Government punishes farmer for living in a town named “Gay”


The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) doesn’t get may things right, but they sure have that political correctness thing covered. Gene King, a cattle farmer in Georgia, learned the hard way that the government agency tasked to regulate the sale of cattle is also the self-appointed PC police, and is punishing him for a reason you won’t believe.

According to a report by Fox 5 in Atlanta, King found out that the USDA is nitpicking over words in the oddest places, when the government told him the name of his town, Gay, is banned as an offensive word.

Earlier this month, Gene applied for a special ID through the USDA called a Premises Number. That allows him to buy and sell cattle across state lines. He completed the form and called to check on his status.

“She said it’s kicking it out saying that’s an offensive word and won’t accept your application,” King said.

What could be so offensive? The holdup, according to a government email about Gene’s application: “city contains a banned word.”

The USDA emailed back with a work-around. Change Gene’s hometown on the application from Gay… to Bay.

King eventually got things straightened out, but only after a bureaucrat manually changed his city to Bay to gain approval, and back to Gay afterward in the USDA database. The USDA claims the “offensive words” policy was implemented in 2004 to avoid problems with people using bad words while registering on government websites. They promise the system will be changed to avoid such problems in the future.

It is no surprise that our government has followed President Obama’s lead in being hyper-sensitive about words for certain minorities. However, since when is the word “gay” considered offensive? Is the USDA assuming that if a farmer uses the word “gay,” it is in a negative context? Perhaps the greater question is why our government places a higher priority on banning the use of offensive words over the ability of our farmers to conduct business.


About Victor Medina

Victor Medina is a freelance writer based in Dallas. He is the editor of, and his other writing credits include The Dallas Morning News, Yahoo News, and He has served as a Dallas County election judge and on the Board of Directors of The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza in Dallas. He is a member of the leadership team of the Cafe con Leche Republicans. You can follow him on his blog, or on Twitter at @mrvictormedina. He can be reached by email at