Mike Emery | Arkansas news, politics, opinion, restaurants, music, movies and art

Mike Emery 
Member since Feb 9, 2014

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Recent Comments

Re: “UPDATED: Lawsuit filed over Fayetteville special election

Desperation be thy name. The ballot wording is precise and not misleading, unlike the one for 119. The due process was followed for 5781. Anyone who saw the city council meeting can plainly see that. Proper parliamentary procedure was followed. All objections presented to 119 were addressed with 5781, as noted by 400 businesses and the Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce, and numerous religious facilities. Protect Fayetteville sees the writing on the wall and are grasping at straws in every last ditch effort to stop a public vote. A vote which will display how Fayetteville really feels about this subject. The LGBT community are not second class citizens and deserve every right that their heterosexual neighbors currently enjoy. EARLY VOTING WILL GO FORWARD. Vote FOR FAYETTEVILLE.

6 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Mike Emery on 08/31/2015 at 9:21 PM

Re: “Josh Duggar admits to marital infidelity and 'addiction' to pornography, later removes references to porn

The Duggars worked hard to repeal our anti-discrimination ordinance in Fayetteville, AR. Michelle sent a robocall to everyone in our community saying that transgender persons were rapists waiting to prey on little girls in public restrooms. Please help us undo the damage that they did to our city by making a donation to help us pass another anti-discrimination ordinance to protect our LGBT friend and neighbors. We need all the help we can get fighting the Duggars and their allies. You can read the details and make a donation here: http://forfayetteville.com/about/

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Mike Emery on 08/22/2015 at 10:47 AM

Re: “Equal rights: It's always about the bathroom

The vitriolic comments left on the various web pages reporting about this ordinance, as well as those spoken comments at the last city council meeting, are proof positive why there is a need for the protections outlined in this ordinance. Protections, which by the way, are not covered by Arkansas State law.

This ordinance protects against discrimination based on “race, ethnicity, national origin, age, gender, gender identity, gender expression, familiar status, marital status, socioeconomic background, religion, sexual orientation, disability and veteran status.” Let’s not beat around the bush. It’s very clear that those opposed to this ordinance are specifically standing against the rights of the LGBT community based on their own specific religious beliefs. I would first like to remind everyone opposed to this ordinance of the 1st Amendment of the United States Constitution. “Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” The freedom of individuals not to believe in a religion is also protected by the first amendment. This is also why the laws of our nation are not to be based upon the theology of any faith.

It’s been stated by opponents of this ordinance that churches would be forced to hire people who do not agree with their beliefs. I refer you to Chapter 119.07 General Exceptions paragraph F. “Nothing contained in this chapter shall be deemed to prohibit a religious or denominational institution from selecting or rejecting applicants and employees for non-secular positions on the basis of the applicant’s or employee’s conformance with the institution’s religious or denominational principles.” That clearly means that if a church wanted to require potential employees to follow their religious beliefs, they would be within their rights to do so.

In one opposition blog there is a statement, “this ordinance contains an exemption for public educational institutions within the City of Fayetteville but not so for private educational institutions.” This statement is not accurate. I refer you to Chapter 119.07 General Exceptions paragraph B, “This chapter shall not apply to any federal, state, or county government office or official, or any public educational institution within the City.” This line does exempt public schools. But, Chapter 119.02 Definitions paragraph L reads, “A place of public accommodation does not include any institution, club, or other place of accommodation, which by nature is distinctly private.” Given the fact that private educational institutions require admission application and approval for students to attend, it appears that they also are exempt to the ordinance.

It was repeatedly stated at the last council meeting that a church’s freedom of speech was in jeopardy with this ordinance. Again, that is simply not the case. The churches would still be able to speak their minds as freely as they do now. I refer you to the classic "yelling fire in a crowded theater" example. Freedom of speech does not include endangering of, or the actual discrimination of other people. I’m sorry, but the intentional loss of employment and a home is an outright endangering of people. I also refer you to the Ku Klux Klan. They are free to speak their minds all over this country, but they cannot actually discriminate against anyone. Has this ceased their operations? No. They are still thriving all over this country.

This ordinance provides for protection against denial of employment based on the applicant or employee’s known sexual orientation or gender status, or what the employer believes to be their orientation or status. Current Arkansas state law still allows for termination of employees based on actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender status. Employment discrimination such as this directly puts human beings in danger. The protections of this ordinance also include both the sale and leasing of housing. Every human being deserves the opportunity to have a safe place to live and should not be denied based on secular dogma.

We need to address the huge misnomer that surrounds this ordinance concerning restroom facilities. In the same opposition blog I mentioned earlier, and in letters from groups outside of our City, it’s been stated that men and women will be forced to use the same restroom facilities. This argument has no merit. Nowhere in this ordinance does it state this. No matter what the outward appearance of the individual; legally and medically, each individual is either one gender or the other. This determines which restroom facility should be utilized. There was also the argument that this would invite sexual predators. Again, this is a misnomer designed to inspire fear. According to the Child Advocacy Center, 96% of sexual predators are heterosexual and 88% of sexual abuse victims either know or are related to their attacker. Therefore the odds that someone will be approached by a sexual predator are greater at home than they are in a public restroom.

At the last meeting, it was stated by a speaker that they did not see a problem with discrimination in Fayetteville. The fact that someone has not seen discrimination does not negate it’s existence. Discrimination does exist in a variety of forms. For example, there currently exists in the State of Arkansas, institutionalized discrimination in the form of marriage inequality and the ban on same-sex couples from adopting children. This past May, over 500 couples were married in this state, many in this very city. Currently the State of Arkansas is not recognizing these unions. Both of these discriminations are based on religious beliefs that were construed into law.

In my opinion, discrimination in the name of religion runs counter to the teachings of Christ. Romans 2:11 states “for God shows no partiality.” And James 2:9 states “But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as trangressors.”

I commend the council for taking on this ordinance, and with the 14th Amendment, Section 1 of the United States Constitution in mind, I urge them to vote in favor of it.

3 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Mike Emery on 08/18/2014 at 11:20 PM

Re: “Is Tom Cotton too extreme? Too robotic? Or the next big thing in Arkansas politics?

Any person serving in public office, who just weeks after being sworn in to office announces he is running for a different office does not have the interests of his constituents in mind. That person is only in it for the prestige, money, and how far up he can go, nothing else.

8 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Mike Emery on 07/26/2014 at 2:24 PM

Re: “Arkansas couple in ACLU's Big Gay Wedding contest

Thanks so much for the support! We really do appreciate it! Remember that you can vote once per day per email address until midnight on Feb 16th.

9 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Mike Emery on 02/09/2014 at 11:44 AM


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