Farmer Being Turned Down By Government Because He Has An Address That Has Been Deemed “Offensive”


There is no question that it takes a lot to get Georgia cattle farmer Gene King rattled. However, when he was recently turned down for a special opportunity from Uncle Sam he did get just a bit irritated, to say the least.

Even though Mr. King thought he had dotted all of his i’s and crossed all of his t’s, his application was turned down for a rather obscure reason. His town has an “offensive” name. Simply put, Mr. King was turned down from getting his Initial Interstate Passport License simply because he lives in the locale of Gay, Georgia. 

Of course, when the town was named Gay, it was for an entirely different purpose than what it might mean today. You see, this hamlet was named after a local postmaster in the 1880s named William F. Gay. Interestingly enough, the name of the town was Sasserville before it was Gay. Definitely a bit ironic, to say the least. 

Anyway, however the town’s name might have come to be, there is no question that Mr. King is a proud resident of Gay, Georgia. He realizes that the name of this town is not meant to be offensive; it’s just become that way in the last three or four decades or so. This farmer would be the first to tell you that he doesn’t think that his application should not have been turned down just because of where he lives. 

“Absolutely no one has a problem living in Gay, Georgia,” King said during an interview. “I certainly don’t have any problems living in the town. But apparently the USDA has a real big problem with where I live.” 

While Mr. King will never deny the fact that he is proud to be a Gay farmer (no pun intended), he does admit that there are times where it can get a bit humorous trying to explain to people where he lives. However, putting all humor aside, things went from a joking matter to a highly aggravating matter in a hurry when he wasn’t able to get his special idea or Premises number. Mr. King was very upset, to say the least. 

What was the USDA’s solution to the problem? This is where it gets very interesting. Actually, one official even recommended that Mr. King should simply lie on his application and say that he lives in Bay, Georgia instead of Gay, Georgia! He said he shouldn’t have to do that. “The application system keeps kicking it out because the USDA has banned the word “Gay” on all their applications,” he said. “I said ‘no, I shouldn’t have to submit it as Bay, Georgia just to get the application approved. I want to be honest. The reviewer said, ‘Well, do you want the application or not?’ and I do, but I shouldn’t have to lie on the application to get it approved.” 

Naturally, this has quite a bit of a kerfuffle, so the USDA felt that they needed to do some damage control. They issued the following statement: 

“This premises allocation number was issued in the early 2000s, and it was meant to be used for the National Animal Identification System. It was issued during a time when we had severely limited technology, and we were concerned about pranksters creating fake names with offensive terminology. That is why we created a word database comprised of various examples to prevent this from happening.” 

This does beg the question, though: just what are they going to do with Gene King’s application? Does he have to relocate his farm? Should he have to at all? Have you say below, but I have to agree with Mr. King. This is totally ridiculous. 


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