Gay, lesbian groups dismiss apology
POST STAFF REPORT
Two gay and lesbian advocacy groups in Kentucky are dismissing an apology from state Sen. Richard "Dick" Roeding for referring last week to one of
the organizations as "a bunch of queers."
The Fairness Alliance and the Log Cabin Republicans both say that Roeding, R-Lakeside Park, has not directly issued an apology, instead opting to
have Senate President David Williams, R-Burkesville, speak for him.
"We do not accept this lukewarm, second-hand apology," said Fairness Alliance Executive Director Christina Gilgor. "Dick Roeding owes fair-minded
Kentuckians an authentic, direct and sincere apology."
Roeding came under fire last week for calling homosexuals the "wrong kind of people" after the University of Louisville Board of Trustees
voted 14-1 to allow non-married straight and gay partners of employees to participate in the school's health insurance plan. Trustees said the move would
make the school competitive with other universities in attracting and retaining top-notch faculty and staff.
In a later conversation with The Kentucky Post, Roeding referred to the Log Cabin Republicans as "a bunch of queers" after the gay and lesbian advocacy
group called for his resignation. Williams said Friday that he called the Northern Kentucky legislator and told him the use of the word "queers" was inappropriate. Williams reiterated that statement Tuesday.
"Upon reflection, Senator Roeding agreed and stated, 'The language used is inappropriate and if I offended anyone, I apologize,'" Williams said in his statement.
When asked Tuesday whether he had apologized to the Log Cabin Republicans, Roeding said, "I haven't met one."
Roeding said he had apologized to Williams but that he had not issued a formal apology himself .
"The second-hand apology to David Williams doesn't
count," Kentucky Log Cabin President Jimmy LaSalvia said. "Senator Roeding owes an apology to the people of Kentucky."
LaSalvia said he is less concerned about the name-calling than he is about the Senate Republican leadership's silence on Roeding's overall stance on
domestic partner benefits for same-sex couples.
"The important issue is: Is the Republican leadership going to allow Dick Roeding to speak for them when it comes to issues that affect gay and
lesbian Kentuckians,?" he said.
While Williams conceded the 2007 General Assembly might take up the issue, he said he considered it "bad public policy" and thought it would be strongly opposed by state lawmakers. Legislators could not adopt a bill that specifically targeted U of L, but could develop a policy dealing with all state schools. The conservative Family Foundation of Kentucky also has weighed in on
the controversy, calling on the Fairness Alliance to apologize for disparaging religious conservatives now that Roeding has issued his apology.
Eventhough I am proud to be born and raised in the Commonwealth of Kentucky, sometimes I forget how many insensative people there are who reside there. More interestingly is that just after the story, there was an online poll that asked the question if Sen. Roeding should have apologized for his dirogatory statments, and 34% answered no.