Anti-gay legislation prompts Human Rights Campaign to run ad in Silicon Valley newspaper | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Anti-gay legislation prompts Human Rights Campaign to run ad in Silicon Valley newspaper

Posted By and on Thu, Mar 26, 2015 at 11:10 AM

click to enlarge closedhrc.jpg

At a press conference today, Chad Griffin, Arkansas native and president of the Human Rights Campaign, the country's largest LGBT advocacy group, announced that his organization will run a full-page ad (see below) in the San Jose Mercury News, Silicon Valley's largest paper, suggesting that Arkansas is closed for business due to HB 1228, the discriminatory, anti-gay measure making its way through the legislature. It could be up for consideration by the Senate today. 

Griffin also said he would deliver a letter to Gov. Asa Hutchinson asking him to veto HB 1228 (Hutchinson has said he will sign it in its current form), and inviting him to travel with Griffin to meet with more than 250 executives of Fortune 500 companies and other major businesses in New York next week. All have scored a 100 percent on HRC's Corporate Equality Index and aren't likely to operate in a state that makes discrimination the law of the land. 

click to enlarge 'A VERY DARK CLOUD': Over Arkansas because of discriminatory legislation, Griffin said today at the Capitol. - BRIAN CHILSON
  • Brian Chilson
  • 'A VERY DARK CLOUD': Over Arkansas because of discriminatory legislation, Griffin said today at the Capitol.

UPDATE: Standing in the rotunda of the state capitol building, HRC president Chad Griffin said that Senate Bill 202 — which forbids local municipalities from passing LGBT protections and was allowed to become law without the governor's signature — and HB 1228, the "conscience protection" bill, cast "a very dark cloud" over the state he loves. Griffin said that though the values of the state he grew up in were all about freedom and love, a small political faction in the state legislature has spent the session waging war on LGBT people in the state, writing laws that would provide a license to discriminate to those prejudiced against gays and lesbians.

Griffin said that the immediate and long-term impact of the passage of HB 1228 would be three-fold: It would send a message that fair-minded corporations should steer clear of the state, it would make recruiting and retaining top talent very difficult, and, Griffin said, "It will do grave harm to the thousands of LGBT Arkansans all across this state," while sending the message that they are second class citizens. 
 
Griffin said that during the session, he and other HRC officials have "played ball" with the governor and members of the Senate and House. Now, he said, it appears those conversations may have fallen on deaf ears, or have been ignored. Griffin said that Gov. Asa Hutchinson knows that the right thing to do for Arkansas is to veto HB 1228, and will need to show his willingness to attract business to Arkansas through his actions on the bill. Otherwise, Griffin said, the legislature and Gov. Hutchinson risk "dragging the state to the wrong side of history," Griffin said. 

"Do what you know in your heart is right... Governor, we call on you to do the right thing and veto this hateful bill," Griffin said. 

Sharing the lectern with Griffin was Rev. Maxine Allen, a pastor with the United Methodist Church. Allen, who said that while HB 1228 claims to be about religious freedom, it's actually about "religious bondage." The bill is in opposition to the Arkansas she knows, Allen said. Allen, who is African-American, said that she's old enough to remember the days of Jim Crow. HB 1228, Allen said, is a heinous bill that's about segregation as well. "I know what it means when people hate you for the label you wear," she said.

Also speaking today was chef Matt Bell from South on Main. Bell said that as a chef, he's used to hiding in the back of the restaurant. "We've reached a point where no one can hide in the back any longer," Bell said. "You must stand up."

Bell said that his restaurant is built on the idea of hospitality to all, a place where he doesn't employ or tolerate those who discriminate. In closing, he said that South on Main is welcoming to all people.

"It makes me a little sad," Bell said, "that I live in a state where I have to tell you that."
   

click to enlarge arkansas_ad-10x21.jpg

Tags: , , , , , ,


Sign up for the Daily Update email
Favorite

Comments (22)

Showing 1-22 of 22

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-22 of 22

Add a comment

More by Lindsey Millar

  • The Midterm Recap Edition

    Midterm election results, ballot initiatives and the emergence of Baker Kurrus in the Little Rock mayoral race — all covered on this week's podcast.
    • May 25, 2018
  • The Dark Money Edition

    The coming primary and judicial elections, especially the dark money flowing into a race for an Arkansas Supreme Court position; also Leslie Rutledge and the ballot initiative process and the Razorbacks and War Memorial.
    • May 18, 2018
  • The Leslie Rutledge Sovereign Immunity Trap Edition

    The Democratic primary for the 2nd Congressional District, sovereign immunity and Leslie Rutledge and the Little Rock mayoral race — all covered on this week's podcast.
    • May 11, 2018
  • More »

More by David Koon

  • Tough mothers, demanding action

    Interest in the gun violence prevention group Moms Demand Action has exploded since the massacre at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High in Florida. Leaders here say they're in the battle for 'gun sense' until the job is done.
    • Apr 5, 2018
  • The Griffin

    El Dorado's new restaurant showplace is worth the drive.
    • Mar 15, 2018
  • 2018 spring film preview

    Roll 'em.
    • Mar 1, 2018
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Trump immigration protest at LR: Quick and fierce

    It was not even 24 hours ago that Sophia Said, director of the Interfaith Center; City Director Kathy Webb and others decided to organize a protest today of Donald Trump's executive order that has left people from Muslim countries languishing in airports or unable to come to the US at all — people with visas, green cards,a  post-doc graduate student en route to Harvard, Google employees abroad, families. I got the message today before noon; others didn't find out until it was going on. But however folks found out, they turned out in huge numbers, more than thousand men, women and children, on the grounds of the state Capitol to listen to speakers from all faiths and many countries.
    • Jan 29, 2017
  • Your daily dose of Jason Rapert

    Sen. Jason Rapert really, really didn't like it when a KATV reporter asked him about the hypocrisy of his political arguments.
    • Feb 4, 2017
  • Free Zinn book for Arkansas teachers

    Arkansas teachers! Get your free Howard Zinn book here! Whether Kim Hendren likes it or not.
    • Mar 3, 2017

Most Recent Comments

Slideshows

 

© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation