Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Gay-bashing Arkansas Republicans lick their chops; but first, some questions for them

Posted By on Wed, Jun 26, 2013 at 9:44 AM

QUESTIONS FOR ASA: And other Republican candidates. Should homosexuals hold state appointments; be disowned as children?
  • QUESTIONS FOR ASA: And other Republican candidates. Should homosexuals hold state appointments; be disowned as children?
Does an Arkansas Republican miss a chance to play the homophonia and strum out a demagoguic political appeal based on disapproval of homosexuality?

Does a wild hog crap in the woods?

The U.S. Supreme Court was still reading opinions in the two momentous gay rights cases this morning when shills for the Republican Party began demanding reactions from Democratic politicians on the issues. Not Republican politicians, mind you.

The subtext is clear. The Republican echo chamber firmly believes that Arkansans detest queers. Any bow to elemental fairness toward them is, therefore, automatically a loser. Also they believe: Democrats are queer-lovers. Thus, Democrats are certain to cater to their base by either applauding the constitutional promise of equal rights, even for sexual minorities, or by somewhat uncomfortably enunciating a religious opposition to same-sex marriage, but a belief in kind treatment of gay people of a somewhat amorphous nature. (See U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor on the latter.)

SEEN ON SCOTT STREET: Probably not a Republican vehicle.
  • David Ramsey
  • SEEN ON SCOTT STREET: Probably not a Republican vehicle.
The press will likely fall headlong into this trap and make the Supreme Court rulings all about Democrats. I propose we also make it about Republicans. We all know they'll decry the demise of DOMA and the validation of gay marriage in California (and anywhere else).

But let's get more to the root of things for Asa!, Sister Debra and Bro. Coleman (who apparently abhors homosexuality among the putative Biblical sins far more than spousal unfaithfulness, based on the record):

* Would you hire an openly homosexual person as a staff member?

* Would you shake the hand of an openly homosexual person?

* Would you appoint a homosexual to a state board or commission?

* Do you believe homosexuals should be allowed to serve on state boards and commissions? Jerry Cox, chaplain to the Arkansas Republican Party, does not, to name one.

* Do you think someone legally married in another state should be entitled to receive taxpayer-financed health insurance coverage for their legal spouse, the same as heterosexual couples?

* Should homosexuals be able to adopt or foster children?

* Should it be legal for employers to fire someone simply because they are homosexual?

* Should children be punished for harassing other children over their sexual orientation? Or should this be viewed as religious freedom?

* Should the life partner in a homosexual couple be prevented from visiting that partner in hospice if a blood relative objects?

* Should the life partner in a homosexual couple be deprived of inheritance protections granted blood relatives?

* Would you disown a homosexual child?

* Do you believe homosexuality is a chosen orientation? When did you choose to be heterosexual?

Stand and deliver, Republicans. The country is evolving — Arkansas admittedly more slowly than the rest of the states — in part because the issue increasingly has a human face. It's easy to fear and decry the unknown. It is somewhat harder to spit in the face of a living, breathing Arkansan. I saw this graphically in my visits over the years to Arkansas Boys State, where a handful of delegates now live openly as gays, despite some significant continuing animosity but also with the help of a rising degree of tolerance among their peers.

If I know Arkansas Republicans — and if their shills are any indication — I know they are nonetheless up to the task of spitting in the face of minorities when an opportunity arises.

PS — I wrote in my link about Boys State about Brandon Brock, a Boys State delegate who wrote to thank me for speaking in support of gay rights when he was an isolated, closeted Arkansas teen years ago at Boys State. He's now living in California and married. He commented today on Facebook:

Alexis Caloza and I married again in California and married for the first time with the American government. The two Supreme Court cases are huge victories and (almost) couldn't be better. I feel so American. Thanks to everyone for their support and to J-J-Lynn Elmore Brock and Eric Brock for supporting me in the amicus brief for PFLAG in the DOMA case to which I'm totally crediting the Supreme Court's ruling on.

CELEBRATING IN SF: Thats Brandon Brock and his husband Alexis Caloza.
  • CELEBRATING IN SF: That's Brandon Brock, an Arkansas native, and his husband Alexis Caloza.

