by Max Brantley
The Islamic State and its ilk are brutal to gay people, whom they treat in unthinkable ways. They throw gay people from rooftops. The footage is posted online. It’s bloodcurdling, but it’s not unique. In countries throughout the world, to be gay is to be in mortal danger. To embrace love is to court death.Amen.
That’s crucial context for what happened in Orlando, and Orlando is an understandable prompt for questions about our own degrees of inclusion and fairness and whether we do all that we should to keep L.G.B.T. people safe. We don’t.
Because the massacre appears to have targeted sexual minorities, this created a somewhat surreal effect: The sight of GOP politicians—some of the same ones who have devoted much of their careers fighting to deprive gays of their civil rights—sympathizing with the very people whom they have long bashed in a bid for conservative votes.And then, coincidentally or not, there's Texarkana, where city voters will decide Tuesday, June 28 (not this week as I originally wrote) whether to repeal a nondiscrimination ordinance for the city government. It was passed unanimously by the City Council but critics petitioned for a referendum. Former state legislator Dennis Young provided commentary for the scene he photographed (above) yesterday in Texarkana:
...There are many more examples of aggressively anti-gay politicians tweeting about the Pulse shooting, but one common thread ties them together: None of them mention that the shooting targeted, or even involved, the LGBTQ community. Indeed, not a single congressional Republican who tweeted about the shooting mentioned LGBTQ people. That stands in stark contrast to President Barack Obama’s clear assertion that “shooter targeted a nightclub” where “lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender people “came together to be with friends, to dance, sing, and live,” and “to raise awareness and speak their minds and advocate for their civil rights.”
Less than 24 hours following the tragic killings of over 50 members of the LGBT community in Orlando, FL, this is how one of the originators (and a couple of his goons) of the current attempt to repeal Ordinance M-130 (Texarkana, AR Anti-Discrimination Ordinance) are spending the early evening hours of Sunday, June 12, 2016 across from the Walmart SuperCenter on Arkansas Blvd. in Texarkana, AR. Sterling Lacy, a former Bowie County judge and a supposedly ordained minister (must be Minister of Hate), and an avowed member of the John Birch Society, was less than 50 feet away holding his own "Repeal M-130" sign as well as another one "selling signs for $5". The other originator of the petition drive to put this on the ballot (costing the city over $20,000) was Travis Story, the Northwest Arkansas attorney [partner of Bob Ballinger] who represents Josh Duggar, the admitted molester of young girls. He also was one of the leaders in the attempt to override the city of Fayetteville's anti-discrimination ordinance. Their advertising campaign started out as "keep men out of our daughter's bathrooms," but over the past couple of weeks, their campaign has begun to reflect their real anti-LGBT campaign. It is absolutely totally revolting that they are doing this at all, but certainly even more repugnant that this comes less than 24 hours of the worst mass murder in the history of our Country. God save our Country if people like these ever gain control !!Thoughts and prayers, y'all.