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Fair Protest Lands Gay Rights Activists Behind Bars

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A protest launched at the Kentucky State Fair Country Ham Breakfast Thursday ended with three attendees walking out in handcuffs.

Members of the Fairness Campaign, including director Chris Hartman, found themselves sitting in the back of squad cars following a protest the ACLU described as standing in silence during the annual fair event. But other reports suggest the protesters had planned to disrupt the meeting.

WUKY spoke with Hartman Wednesday about the group’s scheduled demonstration, which was meant to target the Kentucky Farm Bureau – a company he said advocates against LGBT rights, teachers, and pro-choice legislation.

"This is an insurance company that really shouldn't be weighing in on these issues anyway and most of their customers have no idea that they take these anti-fairness stances," he said.

Kentucky Farm Bureau describes itself as a voluntary organization of farm families and their allies who provide a voice for agriculture in the state. In a statement to WUKY bureau spokesman Dan Smaldone said, “We respect the right of any organization to hold policy positions supporting the interests of its members, but we are very disappointed that a group would attempt to disrupt a charity auction.”

Meanwhile, Hartman and two others have been charged with “failure to disperse.”

Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and program director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.
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