KY Farm Bureau – Big on discrimination

Bruce Maples (bruceinlouisville@gmail.com)
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Every year about this time, the Kentucky Farm Bureau has their annual breakfast at the KY State Fair. And every year about this time, we ask a simple question:

Why is the Farm Bureau so concerned about non-farm issues?

And even more:

Why does the Farm Bureau hate gay people, and unions, and teachers, and poor people?

If you think this is hyperbole, then let’s take a look at the KFB’s political issues manual. Oh, you don’t have one? That’s because the only people who get one are the lobbyists hired by the Farm Bureau. The Farm Bureau members don’t get one – even though each Farm Bureau customer automatically pays a fee that enrolls them in the Farm Bureau Federation, the lobbying arm. The Farm Bureau spent $100,000 of their customer’s money to fight for these discriminatory policies in Frankfort.

Fortunately, the Fairness Campaign is sometimes able to get their hands on a copy, and when they do, they post it on their site so we can all read it for ourselves. You can view that copy right on the Fairness web site, and follow along.

From the Fairness web site, here is a list of the Farm Bureau policies, along with the page numbers where you can find them:

  • The institution of marriage should only be recognized as the legal union of a man and a woman. (p.13)
  • We are opposed to any state-supported agency providing benefits to “domestic” partners. (p.14)
  • We strongly believe in the value of all individuals both born and unborn. (p.14)
  • We strongly oppose teacher strikes. We oppose legislation that mandates collective bargaining for public school employees. (p.64)
  • We oppose schools declaring themselves gender neutral. (p.65)
  • Alternative lifestyles should not be taught in public schools. (p.65)
  • We support the enactment of right-to-work legislation. (p.80)
  • We oppose an increase in the minimum hourly wage. (p.80)
  • We recommend the federal prevailing wage law be repealed when dealing with government contracts. (p.80)
  • We strongly oppose any mandate that would require any government entities to recognize and collectively bargain with employee unions. (p.80)
  • Furthermore, we oppose public employees being permitted to strike, organize work stoppage or slow-downs. (p.80)
  • We oppose unionization of farmers and farm laborers. (p.80)
  • We support the idea that those who receive SSI, food stamps, housing, or other government welfare payments should have to submit to random drug testing. (p.81)
  • We support capital punishment. (p.94)
  • We oppose any government mandate that forces school districts to provide transgender bathrooms. (p.97)

I don’t know about you, but my first reaction to some of these has always been “Why, Freddy?” Why do you care about LGBTQ rights, or bathrooms, or capital punishment? Why are you opposed to teachers and other public employees standing up for themselves? What does any of this have to do with farms and farming?!?

Apparently, some other Kentuckians have begun to notice the Farm Bureau’s discriminatory push. Here’s a video released just this week, calling out KFB for their discrimination against gays, teachers, and unions:

So, if you know any agents of KY Farm Bureau Insurance, you might ask them why they support these policies. If you know any members of the board, you might ask them the same thing. And when you think about buying insurance, remember that KY Farm Bureau apparently cares about more than just insuring you. They also care about ensuring their vision of the world – which doesn’t include gays, unions, transgender people, or public employees that stand up for themselves.

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