WINNERS: Pro-discrimination forces such as these carried the day in Texarkana.
voters Tuesday repealed a city non-discrimination ordinanc
e by a vote of 3,409 to 881.
The ordinance, which the City Council had approved unanimously, required non-discrimination in city employment and by those who do business with the city. The controversy stemmed from the ordinance's protection on grounds of sexual orientation and gender. Voters said, in other words, that they want to preserve legal discrimination against LGBT people. As has become familiar, conservative religious groups led the opposition and raised the myth of perils the ordinance would present in bathroom use by transgender people.
Dennis Young, the former legislator who was a staunch advocate of the ordinance and has been quoted here, told the Texarkana Gazette:
"What else can you say except that we got whipped?" he said. "Unfortunately, Texarkana, Ark., is the loser in the long run, as in the manner of how we will be viewed by others. Thanks to those who wanted our city to be viewed as a progressive, tolerant city, the fight for equality for all will continue."
It will be a slog in Arkansas, almost certain to pass a bathroom bill of some sort in the 2017 legislative session. We are not too busy for fear and/or hate.
A side thought: Ordinance or no, are we all REALLY safe from bathroom interlopers? Some of these trans people are REALLY hard to spot. They might try to slip in anyway. Maybe what we need are some sex tests at all restrooms such as women Olympians sometimes face.
Demeaning and awful, yes. It would require lots of medical attendants at restrooms around the state. But you can't be too careful. (Sarcasm intended.)