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.
Hog fans just can't quit blaming the refs for the NCAA men's basketball tournament loss to North Carolina. Now the Arkansas Senate has gotten in on the act, with this resolution introduced by Democratic Sen. Keith Ingram and getting bipartisan co-sponsorship from that brutish and short sandlot roundball player, Republican Sen. Jeremy Hutchinson.
Mike Huckabee, whose daughter works for Donald Trump, has written an op-ed for the Washington Post endorsing continued funding for the National Endowment for the Arts, which Trump has proposed to eliminate.
IndieWire breaks news long whispered downtown — a more ambitious successor to the Little Rock Film Festival is in the works, with backing from writer/director Jeff Nichols, a Little Rock native. His "Loving" has won wide acclaim recently.
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.
Congratulations are in order for Governor Hutchinson. He decided this year to devote the weight of his office to end the state's embarrassing dual holiday for slavery defender Robert E. Lee and civil rights hero Martin Luther King Jr.