The equal rights open line | Arkansas Blog

Saturday, May 10, 2014

The equal rights open line

Posted By on Sat, May 10, 2014 at 4:01 PM

I'm going to call it quits for the night so I can do my hair to see Iris DeMent. I leave you with a reminder from the Stonewall Democrats, that happy as the interim news is on marriage equality, there are other bridges to cross.

Thanks to Judge Chris Piazza’s ruling yesterday, marriage equality is now a reality in over one-third of the states in the nation! Despite the likelihood of an appeal by the attorney general’s office, a number of happy couples are celebrating today by getting a license and being married in Eureka Springs. Also celebrating are same-sex couples who were previously married in one of the other 16 states with marriage equality. Our hope is that these marriages will be upheld by the state’s supreme court, making marriage equality in Arkansas permanent.

Though this is very exciting and important progress, there is still much to be accomplished such as LGBT equality in regards to employment, housing, and public accommodations. Many do not realize it is legal in Arkansas to fire a hard-working employee for being gay, or simply appearing to be gay. We hope that these are among the issues voters will consider in the upcoming election season.

Eric McDaniel
President, Stonewall Democratic Caucus of Arkansas

ALSO: The Arkansas Initiative for Marriage Equality, organized to put a marriage equality measure on the ballot in 2016, said it will step back as the issue is appealed. It also quoted Thomas Jefferson, a good antidote to bother today from right-wing Republican politicians about majority rule:

 ‘All, too, will bear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will to be rightful must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal law must protect, and to violate would be oppression.’
 
The initiative will rally to show support for couples arriving at the Pulaski County courthouse seeking marriage licenses. Clergy will be on hand, the group said, to perform marriages.

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