Arkansas to Ban Local Anti-Discrimination Laws

A bigoted and none-too-bright Arkansas state legislator has submitted a bill, which is certain to pass, that would forbid local governments from passing any laws that protect LGBT people against discrimination. And his reasoning in defending it is really quite stupid and incoherent.

The Arkansas legislature is expected to pass a law by week’s end that would block cities and counties from enacting anti-discrimination laws that protect LGBT people.

“I think there is no doubt it is going to pass,” Republican state Sen. Bart Hester, the sponsor of SB 202, told BuzzFeed News.

The bill easily cleared the state Senate Monday and sailed through a House committee on a 12-6 vote Wednesday.

Hester expects the full House to approve the bill with a two-thirds majority when it comes up for a vote on Friday.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson has said he will not veto the bill, Hester added…

Hester said he sponsored the bill to create uniform policies that will attract business, and found it “infuriating” that officials in one city had repeatedly attempted to expand civil rights laws for LGBT people.

“There are many things necessary for stability — and civil rights need to not be a volatile situation,” Hester said. “It’s got to be something we agree on for the entire state.”

Oh yes, of course, I’m sure that’s what you’re really concerned about. So the bill also makes all zoning laws, building regulations and health department regulations identical statewide too, right? I mean, if it’s really about business requirements being stable and uniform, right? Yeah, I didn’t think so. But if a business can fire someone for being gay in one city but not in another, that just destroys their ability to allocate capital and make investment decisions, I’m sure.

Hester acknowledged LGBT people can be targeted for discrimination, but contended that “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.”

Seriously? You cant be fired from your job or denied housing because you’re married to a woman. Gay people can be discriminated against in those ways for who they’re married to. Which means you have “special rights” that they don’t have. Logic! Consistency!

By the way, this law will last about 15 seconds in court. The Supreme Court already struck down an identical law in Colorado in Romer v Evans in 1996. Even in Arkansas, word should have reached you by now.

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  • John Pieret

    To add insult to injury, the Arkansas House also passed a “religious freedom” bill on Friday that would prevent any state action, including a law, from burdening a person’s religious belief, even if that belief is indirectly connected to the person’s faith. The bills sponsor said her concern was “little businesses out there, a baker or a pastor … that hold a conviction that says gay marriage is wrong.”

    So now begins the competition to out-asshole Alabama.

  • otrame

    I thought they wanted local control.

    My only consolation is that these are the acts of desperate people. Still, I admit they are turning this very straight old grandma into a raging supporter of whatever Ghey Agenda happens to be going. Before I just sort of thought gay people should be treated like citizens just like everyone else, you know, because that is what they are.

  • ed440

    As soon as a way is developed to independently verify someone’s beliefs then I still won’t approve of religious exemption laws.

  • David C Brayton

    Well, by that logic, he should be ecstatic when the Supreme Court rules that the Constitution requires that every state permit same sex marriage. Because it will make everything consistent.

  • grumpyoldfart

    He doesn’t care if the law is struck down by the courts 24 hours after it is passed. All he wants is something to tell the Christian voters when he stands for re-election. They will hail him as a champion for Jesus and his next term will be practically guaranteed.

  • dugglebogey

    Passsing laws costs money. A surprisingly large amount of money.

    I can’t believe retarded bigots like this aren’t taken to task for essentially flushing huge sums of taxpayer money on laws that any lawyer could tell them will be struck down the first time they are enforced.

  • caseloweraz

    Gov. Asa Hutchinson has said he will not veto the bill, Hester added…

    I’m not sure what to think about Gov. Hutchinson. Wikipedia paints him as holding some reasonable ideas, like favoring the medical use of marijuana and providing more jobs for illegal immigrants with no criminal record — yet at the same time cracking down on both illegal drugs and illegal immigrants. He also led the NRA’s “School Shield” proposal. He seems to get confirmation votes and praise from Democrats easily. It may be a case of him having to act against his better judgment in order to get elected. Or perhaps this is one of Wikipedia’s untrustworthy articles.**

    In any case, I wouldn’t be surprised if Hutchinson vetoes that bill after all.

    —-

    ** It is flagged for cleanup, and the talk page has a plea from 2008 (two copies) that reads like a spam email.

  • marcus

    Well to be fair, if it is discovered that he actually is a politician, then he should be fired.

    That’s just disgusting!

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    You Liberals should be glad that the GOP is ignoring Culture War issues and remains, despite all your attempts to drag them in, laser-focused on the economy!!!

  • Michael Heath

    Modusoperandi:

    You Liberals should be glad that the GOP is ignoring Culture War issues and remains, despite all your attempts to drag them in, laser-focused on the economy!!!

