Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Arkansas House Republicans don't like marriage ruling, vow to protect legal discrimination

Posted By on Tue, Jun 30, 2015 at 3:27 PM

click to enlarge REP. KEN BRAGG: Surprise. Republican leader doesn't like marriage ruling.
  • REP. KEN BRAGG: Surprise. Republican leader doesn't like marriage ruling.
I was surprised last week when the Arkansas Republican Party wasn't ready with an instant denunciation of the U.S. Supreme Court's marriage equality ruling.

Today, four days later, comes a news release from the House Republican Caucus announcing its unanimous unhappiness about the ruling and a pledge to do something about it — likely still more legislation on top of anti-gay legislation passed this year that endeavors to give people a religious excuse to discriminate in performance of tasks public and private. Whether selling cakes or motel rooms or hiring and firing, Republicans insist on legal protections in discrimination against gay people. It's the Christian thing to do, see. Discriminate.

The statement from Majority Leader Ken Bragg:

LITTLE ROCK, Ark – Just a few days ago, the Supreme Court of the United States held that there is a constitutional requirement for every State in the Union to license and recognize same-sex marriages. We feel obliged to make our opinions known: namely, that the Supreme Court’s decision is mistaken and dangerous – as a matter of policy, as a matter of law, and as a matter of respect for our Constitution’s function and structure. The Arkansas House of Representatives Republican Caucus stands united in disagreement with the 5-4 United States Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges.

By this ruling the Supreme Court denied the will of the majority of Arkansans and the Arkansas Constitution. Amendment 83 affirmed that the citizens of the State of Arkansas believe marriage is between a man and a woman. The Supreme Court has now intruded on States’ powers and further attempted to redefine an institution that God created and only He can change.

Today, we stand firm on our Republican Party Platform which states;

“Bigotry has no place in our state. We denounce those persons, organizations, publications and movements which practice or promote racism, hate actions, or religious intolerance. “

“We believe all Americans should have equal opportunity to succeed regardless of race, national origin, gender, or creed and be granted no special preference based on these criteria.”

“We support the traditional definition of marriage as a God-ordained, legal and moral commitment between a man and a woman. We believe that marriage is the foundational unit of a healthy society. We believe in the sanctity of marriage and the integrity of this institution should be defended, protected, strengthened and nurtured at all levels of government.”

“We affirm our support for Amendment 83 of the Arkansas Constitution as overwhelmingly passed by the people in 2004.”

We refuse to simply shrug our shoulders and abandon basic principles that have guided our country successfully the past 239 years. We will work with other conservative leaders in our state and across the nation, strengthen bonds of unity, and explore all available options. That certainly includes increased legislative protections of our First Amendment freedoms to exercise religion. We pledge today, that as elected representatives of the people of the State of Arkansas, members of the House Republican Caucus will continue our work to protect the traditional views and values of everyday Arkansans.

So much claptrap, so little space. God doesn't write civil laws. Not all churches hold the view of same-sex marriage that the Republican caucus does. It's a demonstrable lie that Republicans don't endorse discrimination. They repeatedly assert opposition to equal treatment of gay people under employment, housing and public accommodation laws. No Supreme Court ruling has abridged religious freedom. To Republicans, religious freedom means the ability to impose THEIR flavor of religion on others and, additionally, not to have to hear criticism about it.

Anyway. Noted.

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