Historical entertainment planned for joint celebration of three Southwest Arkansas milestone anniversaries
“Some of it seemed kind of, frankly, degrading,” he said. “Some people are completely missing the mark, either analyzing the bill incorrectly or just saying whatever they want to make it seem like something it’s not.”
Ballinger said some are trying to link HB 1228 with Senate Bill 202, now Act 137 of 2015, which prohibits cities and counties from issuing ordinances to prohibit discrimination toward anyone who is not already protected under federal or state law.
“I think a lot of people got stirred up on 202 and so now they’re using this bill,” he said. “The reality is it should be uncontroversial, that people should have the right to believe what they believe and if the government is going to burden it they ought to have a good reason.”
Rep. Bob Ballinger, R-Hindsville, presented SB 202 on the Senate floor. He said the bill would prevent ordinances like one the Fayetteville City Council approved in August that included prohibitions against discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity in housing, employment and public services. Fayetteville voters repealed the ordinance in December.This was also the occasion when a weepy Rep. Mary Bentley declaimed about the evils of being forced to engage in commerce with queer folk — taking care to spit out the words "lesbian, gay bisexual and transgender" with the distaste she believed they deserved, as opposed to an innocuous acronym, LGBT.
“I don’t think … a baker that loves the word of God, that’s bringing her children up to honor God and to worship God, should have her business destroyed because she doesn’t want to bake a cake for somebody that’s a transgender trying to marry somebody else.”
Ballinger said after the vote that HB 1228 would apply in the case of a baker who refused to make a cake for a gay or transgender person, although he said that “it doesn’t mean you automatically win.”
Ballinger also said he believes that gay rights and civil rights for blacks are different issues because people are born into their race but sexual orientation is “a choice.”
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