Coming out 

Coming out

Gay rights activists have gone on the offensive against their opponents by making concerted efforts to publicly identify those who've aided opposition causes. This led to geographic mapping of every contributor to the campaign to ban gay marriage in California, for example.

The work has reached Arkansas.

This week, www.knowthyneighbor.org posted on-line at its website a database that contains the name, address, city and zip code of every one of the 84,000 Arkansans who signed petitions to put Act 1 on last year's ballot. The measure, which was adopted, outlawed adoption and foster parenting by unmarried couples and was described by its backers as a strike against what they called “the gay agenda.” In addition to making it more difficult for gay couples, already prohibited from marriage, from having families, it also threw up obstacles to finding permanent homes for children with unmarried heterosexual couples. An unnamed donor provided money to fund the compilation of the list from public records on file with the secretary of state.

Tom Lang, a gay, married man in Massachusetts said this was the strategy: “ ..  if you truly feel that it is necessary to change laws and state constitutions to exclude gay people from the American experience then you should be proud to tell us who you are.  And in like manner, if you are an LGBT person and you see someone that you know on this list, if you are related to this person or do business with this person, then it is your responsibility to stand up and speak up for yourself.”

His group has published similar lists in Oregon, Massachusetts and Florida. 


That Senate race

U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter's announcement that he was leaving the Republican Party has heightened the urgency of Republican efforts to field a strong candidate against U.S. Sen. Blanche Lincoln next year. Every vote really does count now, with a 60-vote Democratic majority in reach.

Sen. Kim Hendren of Gravette is in. Sen. Gilbert Baker of Conway is not yet out, and may do some polling before he makes a final decision. Also said to be firmly committed is North Little Rock businessman Curtis Coleman, who has old ties with Mike Huckabee as a campaigner. Rumors suggest that his exploring may already have included talking to such Huckabee stalwarts as press man Rex Nelson, chief of staff Brenda Turner, money man Jason Brady and presidential campaigner Kirsten Fedewa.


The buzz

The black community in Little Rock is buzzing about an autobiographical “book” posted briefly on the Internet but since removed that tells the story of the daughter of a prominent Little Rock family. It's an explicit account of sex and drug abuse and involvement with gang members. Names are named — of school and political figures and celebrities in the sports and entertainment world she encountered in her nightclubbing. The Insider received a copy. It is a depressing account of the things that can befall even a child from advantaged circumstances. It's described as a cautionary tale for other young woman and an encouragement to report sex abuse. It's unclear if the manuscript will see publication, at least without editing. Accusations of criminal activities reportedly haven't pleased those mentioned.





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