Current Affairs

Man who lives in town of Gay couldn’t get farming license because it’s ‘offensive’

Nick Duffy September 26, 2015
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A farmer who lives in the town of Gay, Georgia has said he was banned from getting a federal cattle license, because the automated system rejected the name.

Approximately 100 people live in the town of Gay, Georgia, which was named after  William F Gay.

However, when cattle farmer Gene King tried to get a special farming license, he was rejected – because of the ‘offensive’ name.

Mr King told Fox5 Atlanta that he had been trying to obtain a special livestock transport license from the United States Department of Agriculture, to allow him to transport cattle across states.

However, the farmer experienced a setback – when the town’s name was rejected as explicit by the USDA’s computer system.

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 quickly sussed that 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. Mr 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.”

However, he was eventually able to get a license.

Mr King added that he has gay friends (that is, homosexual friends) outside of Gay, he has no gay friends in Gay.

The USDA told Fox5: “The premises identification allocator was originally developed in the early 2000s for the National Animal Identification System, using the technology available at the time.

“The program was very contentious and IT developers were concerned about the possibility of people attempting to create ‘bad’ premises IDs to prove there was a problem with the program or its IT systems. They created a database of words with bad connotations that would not be allowed in the system.

“Since that time, the NAIS program has ended and been replaced by animal disease traceability regulations.

“The IT architecture was re-purposed to meet the new regulations, until the time it could be redesigned to take advantage of newer technology available to validate addresses.

“After a delay due to intensive efforts to combat highly pathogenic avian influenza this spring, the agency is working to upgrade the technology so this will no longer be an issue.”
Watch the clip below:

Related topics: Gay, Georgia, LGBT, Sexuality, town, US, USDA

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