GRANT LIGHTLE: Bentonville School Board member proposed non-discrimination policy.
Anybody at the Bentonville School Boar
d tonight? The American Family Association,
a leading gay hate group, has gone totally nutso because the Bentonville School District is apparently considering whether to emulate Walmart
(a little family-owned business based in Bentonville) and the University of Arkansas
by specifically including sexual orientation
in its non-discrimination policy.
Equality under the law is not exactly how the "Family" Association sees it.
They prefer to style it "
new rights for flagrantly homosexual coaches and teachers in Bentonville." Such a policy would allow teachers to "flaunt their sexual orientation."
I kid you not. Say the haters:
Having Miss Linda tell her third grade class she married Mr. Bob over Christmas break and now has a new last name is not the same as Coach Jones announcing to the football team that he went to Massachusetts over Spring Break and married his husband Bruce. Under the proposed policy change the District would have to allow Coach Jones to make that announcement.
Alert fellow parents and local churches to the proposed change in Bentonville Public Schools. Bring a group to the meeting to let the School Board know that you do not want LGBT people defined as a special protected class, because protection as a special class will mean special employment rights for homosexuals.
Somebody tells me how it turn out. I can't bear to look.
These are the sorts of people who'll tell you that the state act to crack down on cities and counties (how did they overlook school boards?) that believe in civil rights and the so-called "religious freedom" laws are not about gay people. Why, even Gov. Asa Hutchinson
has parroted that line. Wonder what he thinks about those would-be flaunters in Bentonville, some of whom are in high jobs at Walmart and the Walton family's little picture gallery.
UPDATE: Northwest Arkansas Online has coverage
. Some 15 people turned out to oppose the idea, including a leader of the effort to repeal the Fayetteville civil rights ordinance. A motion to table the idea because of the opposition failed 4-2.
Noted: former state Rep. Donna Hutchinson
was quoted as saying the "gay lifestyle" is unhealthy and said gay men contracted cancer at a rate 13 times (not 12) higher than heterosexuals. (A Google check turns up a 2011 study about cancer rate
s higher among gay men, though nothing like 13 times the rate.)
Gretchen Bellamy, attorney for diversity and inclusion at Walmart, supported the proposal and praised her Walmart colleague and School board member Grant Lightle for proposing it.