Stonewall Democrats emphasize positives | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Stonewall Democrats emphasize positives

Posted By on Tue, Jul 12, 2011 at 6:00 AM

The board of the Stonewall Democrats issued a statement last night putting a positive and conciliatory face on Gov. Mike Beebe's in-your-face appearance before the group recently. (He repudiated same-sex marriages and unions and, while claiming a personal belief in non-discrimination, showed no interest in correcting laws that allow such legal discrimination. He also suggested those who disagree with the discrimination he espoused needed to stop being so intolerant)

I wasn't in much of a mood to be tolerant enough to provide space for making nice with the governor. The most popular politician in Arkansas, he thrilled advocates of inequality all over Arkansas by validating their position. But I slept on it. The statement follows. In short, it says there are signs of progress for LGBT citizens, even if Mike Beebe isn't part of the progress. If the Stonewallers expect him to be different in the future, I'd urge them not to hold their breaths based on his recent performance.

Headlines never capture the whole story. They can’t. But the ones that recently summarized Gov. Mike Beebe as a defender of the Bible Belt’s conservative status quo missed a critical and compelling aspect: Progress in the fight for LGBT equality has and continues to be made in Arkansas and America.

That progress was signaled last month by Beebe’s historic appearance before the Stonewall Democrats, an official caucus of the Arkansas Democratic Party that advocates for LGBT rights. The event demonstrated that the gay community has a seat at the table in our state. From it, we successfully pushed for an anti-bullying law that includes protections based upon sexual orientation and gender identity, making Arkansas one of only 13 states with such a law. We successfully fought efforts to ban unmarried couples from fostering or adopting children. We successfully supported openly gay and gay- friendly individuals who have won elected office.

Progress is here, and it’s all around us. The Obama Administration no longer defends the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act, which further disintegrated last week when the Department of Justice stopped opposing joint bankruptcy petitions filed by same-sex married couples. New York just became the sixth state to recognize same-sex marriage, thanks in part to the votes of four Republicans. The judicial system has ordered the Defense Department to stop enforcing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, and the Pentagon said last week it would comply.

Like our friends affiliated with the Log Cabin Republicans, who were instrumental in many of these happenings, the Stonewall Democrats of Arkansas will continue to work for change from inside our party with friends of all backgrounds by our side. Based on Beebe’s comments last month, legitimate opportunities exist for additional change in Arkansas right now. The governor opposes discrimination in the workplace based upon sexual orientation, yet protections do not exist in Arkansas like they do nearly half of the U.S. states. This is just one of the issues we intend to discuss with our party and in the governor’s office.

Some people disagree with us, but their numbers are dwindling. Polls show that for the first time, a majority of Americans support same-sex marriage. To think that further progress won’t be made in our state is akin to believing that one person’s public stance on an issue matters more than the American maxim that all are created equal, and that in the end, there is liberty and justice for all. No, Gov. Beebe did not pleasantly surprise us and say everything we wanted to hear last month. But in the words of Mahatma Gandhi, “Honest disagreement is often a good sign of progress.”

Tags: , , ,

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Comments (7)

Showing 1-7 of 7

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-7 of 7

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Open line and Civil War update

    More Confederacy defenders were on hand in Bentonville against imagined threats to a one of hte Confederate statues put up long after the Civil War to spin a narrative about the noble Lost Cause.
    • Aug 20, 2017
  • Three dead in WLR

    Three dead in suspected double murder-suicide in West Little Rock.
    • Aug 20, 2017
  • One dead in shooting at Buffalo National River

    KTHV reports a man was fatally shot Saturday at the Buffalo National River in Searcy County in what is being called an officer-involved shooting. No other details at the moment.
    • Aug 20, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Super Bowl line

    Over to you.
    • Feb 7, 2016
  • UPDATE: Hutchinson moves to cover himself on cut to War Memorial Stadium

    Gov. Asa Hutchinson apparently felt the burn from KARK's exclusive Tuesday night on his plans to cut state support of War Memorial Stadium in half beginning July 1, 2018. He has a so-far secret plan to make the stadium self-sustaining. We bet that doesn't include state support.
    • Oct 20, 2016
  • Judge anticipates punishment of lawyers in Fort Smith class action case

    Federal Judge P.K. Holmes of Fort Smith issued a 32-page ruling yesterday indicating he contemplates punishment of 16 lawyers who moved a class action lawsuit against an insurance company out of his court to a state court in Polk County after a settlement had been worked out.
    • Apr 15, 2016

Most Shared

  • Take yourself there: Mavis Staples coming to LR for Central High performance

    Gospel and R&B singer and civil rights activist Mavis Staples, who has been inspiring fans with gospel-inflected freedom songs like "I'll Take You There" and "March Up Freedom's Highway" and the poignant "Oh What a Feeling" will come to Little Rock for the commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the desegregation of Central High.
  • Klan's president

    Everything that Donald Trump does — make that everything that he says — is calculated to thrill his lustiest disciples. But he is discovering that what was brilliant for a politician is a miscalculation for a president, because it deepens the chasm between him and most Americans.
  • On Charlottesville

    Watching the Charlottesville spectacle from halfway across the country, I confess that my first instinct was to raillery. Vanilla ISIS, somebody called this mob of would-be Nazis. A parade of love-deprived nerds marching bravely out of their parents' basements carrying tiki torches from Home Depot.
  • Lynchings hidden in the history of the Hot Springs Confederate monument

    Hot Springs twice erupted into the kind of violence that has its roots in the issues left unresolved by the Civil War, and both times, it happened right where that monument to Confederate soldiers stands today.

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation