"Dead town" in Ky. sees revival after passing gay rights ordinance - CBS News
Back up Links:AP/ September 23, 2013, 10:08 AM
"Dead town" in Ky. sees revival after passing gay rights ordinance
Eight months after this tiny Appalachian town took a stand against gay-based discrimination, it's basking in a flurry of attention and even an infusion of much-needed cash. All that hoopla has its openly gay mayor dreaming of reviving a place that had long seemed past its prime.
Out-of-towners occasionally venture well off the interstate to make the trek to Vicco, a fading coal town of about 330 residents where an aging row of buildings lines one side of the block-long downtown. Railroad tracks run along the other side, though trains rarely pass by anymore.
Visitors pose for pictures in front of the Mayberry-like city hall or shake hands with Mayor Johnny Cummings, 51, a chain-smoking hair salon operator who grew up in the town, spent some time living on both coasts, and then returned home.
"I thought the 15 minutes of fame would have been over a long time ago," Cummings said.
Not even close.
The town, about 130 miles southeast of Lexington, made national headlines when three of four commissioners voted in January to pass the ordinance, which prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity in employment, housing and public accommodations. City leaders said at the time they simply thought it was the right thing to do, and today marvel at the attention that has followed.
After passage, letters of support poured in from across the country, along with a handful of letters condemning the ordinance, the mayor said.
Money was tucked into some of the supportive letters, mostly in the range of $25 donations. A pastor from New England sent $40 to buy a round of beers for locals who appeared in a segment about Vicco by Comedy Central's "The Colbert Report."
A few other supporters are digging much deeper to show appreciation for the town's action.
A mother and son in California pledged to buy all the new playground equipment for a city park, a project that could reach $90,000, Cummings said. He declined to identify them, but said the gift would greatly expand what was going to be a modest new playground. The town had scraped together enough money to buy a couple of swing sets and a see-saw, he said.
Money for town with anti-discrimination ordinance - Las Vegas Sun News
Money for Kentucky town with anti-discrimination ordinance - News-Sentinel.com
Small U.S. town with ordinance banning discrimination against gays enjoys spotlight, donations
Another small victory drawing support to a town and even generating some money with that support. Soon in the not so distant future these little victories and stories aren't even going to be stories anymore, they are going to be common place. America is slowly riding itself of one more of its discriminations, equality is on the winning path. Its awesome.