A farmer who lives in the town of Gay in Georgia was far from happy when he was refused a livestock transport licence.
When Gene King applied to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for the licence to allow him to transport cattle interstate, the town’s name was rejected as “explicit” by the department’s computer system.
King told Fox5 Atlanta he queried the hold-up with the USDA, recounting: “(A worker) said it’s kicking it out saying that’s an offensive word and won’t accept your application.”
The USDA soon realised it was being rejected because the “city contains a banned word”, under a redundancy system that prevents the application system from being vandalised.
However, they couldn’t find a quick fix – other than submitting the town’s name as ‘Bay’ instead, and putting a note on the file.
King was having none of it.
He said: “And I said no, I don’t want to submit it as Bay, Georgia. I want to submit it as Gay, Georgia because that’s where I live.
“And she said do you want a number or not?
“I said ma’am. This is ridiculous. My name is Gene King. I live here in Gay, Ga. That’s G-A-Y, not B-A-Y.”
Thankfully, commonsense prevailed and King was able to get his licence.
Approximately 100 people live in the rural town, which was named after William F Gay. Twice a year they organise a popular festival, once referred to as the Gay Fair but now known as the Cotton Pickin’ Festival.
For the record, King added that he has gay friends (that is, homosexual friends) outside of Gay but he has no gay friends in Gay.