Target: Arkansas House of Representatives
Goal: Get House to apologize for unnecessary and bigoted reaffirmation of anti-gay laws
In a move that seems to serve no other purpose than maintaining an atmosphere of bigotry, the Arkansas House has passed a resolution that reaffirms the state’s opposition to same-sex marriage. Arkansas already has a law that prohibits same-sex marriage and civil unions—it was passed in 2004. Condemn the House for wasting government money and time to promote and pass hate-based legislation.
Several hours after the Supreme Court heard arguments against Proposition 8—which defines marriage as solely between a man and a woman—the Arkansas House voted 75% in favor of reaffirming a gay marriage ban. The resolution passed with no roll call and no sort of discussion about the issue at hand. It is clear that legislators did not give second thought to reaffirming this oppressive amendment. Such rash confirmations are usually driven by fear or hate. It is beyond offensive that Arkansas has so little consideration of its gay population, and hard to believe that lawmakers would be so adamant about denying basic rights to a minority that they feel it is necessary to reaffirm an amendment already in the state’s constitution. The LGBTQ population of Arkansas is significant; according to the Movement Advancement Project, over 77,963 LGBTQ individuals live in the state, and Little Rock’s gay scene is nothing to ignore—in 2012, it was listed as the 11th “Gayest City” in America.
This resolution does nothing more than remind the nation that Arkansas, indeed, does not support marriage equality. Currently, Arkansas does not have any anti-discrimination laws or hate crime protection for LGBT individuals. Rather, Arkansas and legislation and Arkansas citizens choose to deny gays from publishing marriage announcements, compare LGBTQ groups to the KKK and Nazis, and have no hate-crime laws that protect the LGBTQ community whatsoever.
Demand that the Arkansas House of Representatives apologize for not only wasting government time and money on a useless reaffirmation but, more importantly, for re-endorsing an amendment that is clearly discriminatory and bigoted.
Dear Arkansas House Legislature,
Recently, you passed a resolution that reaffirms the House’s opposition to same-sex marriage. You already passed an amendment in 2004 that prohibits same-sex marriage, so this motion seems to only exist to reinforce a discriminatory and hate-based principle. Currently, over 77 thousand LGBTQ-identified individuals live in Arkansas, meaning you are propagating hate against a significant portion of the population.
This reaffirmation both embodies and encourages bigotry. Arkansas does not even protect its LGBTQ citizens from hate-crimes and only allowed them to adopt children as of 2011. Denying basic rights to a minority group places you on the same level as those who denied African-Americans in the original United States civil rights movement. It is clear that this reaffirmation is just a reaction to the recent Supreme Court hearings regarding Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act. It is clear that this was a purely reactive moment of legislation, and it is disrespectful that the House did not even take roll call for it. Please issue a public apology for wasting the time and money of tax-paying citizens and for reinforcing a bigoted and hateful law.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Chetblong via Wikimedia