PS — There are untold numbers of questions engendered by the DOMA ruling. One: if you're legally married in Massachusetts, but live in Arkansas, do you qualify for federal benefits? Another relates to the silence in the opinion on the section of the law that says it's up to states whether to respect marriages from other states. Opinions diverge. Lots of discussion of these points on scotusblog.com

PPS — The Huckster came through. "Jesus wept" and SCOTUS believes it's "bigger than God." Dan Savage replied to Huckster that he wept, too.

Also, from the haters at the Family Council: essentially, it could have been worse.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Favorite

Speaking of...

  • A plan for Arkansas to get more out of the money it spends on corrections

    August 26, 2016
    Arkansas's prison population is among the fastest growing in the country. The state now spends more than half of a billion dollars on corrections, a 68 percent increase since 2004, and our prison population, which increased by 21 percent between 2012 and 2016, is expected to rise by another 19 percent between 2016 and 2023 to 21,345. Those were the facts and projections Justice Center, a project of the national nonprofit Council of State Governments, reminded people of yesterday before presenting criminal justice reform proposals. /more/
  • The South, including Arkansas, is failing poor kids who want to go to college

    August 26, 2016
    The Atlantic has an important perspective on the South's "cycle of failing higher education."  Arkansas stands out for the cost barriers it presents to low-income students. /more/
  • Smoking e-mails: Democrats say they show Mark Martin pushed use of bad voter records

    August 25, 2016
    A belated production of e-mails by Secretary of State Mark Martin has the Democratic Party calling for response from top Republican officials about evidence that he encouraged county clerks in use of data on voter eligiblity that he knew to be flawed. /more/
  • Arkansas criminal justice reform proposal due today

    August 25, 2016
    We'll get a good sense of what criminal justice reform legislation might look like in the 2017 General Assembly later today — as well as some potential stumbling blocks to its passage. Justice Center, an offshoot of the national nonprofit Council of State Governments, will offer policy recommendations to the Legislative Criminal Justice Oversight Task Force this afternoon at the Arkansas Association of Counties conference. /more/
  • Dollars and degrees

    August 25, 2016
    Governor Hutchinson says a high graduation rate (ours is about the lowest) and a larger quotient of college graduates in the population are critical to economic development. Every few months there is another, but old, key to unlocking growth. /more/
  • That time Asa Hutchinson sort of endorsed medical marijuana

    August 24, 2016
    Advocates of medical marijuana are circulating a YouTube video of a 2011 debate at the University of Arkansas between Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, and Asa Hutchinson, not then governor but speaking as a former DEA Administrator and congressman. Hutchinson seemed open to medical use of marijuana. /more/
  • Eldridge raps Boozman for Florida trip while ducking debates

    August 24, 2016
    Conner Eldridge, the Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, is knocking Republican opponent, incumbent Sen. John Boozman, for traveling to Florida this week while refusing to meet Eldridge for debate in Arkansas. /more/
  • UPDATE: Obamacare proves popular in Arkansas

    August 24, 2016
    The state Department of Human Services' monthly report on enrollment in the Private Option health insurance program — Arkansas's version of the Medicaid expansion enabled by Obamacare, or the federal Affordable Care Act — shows even broader popularity than expected, some 300,000 covered against an expected 250,000. /more/
  • Group forms to fight medical marijuana

    August 24, 2016
    A coalition of powerful lobbying groups filed papers with the Arkansas Ethics Commission Tuesday to fight medical marijuana issues headed for the November ballot. /more/
  • Tim Kaine in town for Hillary fund-raiser

    August 23, 2016
    Hillary Clinton's running mate, Tim Kaine, will be in Little Rock this afternoon for a private fund-raiser at the Chenal Valley home of Mike and Deborah Roberts.  Ticket prices start at $2,700, but there are host, co-chair and chair slots available for $5,000, $25,000 and $50,000. /more/
  • More »

Comments (15)

Showing 1-15 of 15

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-15 of 15

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

Most Shared

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2016 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation