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Friday, March 22, 2013

Gay discrimination endorsed in House committee

Posted By on Fri, Mar 22, 2013 at 9:47 AM

I've mentioned previously the curious absence of gay bashing by the new Republican legislative majority. It's a favorite base tickler, after all, and considered political gold by Republicans.

I needn't have worried. A paid Republican shill Twitters that a House committee this morning approved a resolution — no discussion, no roll call, a couple of "nays" heard — reaffirming support for the Arkansas constitutional provision banning same-sex marriage and for the federal Defense of Marriage Act, currently facing a federal constitutional challenge before the U.S. Supreme Court.

You may be sure this measure, by Republican Rep. Jim Dotson of Bentonville, received careful consideration and thorough, informed debate. Not. The resolution was in shell form, not even completed, on the committee agenda this morning. Some things are just instinctive for the legislature, of course. Guns and tax cuts good. Women's rights and homosexuality, bad. What's to debate? (Wonder if Dotson knows that a famous billionaire philanthropist in his hometown has put a personal seal of approval on a prominent gay couple living, with child, in Bentonville?)

Happily, the national news is better on attitudes.

Public support for gay marriage has hit a new high as Americans increasingly see homosexuality not as a choice but as a way some people are, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

The poll shows that 58 percent of Americans now believe it should be legal for gay and lesbian couples to get married; 36 percent say it should be illegal. Public attitudes toward gay marriage are a mirror image of what they were a decade ago: in 2003, 37 percent favored gay nuptials, and 55 percent opposed them.

... There has been a related movement in public opinion about homosexuality. Fully 62 percent of Americans now say being gay is just the way some people are, not something people choose to be. About 20 years ago, fewer than half of the public said so.

If you're not in this growing majority, well, Arkansas, not San Francisco, is the place for you. The Arkansas legislature tells us so.

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