A Kentucky man was charged with contempt of court after calling an openly gay prosecutor a “f*cking queer” during a courtroom hearing.
Danny Ray Hoskins was before Judge Todd Hollenbach on criminal mischief charges when he used the slur against Assistant County Attorney Bryan Moore. (It’s not clear what Hoskins had originally been arrested for.) County Attorney Mike O’Connell agreed to imposing a one-day served sentence and a $100 fine as long as Hoskins apologized.
Judge Hollenbach revealed that Hoskins’ slur was accidentally not recorded, meaning there was no evidence he said it. At a hearing in Jefferson District Court Wednesday morning, O’Connell suggested the judge accept testimony from witnesses as proof of the statement. Instead, Hollenbach had the defendant repeat the derogatory phrase in open court for the record.
Hoskins, 30, acknowledged his comment, apologizing to the court and to Moore. “I apologize for saying what I said to you and whoever it might offend,” he said.
While Kentucky is a deeply red state–Republican Governor Matt Bevin supported the right of clerks to refuse to issue marriage licenses to gay couples–but Louisville has a robust LGBT community that is generally embraced by the city.
“This community has always been open, welcoming, hospitable and tolerant community. We pride ourselves on that,” Hollenbach told Hoskins. “I don’t think there is a court in this land that would tolerate that kind of language, that kind of behavior, that kind of disruption.”
Meanwhile, the Kentucky Supreme Court is considering the case of a Lexington printer who refused to print t-shirts for the city’s annual LGBTQ pride festival. The court had delayed a ruling in expectation that the Supreme Court’s Masterpiece Cakeshop ruling would set the standard. But the high court’s ruling in favor of baker Jack Phillips was sufficiently narrow that they will have to issue a verdict in Lexington-Fayette County Human Rights Commission vs. Hands on Originals,
In a friend-of-the-court brief, Governor Bevin insisted that requiring the owners of Hands on Originals to “promote homosexuality” would have violated their religious freedom guaranteed under the Kentucky Constitution.
Did Hoskins get the right punishment for insulting a gay prosecutor?
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