At one time or another, we've probably all been guilty of stereotypes regarding the southern United States - especially small town America.
Of course, like any stereotypes, it's ridiculous to characterize an entire group of people the same way because it's simply not true.
Here's a story that proves it.
The town of Vicco, Kentucky recently passed a measure to protect gays and lesbians from discrimination.
The measure "prohibits discrimination, by employers and by sellers and renters of housing, on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, as well as race, religion, age and gender."
As far as towns go, Vicco is small. Really small. Population: 334 and a tiny coal-mining community, that's seen better days.
At one time, it was a mining boomtown. But by the 1950s, the boom pretty much ended.
Since then, Vicco has struggled. Businesses closed, people left, the local economy tanked and has never regained its former glory.
Generally speaking, as USA today reports, it's part of a socially, religiously and politically conservative region in Kentucky.
But the mayor, Johnny Cummings (a fifth generation resident), is openly gay. His councilors are straight but none of that mattered.
He says they had a long and respectful conversation before voting 3-1 in favour of the measure.
As Cummings explained to the New York Times, you discuss, you find consensus, you vote, and you move on.
"You have to get along," he said.
Vicco City Attorney Eric Ashley went further saying...
"Vicco is a community that believes all folks should be treated fairly. We believe everyone deserves the opportunity for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Fairness is a Kentucky value, a Vicco value, and one of our most American values."
That's not to say everyone in the town supports the measure. Opponents say no one in Vicco is discriminating, so there's no need for this kind of law.
Others are against it because of their religious beliefs, including local councilor Tim Engle who voted against it.
"I'm a Christian, and I don't believe in that lifestyle," he told USA Today.
He also told the local paper, The Hazard Herald, "There are things we're not going to agree on, and that's perfectly fine with me."
"That's what the debates are for... that's what this group's here for. I want them to do what they think's right and what they think they need to do."
Tony Vaughn, Vicco's only police officer, told USA Today that all people need their rights protected.
"Until people start stepping up to the plate, there's no action," he said. Vaughn also praised the councilors for having "enough brass about them to be on the forefront."
Cummings hopes the new law will benefit the town, and help it attract new businesses and residents who'll see the town as an open, inclusive place.
"It was just something that was right. We never thought it would be such a hoopla," Cummings told USA Today.
As the New York Times writes, "In Vicco, at least, officials just assumed that such a belief is self-evident and therefore not that big of a deal. Besides, this tough little city has other matters on its collective mind."
Three other cities in Kentucky - Louisville, Lexington and Covington - have adopted similar measures banning discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
On a side note, Salon has an interesting piece about stereotypes of the American south. You can read it right here.