrimination · Flashback · Kentucky Business · Mainstream Mistake · The Gays

7 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Yellow Dog // Aug 6, 2008 at 1:56 pm

    Great, great, great day for Kentucky.

    I hate to give Louisville credit for anything, but Thank You, River City, for blazing this path.

    Steve, Dan, Ben and the rest of you DINOs – this is what REAL progressive politics looks like.

  • 2 jake // Aug 6, 2008 at 1:58 pm

    Meanwhile, the Fairness Campaign is sitting on its hands because Kentucky Farm Bureau controls the State Fair.

    Or so I hear.

  • 3 Judy // Aug 6, 2008 at 2:41 pm

    The Ky Farm Bureau is for the most part an insurance agency which plays fast and loose with people’s rights. They do very little for the farms of Kentucky.
    I dropped them years ago but still get letters of an intimidating/threatening nature that my insurance policy with them has lapsed and they will notify the company. (Could they possibly keep such bad records that they do not know whom they insure and whom they don’t? That in itself should send clients running.) Calls to them about the letters get more intimidation. After considering a complaint to the Attorney General I let it go, but this kind of thing should not go on.
    Obviously the Ky. Farm Bureau is run by those who are not aware of or who do not respect the law or individual rights.

  • 4 BILked // Aug 6, 2008 at 8:14 pm

    I thought Richie Farmer was in charge of the state fair???

  • 5 amused // Aug 7, 2008 at 10:26 am

    Farm Bureau might want to find out how many of rural families they insure are headed by gay couples. Farm Bureau does have a very strong voice in Frankfort. Its voice is leveraged by forcing the major agricultural commodity groups to march in step with them. Not to many years ago one of these commodity groups was lead by a gay farmer. He is not out, and not my place to out him. Point is Agriculture is just as full of gay and lesbian people as any other demographic. Sam Moore is a likeable enough fella and would be great as Santa Claus for your next company Christmas Party. He is just not much of a visionary or worldly by any measure. As president of KFB he was one of the statutory members of the Agriculture Development Board in the Governor’s Office of Ag Policy. This Board doled out the 100s of millions of dollars from the national tobacco settlement. Sam Moore and Sam Long headed a strong alliance, and Richie Farmer doesn’t do any thinking unless these two tell him its okay. Nothing got funded by the ADB unless it appealed to one of the Sam’s pet projects. 100′s of millions of dollars down the drain in Kentucky. The myth of subsistence farming was perpetuated as a great way to raise a family in Kentucky. No need for access to affordable health care, higher education or other liberal notions. I guess KFB prefers to keep its customers down on the farm and unenlightened.

    If the KRB wanted to help and protect farm families in KY they should start with smoking cessation programs and nutrition education. Unfortunately this would be self defeating for the KFB as the Kentucky agricultural economy is built upon the carcinogenic and debilitating product TOBACCO.

  • 6 Buck6 // Jul 18, 2009 at 4:28 pm

    Been a while, seems like the Fairness board has better things to do?

  • 7 jake // Jul 18, 2009 at 4:32 pm

    Fairness has very little to do with this. It’s all Eklof. And his attorney has moved things forward quite a bit.

    But C-FAIR & Fairness both are working on something.