Pregnant Lesbian And Girlfriend Ejected From KY Park For (Gasp) Kissing!

The glow of pregnancy didn’t protect Cheri Chenault from bigotry: A ranger who spied the expectant mom and her girlfriend having photos taken at a Kentucky Park ordered them to leave after he saw them sharing a brief kiss.

According to the photographer, the park attendant at E.C. Million Memorial Park in Richmond, Kentucky, stated “those type of people” were not welcome in the privately owned park.

“I had picked one of the flowers and was going to use it in the picture,” Jessica Miller-Poole, who was producing the maternity shoot, told the Richmond Register. “The gatekeeper said we were not able to pick the flowers. He left, and we continued to take pictures.”

Miller-Poole, owner of 13 Wishes Photography, says she then told Chenault and partner Destiny Keith she wanted to get a snapshot of them smooching:  “They were a little reluctant, and they kissed so quickly that I wasn’t even able to take a picture of it.”

It was then that the ranger came back and ordered them to go, says Miller-Poole, who was there with her husband.

“[My husband] talked to the man and said that if it was because they were two women, that he wanted to know,” Miller-Poole said. “The man said, ‘Those type of people were not welcomed there,’” she said. “My husband ended up getting very angry and had to walk away.”

Miller-Poole said she conducts photo shoots at the park frequently and was trying to understand if she was banned from the park permanently or just with same-sex couples as clients.

“The man said, ‘If you come back and bring those type of people, you will be removed from the park,’” she said. “I never understood why people make such a big deal about being treated differently until I was actually in the middle of it and witnessed it firsthand. It really bothered me and upset me to witness someone be so cruel.”

Unsurprisingly, the incident upset the expectant parents as well:

“I called my mom crying and my girlfriend, Destiny, was upset too,” Chenault said. “It took all I had to keep my cool because I just thought it was messed up that he could literally kick us out of the park.”

Sadly, the unnamed gatekeeper was within his rights to shoo them out, since Kentucky doesn’t have any ordinances protecting the LGBT community. “There is no statewide law or local ordinance in Richmond prohibiting discrimination in employment, housing, or public accommodations based on someone’s perceived sexual orientation or gender identity,” explains Michael Aldridge, executive director of the ACLU-KY.

This gets us so steamed! If you’re within driving distance of Richmond, consider taking your dog to E.C. Million Park and having it do its business everywhere—leave a big ol’ mess for these bigots to clean up. (Hell, give Rover a nice big can of three-alarm chili first.)

If you don’t live in Kentucky—or don’t have a dog—consider sending Keith and Chenault some maternity items or a making a donation to ACLU Kentucky, The Fairness CampaignKentucky Commission on Human Rights, Kentucky Fairness Alliance or Lexington Fairness,

Photo: Jessica Miller-Poole

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  • Olive Austin

    Always demand that the bigots call the police, if you’re such a problem for them. If the police do show-up, always get a badge number and tell the officer that you demand a written incident report be created. That makes them put the “complaint” in writing (even if an incident is on private property) which will be very useful later. Then follow-up and get the incident report in writing. If it is incomplete or untrue then inform the officer’s commander that the incident report is false AND YOU WILL SUE if it’s not corrected. If it isn’t corrected then sue their asses off for falsifying official documents.

  • Daez

    I’m kind of torn on this since it is a private park. On one hand, I feel that the couple should enjoy all the rights of patronizing the park as all other couples. On the other hand, I believe that LGBT people should not patronize anti-gay businesses to begin with.

  • Paul


  • Alex

    *sigh* It seems like every other story of discrimination or mistreatment on this website comes from my home state. I’m shielded from most of the hate in my college bubble in Lexington, but our state has a long way to go.

  • Paul

    @Daez: If that’s the case they should just leave Kentucky. :). It angers me as well as breaks my heart…it’s fucking 2012!!!!

  • scott ny'er

    @Daez: Private parks in Manhattan are gated with locks! One cannot get in there unless you have the key. That’s what this park needs to do to keep out the riff-raff.

  • scott ny'er

    Otherwise, even if it’s private… people will just stroll in there and kiss away. These states are scary.

  • Ogre Magi

    The South is a terrible place for gay people

  • Kostas

    A”KY Park” ??? How about Astroglide Park?

  • Jonathonz

    Sounds like a great place for KISS-IN!

  • Travis

    Its a shame that it happened like that, but he should have ejected them for picking a flower. It is clearly posted that you can not do that. It’s a beautiful park that is privately owned, and it’s sad that he chose to eject them for the kissing. That’s just sad.

  • Shelby

    This makes me a bit ashamed to be from Kentucky. People are still very close minded and there definitely should be laws to protect people from prejuidice.

  • the other Greg

    @Aquarelle: If only you could post a picture of yourself for us to judge!

  • Rachel

    Some chicks kiss chicks… GET OVER IT!! :)

  • Welcome to Kentucky

    Sometimes I forget my state does things like this and I actually like living here.
    And then I read a story like this, or I see the billboard in Lexington saying “Homosexuality is an Abomination” and I thank my lucky stars I live in Louisville instead.

    With the rate we’re going, Kentucky won’t legalize any protections for LGBT* unless it ends up being a nationally mandated thing rather than a state issue.

  • mnrme

    This is really a blessing in disguise. First of all, now every one knows not to patronize that ridiculous park, second, that photographer is horrible! Be glad you didn’t finish the session. Get your money back and get a real photographer!

  • Aquarelle

    @the other Greg: Riiiight. And have all of you sad queens desperately hit me up for a hook-up? No thanks, honey. Those of us who are *actually* attractive are very careful about our privacy.

  • UsualPlayer

    @Aquarelle: Colin is this your official main name now?

  • Aquarelle

    @UsualPlayer: This is rich. The biggest troll on Queerty is accusing ME of suck-puppetry?

  • Aquarelle

    I apologize profusely for all my bitterness on this website. As the effects of the crack cocaine gradually wear off, I realize my dire stupidity and severe lack of physical attractiveness have affected my ego to the point where I sit in my mom’s basement comforting myself with cruel comments on others’ shortcomings.

  • UsualPlayers

    @Aquarelle: Is that a yes or no Jason?

  • Sam

    I am a lesbian who was hired to work at a state park in Kentucky (where I live) just 2 months ago. After about 3 weeks on the job I was fired for a very minor reason. I think our state really needs better protection for LGBT workers. It makes me sick to think that people can get away with this kind of discrimination on a regulas basis.

  • Michael

    Another disgusting story from Kentucky…I used to think we made progress when my city (Lexington) elected an openly-gay mayor, but then I see things like this.
    That park ranger is lucky I wasn’t there or else, this would’ve been an international affair.

  • dotmacis

    @scott ny’er: Excuse me, No. 6, but gay folks are NOT riff-raff!!

Comments are closed.