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Friday, April 5, 2013

The evening line: Sen. Pryor retreats on gay 'choice' comment

Posted By on Fri, Apr 5, 2013 at 5:11 PM

Enough already. The Friday night line is open. I close with this:

WONT DISPUTE GAY FRIENDS: Sen. Mark Pryor says he accepts that gay people say orienation not a choice.
  • WON'T DISPUTE GAY FRIENDS: Sen. Mark Pryor says he accepts that gay people believe orientation not a 'choice.'
* MARK PRYOR WALKS BACK COMMENT ON GAY PEOPLE: I wrote earlier today that U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor was one of only four Democrats left in the U.S. Senate who remain opposed to marriage equality — the ability of same-sex couples to marry and enjoy the same protection available under 100s of laws available to other married couples. I also commented he'd yet to be heard from on changes in a statement attributed to him earlier in which he was quoted as telling the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that he believed homosexuality was a choice, something soundly rejected by the scientific community at large.

His aide Michael Teague provides an update:

Senator Pryor participated in an editorial board meeting this afternoon in Northwest Arkansas (Doug Thompson, Rusty Turner, etc) During which the choice issue was discussed.

I wasn’t there but this is what I was told he said.

When I got asked this question I honesty hadn’t given it much thought and I said ultimately I didn’t know — Since then I’ve had time to visit with my friends in the gay and lesbian community and they very strongly believe that this is not a choice for them. I respect that, I understand where they’re coming from, I will not dispute them. I appreciate their time, openness and patience.

Teague has objected since that the Democrat-Gazette only posed the particular question about choice to Pryor, and not any of the others in the congressional delegation. He also said the newspaper pressed Pryor harder for answers, while accepting no comments from others, including potential future rival opponent, Republican Rep. Tom Cotton. The D-G has declined to talk to me about the circumstances by which Pryor was singled out. Nonetheless, the answers were his own. His opposition to marriage equality is unchanged.

* TAX DODGER EXXON MOBIL: Mad yet about the nasty pipeline oil spill in Mayflower? Mad yet that Exxon is controlling access to the scene, including airways? Mad that Exxon apparently isn't telling the whole truth about spread of oil to Lake Conway waters? Mad that this gunk isn't oil for purposes of being taxed to help finance oil spill cleanup funds of the federal government? Maybe it might make you mad to read an Americans for Tax Fairness fact sheet on the incredible tax giveaways enjoyed by Exxon Mobil, maybe the richest corporation in the world.

Still not mad? Is your name U.S. Rep. Tim Griffin, who's never met a pipeline, oil company or tax preference for a rich corporation he didn't like.

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