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Bakersfield – Not a Place to Plan Your Wedding

Timothy Kincaid

June 4th, 2008

bakersfield.bmpBakersfield, CA, is an armpit.

With an economy based in agriculture, manufacturing, and oil refining, it’s no exaggeration to say that Bakersfield stinks. Literally. And with a high rate of poverty, one of the nation’s worst cities for ozone and particle pollution, and a reputation for red-necks and bigots, there’s little to encourage one to visit.

Okay, maybe I’m a little biased. I’m sure that Bakersfield has many lovely aspects and charming attributes. I don’t doubt that there are some wonderful people and pleasant neighborhoods. It has to be better than its neighbor Taft.

But now it has two more reasons for me to stay away.

Kern County (where Bakersfield sits as its county seat) isn’t named for Sally Kern, but it might as well be. In 2000, Kern County voted 80% in favor of banning gay marriage, and gay Southern Californian’s use the city as an example of where they would not feel safe in public.

And local officials like it that way. Now that the Supreme Court has overturned that statutory clause, let’s just say that the County Clerk isn’t happy. Lois Henry, columnist for The Bakersfield Californian, followed up and found her to be less than communicative.

I heard a rumor that Barnett held a staff meeting after the California State Supreme Court struck down the state’s ban on same-sex marriages on May 15 and said she would not allow them in Kern County because of her personal beliefs.

So I asked Barnett.

“My staff meetings are confidential so I will neither confirm nor deny that information,” she tersely told me.

I don’t doubt that Barnett will eventually comply with the law. But I also expect she’ll make it as miserable on gay couples as she legally can.

But Barnett is not the only bigot in Bakersfield.

Bakersfield carrot farmer William Bolthouse donated $100,000 to an initiative aiming to fight gay marriage — a measure that will appear on the Nov. 4 ballot along with the presidential race.

Jeremy at Good As You reports that this William Bolthouse appears to profit from the sales of Bolthouse Farms juices (carrot and other).

So when y’all come to marry here in the beautiful Golden State, don’t plan on walking the streets of Bakersfield. And don’t serve carrot juice at the reception.

See also:
Kern Co. Supervisors Reject Anti-Gay Ordinance
Calaveras County Joins Kern and Butte
Barnett Breaks Her Media Silence – Stupidly, of Course
Chad Vegas – Kern Co. School Board Trustee’s Double Standard
Ann Barnett Annoys Local Bakersfield Media
Two More California Counties Stop Officiating at Weddings
CA Anti-Gays Either Completely Idiotic or Shameless Liars
No Non-Religious Marriages in Kern County
A Voice of Reason in Kern Co.
Kern Co. (Bakersfield) Clerk Ann K. Barnett Cancels Straight Weddings
More Bakersfield Bigotry
Bakersfield – Not a Place to Plan Your Wedding

Comments

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Eddie
June 4th, 2008 | LINK

*sigh* It saddens me to read such words about my home.

Part of me wishes I could live life as a gay man in Bakersfield without complications. The reality is those wishes could never come true.

Bakersfield is a conservative wasteland.

Jason D
June 4th, 2008 | LINK

totally sucks, I love the protein drinks that bolthouse farms makes. What was once an annoyance is now a benefit: I really couldn’t find bolthouse anywhere in Chicago except Whole Foods, and considering how many gays work and shop there (The Center On Halsted shares a parking garage and dining area with WF) I doubt they’ll be sold there too much longer.

queerunity
June 5th, 2008 | LINK

everyone email bolthouse farms and tell them you will boycott

Randomfactor
June 5th, 2008 | LINK

You might communicate that to the retailers as well, and let *THEM* pressure Bolthouse:

http://www.bolthouse.com/store_locator.html

FlyingSpaghettiMnstr
June 10th, 2008 | LINK

What kind of person spends $100000 of their hard earned money to try to keep other people from being happy? This astounds me.

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