Following the footsteps of Kansas, Arizona and Mississippi, the state of Arkansas is trying to use legislation to keep anti-LGBT discrimination alive and well. But this approach is a bit different. Rather than using “religious freedom”, which has proven controversial–and gotten legislation dropped in Kansas and vetoed in Arizona–they are going for the innocuous sounding “standardizing” non-discrimination ordinances across the state.
According the AR branch of the ACLU, “SB 202 prohibits cities, counties, and towns from passing laws that create any “protected class” or “prohibit discrimination” that go beyond state law.”
This means cities can’t restrict discrimination any further than the state does. And guess what? The state doesn’t protect against anti-LGBT discrimination! The ACLU claims it’s “a direct fear response to Fayetteville’s passage of an ordinance protecting people from discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.”
A different technique for the same old shit! They aren’t even being subtle about it.
State Senator Bart Hester has introduced an emergency bill, SB 202, which would strike down all nondiscrimination ordinances in the state permanently.
Hester believes that to allow LGBT people to have protections in the workplace and to have legal recourse against cases of discrimination goes too far, granting “special rights” to people who aren’t like him.
The 37-year-old GOP official told BuzzFeed that sure, LGBT people get discriminated against sometimes, but these days, “we are all singled out for discrimination.”
“I am singled out as a politician. I am singled out because I am married to one woman,” Hester said. “I want everyone in the LGBT community to have the same rights I do. I do not want them to have special rights that I do not have.”
Oh, he’s “singled out” as a politician (maybe because politicians do shit like this?) and for being “married to one woman”? Really?
There is a site dedicated to encouraging the governor to veto it. Let’s hope he does.