    Given that Republicans favor contractionary economic policies . . .

  • brucegee1962

    “THE KING’S CAMELEOPARD,

    OR THE ROYAL NONESUCH ! ! !

    Admission 50 cents.

    Then at the bottom was the biggest line of all, which said:

    LADIES AND CHILDREN NOT ADMITTED.

    “There,” says he, “if that line don’t fetch them, I don’t know Arkansaw!” ”

    — Mark Twain

  • LightningRose

    Someday, after I win the Super Lotto, I’m going to open a business in one of these ass-backwards states and refuse to hire heterosexuals.

  • LightningRose

    Ed sez: “You cant be fired from your job or denied housing because you’re married to a woman.”

    Actually, you can. Even if you’re heterosexual.

  • Sastra

    “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.

    Okay, thanks for the dandy day brightener.

    He forgot to mention that he’s also singled out for discrimination because he is privileged. He’s singled out for discrimination because he’s mainstream. He’s singled out for discrimination because he discriminates. He’s singled out for discrimination because he’s never been singled out for discrimination on anything. This is just the gift that goes on giving.

  • badboybotanist

    I live in Fayetteville, AR which is the city that passed LGBT protections last year, but then had a very contentious special election where they were removed. During the campaign, Hester was on the news with one of our pro-LGBT city councilmen who annihilated him in a short debate. It became clear during the course of the conversation that Hester hadn’t even read the law the he was on the news to attack. Religious conservatives took the usual route of telling people that it would allow “men pretending to be women” into bathrooms where they would rape their mothers and daughters. Luckily the city council in our small, very liberal/artsy neighbor to the north, Eureka Springs, quickly passed a similar law so that they would have one in place to be able to sue the state when they try to enforce their new law.

  • busterggi

    State’s rights are what count – screw local, federal, personal rights!

  • magistramarla

    Don’t these bigots realize that many of the larger businesses that they claim to want to bring to their states have non-discrimination policies of their own? Those businesses will look at this ass-backward policy and refuse to move to states like Arkansas or Kansas if they want to keep their talented employees who happen to be LGBT.

  • Crimson Clupeidae

    I can see a large new Satanic Temple opening in their state soon! I’m sure they will be welcomed with open arms.

  • dan4

    “There are many thing necessary for stability- – and civil rights need not be a volatile situation,” said Hester . It’s got to be something we agree on for the entire state.”

    I don’t get it. This sounds more like he’s advocating to have a statewide equivalent of citywide protections based on sexual orientation, rather than advocating for a bill that does the exact opposite.

  • khms

    #16 busterggi

    State’s rights are what count – screw local, federal, personal rights!

    Also always fight for rights for the moneyed. And for organized religion. And if there’s a powerful lobby that doesn’t fit in either, maybe that too.

  • comfychair

    Why, it’s almost as if they are going to pass a law they know will be tied up in the courts for years, like pouring taxpayer money down a rathole, on purpose, just to demonstrate how evil those LGBTers are.

  • StevoR

    I am singled out because I am married to one woman,” Hester said.

    Actually no. That’d be what makes you married and not single Sen!

    Also Bart Simpsons says you are making other people with your first name look bad and tells you to eat his shorts and quit politics forever!

  • anubisprime

    These type of lame brain efforts are only ever formulated for the benefit of the dick head that proposes them…votes above all is the holy grail.

    They can then, wide eyed and innocent, throw themselves on the mercy of the electorate at the hustings and claim they tried to meet their very real concerns, about not being able to discriminate when the spirit takes them, but those pesky activist judges in the supreme court were dancing to Satan’s tune and despite the bhabi’ jeebus howling up a tantrum…wot ya gonna do?

    It is more about positioning and pandering to bigotry , ignorance and righteous discriminatory orgasms then any bullshite about economic flat field designing.

    How these cretins walk and breath at the same time is a complete mystery, evolution did us no favors indeed it seems the laws of nature were a little to forgiving there!

  • jeevmon

    This is straight-up Romer v. Evans, isn’t it?

  • RickR

    It’s all so transparently vindictive and petty. Seriously, I’d have more respect for these assholes if they’d offer up “the trend seems to be to treat the gays like they are actual human beings, but we aren’t having any of that in our state! Eat shit, homos!” as an explanation for their actions.

    But as usual, they want to exercise their bigotry, but they run in fear from the accusation of bigotry.

  • Kermit Sansoo

    otrame says: I thought they wanted local control.

    .

    Cities are too local. The feds are too global. State-wide level is just right – ask any state politician.