Arkansas: Not Entirely What You Think (But, Also Entirely What You Think)

Back in 2008, I voted on of a proposition here in Arkansas called The Unmarried Couple Adoption Ban.  The concept was pushed by a group called The Arkansas Family Council (AFC), who are quirky in their homophobia: they freaked out about California’s Harvey Milk Day, saying kids would be required to dress in drag and have mock weddings – it was gonna’ turn ’em all gay!  Fun folks over there.  Meanwhile, Arkansas Families First (AFF) pushed back, with the AFC calling the AFF “pro-gay coalition that is pushing a gay activist agenda.” It’s hard to find info on the AFF, but let’s put it in really simple terms that are not disputable: the AFC are homophobic activists and the AFF are gay rights activists.

What does all that have to do with adoption?  Because this is the wacky backwards crap the AFC pulls to try to push their homophobic agenda.  And, please, before we go any further, know that I am not using the word “homophobic” in some liberal pinko cocksuck way; everything the AFC does makes them appear scared of gay people.  Their tactics make me find them funny, in the way a clown getting sat on by an elephant is funny.  The AFC wants as few rights to go to gay people as possible – but they don’t push to take away gay rights as much as they push to strengthen “traditional family values.”  Lots of groups like them work this way.

So the Unmarried Couple Adoption Ban (UCAB) was straightforward in what it wanted: for no one other than a heterosexual married couple to be able to adopt or foster any child in the state.  Same-sex marriage is illegal in Arkansas, in case anyone hadn’t assumed that, already.  So, to push their anti-gay agenda, the AFC was willing to eliminate a huge amount of people from the industry of providing welfare for orphans just because they’re scared of what might happen if a gay person raises a kid.  A few years before, they tried to push a piece of legislation through, bypassing voters, simply banning gay people from adopting/fostering; it died after Mike Beebe told them that it wouldn’t fly, on Constitutional grounds.  So, instead, they tried to ban everyone who wasn’t married.

That led to UCAB, which didn’t say anything about homosexuality directly and was written in a way that it seemed logical to 57% of the state to support.  It passed and was implemented, only to be overturned two years later by a 7-0 decision by the Arkansas Supreme Court, who said it “fails to pass constitutional muster under a heightened-scrutiny analysis,” which is judicial language for “this is stupid.”  Of course, the AFC wouldn’t be themselves if they didn’t come back and call the decision “judicial tyranny,” which is political lobbyist language for “we’re a bunch of fucking hypocrites.”

The AFC pushes the idea of “family rights,” as long as it’s the kind of family they approve of.  They want “state’s rights,” as long as other states’ rights adhere to their ideas of what they should be – they don’t want anyone to tell Arkansas what to do, but they’re comfortable lecturing California on their choice of state holidays.  For them, it’s perfectly acceptable for a non-government group to politically lobby the government/people to achieve their political goals – but when one of the branches of government stops that from happening, it’s tyrannical (even though it’s in their job description).  See how much fun these guys are?

It’s fun to laugh at the AFC’s weak attempts to further their homophobic agenda…but it’s sad, too.  57% of Arkansas agreed with them, that no one other than a married couple is fit to raise a child; what kind of slippery slope would that lead to?  You can’t get divorced, or the State will seize your child?  Oh, no…I’ve clearly been trying to understand the AFC for too long…their tactics are rubbing off on me…let me get back to an idea that is less absurd.  57% of voters in Arkansas are really scared of gay people; 53% of people polled by UofA are really scared of gay people.  I say this because the proposition was obviously about homophobia as it relates to the raising of children (imo, if you asked those same people if they “thought someone can adequately raise a child as a single parent,” you wouldn’t have 50+% saying “no”).

It’s all in how you present information.  When people in Arkansas see “heterosexual” they go “that’s me – I support that!”  And then, “married” coupled with “children” is a logical flow – the majority of heterosexual people are either in marriage or contemplate the idea, and traditionally children are raised by a married couple.  It doesn’t matter that it limits everyone else, because you now have enough people who see themselves as “the person with the rights” – whether you’re married with kids or think you may want kids someday and if you do, you’ll get married, your rights are covered by this agenda.  And the majority of Arkansans see themselves that way.  It’s actually impressive it only got 57% of the vote – it shows many of those Arkansans either saw the homophobic agenda of the bill or simply saw the stupidity of banning single/cohabitating people from fostering children.  When that wasn’t enough, the court voted unanimously to protect the people from being manipulated into passing laws that were unconstitutional.

This is Arkansas.  For all the things you might hear and I might say, this isn’t a bad story to take away with you about the understanding of how things go down here.  Yes, it’s everything you think it is – I see a lot of obese stupid people who are, seemingly, perfectly happy that way.  At the same time, the system many of those dummies whine about controlling too much of their lives, they feed by passing laws like this, and obviously the hypocrisy swirls around and does its thing here, as anywhere else.  But this is a fine example, I think, of what I think of when I think of Arkansas’ social/political culture.

Before you go, take a look at this .  That ticker on the right?  That’s their abortion calculator.  Their contact info is just above that.  You should write to them.

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