Charges dismissed against Farm Bureau Ham Breakfast protesters
Dismissal comes more than two years after arrests
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WTVQ/Press Release) – More than two years after three protesters were arrested at the 2019 Kentucky Farm Bureau Country Ham Breakfast at the Kentucky State Fair, all charges against Chris
Photo by Samuel Crankshaw, ACLU of Kentucky Foundation, Inc.
Chris Hartman’s arrest/Photo by Samuel Crankshaw, ACLU of Kentucky Foundation, Inc.
Hartman, Sonja Wilde-de Vries, and Carla F. Wallace were dismissed Tuesday in Jefferson County District Court.
Attorneys Michael Goodwin, Courtney Kellner, Erin Kennedy, and Ted Shouse represented the protesters, who were charged with second-degree disorderly conduct, menacing, and resisting arrest for Hartman only.
“This is another victory in our endless battle against the Kentucky Farm Bureau and its discriminatory policies,” shared Fairness Campaign Executive Director Chris Hartman. “The Kentucky State Police have aggressively tried to shield the Kentucky Farm Bureau from our protests at the Ham Breakfast, but they will never stop us from raising awareness about the Kentucky Farm Bureau’s discriminatory policies until they drop them.”
The 2019 protest against the Kentucky Farm Bureau’s discriminatory policies marked the second time Kentucky State Police arrested the same three protesters, with the first arrests occurring at the 2015 protest. For more than a decade, Kentucky groups have protested the Kentucky Farm Bureau’s policies that are anti-LGBTQ, anti-Teacher, anti-Union, anti-Choice, anti-POC, and pro-Death Penalty, including the ACLU of Kentucky, Fairness Campaign, Jefferson County Teachers Association, Louisville Showing Up for Racial Justice, Planned Parenthood Alliance Advocates – Kentucky, United Food and Commercial Workers Local 227, and Kentucky Health Justice Network.
This year protests continued at the Ham Breakfast with no arrests, and advocacy groups launched a radio ad
during the Kentucky State Fair targeting the discriminatory policies. Kentucky Farm Bureau Insurance customers automatically pay an annual fee that enrolls them as members of the Kentucky Farm Bureau Federation, the company’s 501(c)4 lobbying arm, which outlines its discriminatory stances in an official policy book that elected officials typically receive, but paying customers do not.