No to HB 1119
A circuit judge rescued Arkansas from a bad policy, so a couple of legislators are trying to replace it with a worse one. Go figure, as they say.
Last month, Pulaski Circuit Judge Tim Fox invalidated a state Department of Human Services rule that prohibited the placement of children in foster homes where homosexual adults are present. He did it in ringing language too:
“It is given to the courts to be the guardians of the four corners of our Constitution, to insure that the ‘tyranny of the majority’ does not infringe upon the rights given to all, including the minority. We must always remain mindful that we are creatures of the temporal, that some of the cherished societal mores of our present may very well one day become the regretted bigotry of our past.”
The judge’s ruling followed expert testimony that there was no scientific support for the policy, no evidence that homosexuals make poorer parents than heterosexuals.
Evidence counts for little with state Sen. Jim Holt, R-Springdale, who last year ran a gay-bashing campaign for the U.S. Senate. He was unsuccessful, thank heaven, though he got far more votes than he deserved. There’s still a fair amount of unregretted bigotry around. Holt and Rep. Bob Adams, D-Sheridan, have introduced HB 1119, which not only would enact into law the ban on children in foster homes where gays are present, it would extend the policy to prohibit adoption by gays too. In essence, HB 1119 would turn prejudice into law.
The bill will be before the House Committee on Children and Youth Friday, Jan. 28. Concerned citizens should call their representative before then. When the state sets out to punish one group, you can never be sure who’ll be next.
It’s all about “me” when the anti-abortion hardliners assemble for their annual protest of the Roe v. Wade decision that emancipated women. At a small gathering at the state Capitol on Friday, Jan. 21, the anti-abortionists carried signs that read “My abortion hurt me” and “I regret my abortion” (italics ours). Because they were dissatisfied, no one else should ever be allowed to have an abortion, no matter the other party’s circumstances and wishes. What could be fairer?
According to the daily paper, one of the complainers was a man whose wife had an abortion only after her doctor said her life was endangered by the pregnancy! No word from the wife.
Women who’ve undergone life-saving abortions seldom appear at anti-abortion rallies. They want other women to have the same opportunity for self-preservation that they had, the same chance to make their own decisions about their own bodies. This is called unselfishness.
Donald Trump Friday night signed an executive order directing government to scale back Obamacare to the extent possible. Though the signing was mostly symbolic, it likely has implications for Arkansas.
They've had a forum in Fayetteville today on Rep. Charlie Collins' fervent desire to force more pistol-packing people onto the campus at the University of Arkansas (and every other college in Arkansas.) He got an earful from opponents.
"Why do you guys not care about your community? You’re tearing it down, not building it up, especially in the black community … It’s just a simple question — do you care?" one mother asked the superintendent. "Ma’am, I do care deeply about this district, and I do believe wholeheartedly we are making a better district every day," Poore replied.
When President-elect Trump announced he would, in a few days, force Congress to enact comprehensive health insurance for everyone, poor or rich, that would provide better and cheaper care than they've ever gotten, you had to wonder whether this guy is a miracle worker or a fool.
We're sad to report that Doug Smith has decided to retire. Though he's been listed as an associate editor on our masthead for the last 22 years, he has in fact been the conscience of the Arkansas Times. He has written all but a handful of our unsigned editorials since we introduced an opinion page in 1992.
Last week, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel became the first elected statewide official to express support for same-sex marriage. His announcement came days before Circuit Judge Chris Piazza is expected to rule on a challenge to the state's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. Soon after, a federal challenge of the law is expected to move forward. McDaniel has pledged to "zealously" defend the Arkansas Constitution but said he wanted the public to know where he stood.
Remarking as we were on the dreariness of this year's election campaigns, we failed to pay sufficient tribute to the NRA, one of the most unsavory and, in its predictability, dullest of the biennial participants in the passing political parade.