Open line plus: News headlines; Tom Cotton's tiff with Iranian; a twist on religion protection | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Open line plus: News headlines; Tom Cotton's tiff with Iranian; a twist on religion protection

Posted By on Thu, Apr 30, 2015 at 4:43 PM

Here's the open line and news headlines. Also:

* TOM COTTON IN TWEET FIGHT: Is our junior senator a great hope for high political office or merely a great head case? You decide. Add to his improvident letter a Twitter spat with Iran's foreign minister. Really? A Tweet battle between a U.S. senator and a foreign minister? Ready for prime time? Iran's man wouldn't be drawn into Cotton's silliness. What's next, senator? Asking him to meet you at the football stadium after school for a duke-out?

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* SO YOU SAY YOU WANT RELIGIOUS FREEDOM PROTECTION: Unintended consequences will multiply from those who want to preserve discrimination against gay people through so-called "religious freedom" statutes. From Missouri:

A Satanic group is claiming a religious exemption so that a woman may evade the state's 72-hour waiting period for an abortion. Her statement:

As you know, state law requires a waiting period after I first receive counseling before I can undergo an abortion. I regard a waiting period as a state sanctioned attempt to discourage abortion by instilling an unnecessary burden as part of the process to obtain this legal medical procedure. The waiting period interferes with the inviolability of my body and thereby imposes an unwanted and substantial burden on my sincerely held religious beliefs.

This letter constitutes my acknowledgment that you have notified me of the state mandated waiting period, but demands that you do not abide by this obligation because the waiting period offends my sincerely held religious beliefs, which take precedent.

* AND SPEAKING OF DISCRIMINATION: You know how Bart Hester and them passed a law to prevent cities and counties from passing non-discrimination ordinances for statuses not already protected in law? It was aimed at keeping discrimination against gay people legal. But wait …. An opinion from a lawyer friend:

So you have to be over 50 to join the Pat Hays Sr. Citizen’s Center in NLR. Act 137 says local communities cannot establish a protected class not already identified in state law. Our civil rights statute does not include age as a protected class. So will this force the closure of the center? Will it force the center to be open to everyone? Has Hester’s hate harmed our senior citizens? And what about Veterans?

That law takes effect July 22. Take advantage of your special status under the law until then, Dogtown Oldtimers.

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