Favorite

Fall family fun 

Were it not for a big batch of judicial races, the primary elections would mostly be a washout. The fall won't be much better, except for a single door-buster special, the race for president.

Arkansas voters won't see Democrat-vs.-Republican election contests for a single congressional seat in November. The statewide officers aren't on the ballot.

But that doesn't mean politics junkies won't have excitement. The ballot could be dominated by issues rather than candidates. Petition drives are underway on three hot measures: to legalize a state lottery, to restrict public benefits for unauthorized immigrants and to prohibit adoptions and foster parenting in homes of cohabiting unmarried couples.

The Associated Press' Andrew DeMillo wrote in a weekend column that much of the battle on these three issues will be in the pews. The Family Council, which represents politically conservative Christians, is fighting the lottery amendment and working to put the adoption restriction law on the ballot. The proposal is meant to further marginalize gay human beings, an ever-popular cause of some avowed Christians. The effort to punish immigrants doesn't have the same overtly religious backers, though I'd wager that its troops are generally in tune with gay-bashing as well. On the plus side for religion, many people of faith, including clergy, are active in both the Arkansas Friendship Coalition, which will oppose the measure to punish immigrants, and in Arkansas Families First, the group formed to oppose the restrict-adoption law.

The good news is the awakening to the organizing and networking ability of the conservative religious groups, which have been successful in Arkansas by relying on church-based campaigns to force their religious views on the rest of us. The Friendship Coalition and Families First have shown organizing strength this year, too, along with important money-raising ability.

I attended a fund-raiser Saturday for Families First at which about 50 people signed up as sponsors, meaning they were willing to commit at least $250 to the cause. Dozens more paid $100 each to attend. By way of disclosure: I wasn't a sponsor, but I left $250. I also serve on the board of a foundation that has contributed to the organization.

Early work includes public opinion polling. I haven't seen the poll results, but I'm told they are encouraging. Times do change. The younger the voter the less likely the voter is to be in a sweat about gay people. But the issue here isn't simply sexuality, except to the Religious Right. For one thing, the proposal also would prohibit adoptions and foster parenting in homes where unmarried heterosexual couples live. But, primarily, the issue is children.

Arkansas Families First's points are simple: We should be making it easier, not harder, to find loving homes for children who need them. The state has ample means to insure that experts make foster and adoptive parent decisions on a case by case basis. There's no reason to adopt a blanket rule that bans qualified people. The proposed law works against the best interests of children who need loving homes.

If you believe this, too, I urge you to get in touch with Arkansas Families First. Write them at PO Box 34191, Little Rock, AR 72201 or call 501-280-0082. That's the office phone of the campaign director, Debbie Wilhite. You might get an answering machine now, but volunteers will handle phones eventually. A website, www.arkansasfamiliesfirst.org is also in development.

 

Favorite

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • Supremely discredited

    Arkansas Supreme Court Justice Rhonda Wood and her allies continue to discredit the state's highest court.
    • Jul 30, 2015
  • Hutchinson pulls Faubus move

    I don't know what if anything might arise or be planned in the future relative to Gov. Asa Hutchinson's order to end Medicaid reimbursement for medical services (not abortion) provided by Planned Parenthood in Arkansas.
    • Aug 20, 2015
  • Neighborliness, in Little Rock and beyond

    I had a parochial topic in mind this week — a surprise plan by Mayor Mark Stodola to address the Arkansas Arts Center's many needs.
    • Nov 19, 2015

Most Shared

  • World leaders set to meet in Little Rock on resource access and sustainable development

    Next week a series of meetings on the use of technology to tackle global problems will be held in Little Rock by Club de Madrid — a coalition of more than 100 former democratic former presidents and prime ministers from around the world — and the P80 Group, a coalition of large public pension and sovereign wealth funds founded by Prince Charles to combat climate change. The conference will discuss deploying existing technologies to increase access to food, water, energy, clean environment, and medical care.
  • Tomb to table: a Christmas feast offered by the residents of Mount Holly and other folk

    Plus, recipes from the Times staff.
  • Rapert compares Bill Clinton to Orval Faubus

    Sen. Jason Rapert (R-Conway)  was on "Capitol View" on KARK, Channel 4, this morning, and among other things that will likely inspire you to yell at your computer screen, he said he expects someone in the legislature to file a bill to do ... something about changing the name of the Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport.
  • Fake news

    So fed up was young Edgar Welch of Salisbury, N.C., that Hillary Clinton was getting away with running a child-sex ring that he grabbed a couple of guns last Sunday, drove 360 miles to the Comet Ping Pong pizzeria in Washington, D.C., where Clinton was supposed to be holding the kids as sex slaves, and fired his AR-15 into the floor to clear the joint of pizza cravers and conduct his own investigation of the pedophilia syndicate of the former first lady, U.S. senator and secretary of state.
  • Reality TV prez

    There is almost nothing real about "reality TV." All but the dullest viewers understand that the dramatic twists and turns on shows like "The Bachelor" or "Celebrity Apprentice" are scripted in advance. More or less like professional wrestling, Donald Trump's previous claim to fame.

Latest in Max Brantley

  • Kids count, not confidentiality

    The trial for the murder of Isaiah Torres, 6, was a reminder again of a gaping hole in the law pertaining to child protective services.
    • Nov 24, 2016
  • Fixing blame: President Trump

    Did the press fail? Were liberal-leaning journalists on the coasts responsible for missing the Trump wave among middle-to-lower income white voters with lower educational attainment?
    • Nov 17, 2016
  • Can we get along?

    he Times production deadline fell before polls closed this week, so I'll look to the past and future.
    • Nov 10, 2016
  • More »

Visit Arkansas

View Trumpeter Swans in Heber Springs

View Trumpeter Swans in Heber Springs

Magness Lake, in Heber Springs, is a magnet for swans

Event Calendar

« »

December

S M T W T F S
  1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31

Most Viewed

  • Reality TV prez

    There is almost nothing real about "reality TV." All but the dullest viewers understand that the dramatic twists and turns on shows like "The Bachelor" or "Celebrity Apprentice" are scripted in advance. More or less like professional wrestling, Donald Trump's previous claim to fame.
  • Fake news

    So fed up was young Edgar Welch of Salisbury, N.C., that Hillary Clinton was getting away with running a child-sex ring that he grabbed a couple of guns last Sunday, drove 360 miles to the Comet Ping Pong pizzeria in Washington, D.C., where Clinton was supposed to be holding the kids as sex slaves, and fired his AR-15 into the floor to clear the joint of pizza cravers and conduct his own investigation of the pedophilia syndicate of the former first lady, U.S. senator and secretary of state.
  • Stay the course

    I am frustrated and angry with those who claim the only chance of future success is for the Democratic Party, especially in the South and Midwest, to abandon speaking directly to women and people of color and the LGBT community and instead focus on the economy and other "more comfortable" topics in order to win back some of the center.

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Arkansas Democrats' rocky road forward

    • Ozark,

      What are the Arkansans marching and rallying about? Is this an anti-Trump rally?

    • on December 8, 2016
  • Re: Reality TV prez

    • He won't clean up his act. He won't even try. He's clueless that his style…

    • on December 8, 2016
  • Re: Forget identity politics

    • It is, of course, completely false that Hillary Clinton didn't campaign in black communities. Also…

    • on December 8, 2016
 

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