Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Which Way is Up Wednesday 2.0

That's it. Even Sesame Street is now affected by the economic downturn and the new word on the block is: OUTRAGE. Yes, my readers everyone is outraged at how the world is turning and this forum is not exception. However, even as we post, what's still missing is your voices, comments, concerns, observations and rants. Hello? I know you are out their reading and watching what's being said, but does the cat's have your tongues? As I have stated it's "voices" and reaction that drive issues and change. If you are silent, then those who are most vocal will use there bully pulpit to dominate the platform. Our voices can't become animated when there is a rally call from a few blessed organizers or another march to step too. A few years ago, I remember the slogan, "Silence = Death," that had a direct impact on my senses then and still does today. Ladies and Gentlemen, there's plenty of outrage to go around, but let's not wait until some other legislation or motivated group starts making decision on our lives. Speak up! Speak Out! Now! I'm ready whenever you are...

Capital Watch: And speaking of folks with agendas, here we go again with State Rep. Bryan King (district 91), (pictured) who has had a brainstorm that Eureka Springs DPR( Domestic Partner Registry) needs to be done away with. He's proposed an anti measure in the House, 3.9.09 and it's now headed for committee. Arkansas State Rep. Kathy Webb, a Democrat, opposes the ban and has said it may be killed at the committee level. Arkansas Speaker of the House Robbie Wills is also on record as opposing the bill. As the only Domestic Partnership Registry in Arkansas and one of the few in the Mid-South, the registry reports that 256 unmarried couples from 55 Arkansas communities and 14 other states have registered as domestic partners in Eureka Springs.
At least 28 of those couples came from neighboring Oklahoma and another 32 from Missouri, says Michael Walsh, who wrote the domestic partnership law that went into effect in June 2007.
DPR advocates say it is hypocritical for any state lawmaker to condemn municipal domestic partnership laws while accepting campaign contributions from Kraft Foods, Wal-Mart, FedEx and Cox Communications are companies that have domestic partner policies. Does Mr. King have a clue or is this grandstanding for his next political move? Is King pandering to those other hate groups that may support his mindset? According to GNB (Gay News Bureau), Eureka Springs city officials are not taking any chances. In a statement signed by the entire Eureka Springs City Council, Mayor Dani Joy strongly defended the DPR and condemned King's intrusion into city affairs.
«I will not stand silent any longer and allow a demographic of our citizens to be humiliated and degraded,» she said. «Prejudice or bigotry have no place in our city. The gay and lesbian community are our friends, neighbors and family.»
The editor of the town's weekly newspaper, The Lovely County Citizen, characterized King's anti-DPR bill as a «regressive, faith-based, discriminatory, venal . . . and cynical act.»
It is, said editor Don Lee in a editorial, «demagoguery based on religious prejudice bordering on moral fascism . . .»
The Carroll County (AR) News reported King «felt the bill (to ban DPRs) was needed because tourism in Eureka Springs has become identified too strongly with issues of sexuality.»
Given the town's long-standing reputation as a major wedding destination, King's rationale is fraudulent, says Walsh.
«What the hell does he think goes on in all those heart shaped hot tubs and honeymoon cabins,» Walsh said. «King's real aim is to impose his extremist religious and political views on our town and at the expense gay residents, business owners and tourists.
«Playing the gay card is a way for cheap politicians in Arkansas to fan the fires of hate and fatten up their campaign coffers.»
But, on the brink of what may be a precarious tourist season, King's bill could also deprive the town of a critical revenue stream.
According to city records, the DPR has generated almost $10,000 for the city in less than two years. Registration costs $35 per couple.
Walsh puts the figure at closer to $250,000 to $500,000 when DPR-related expenditures on hotels, motels, B &Bs, restaurants, bars, caterers, ministers, florists, gift shops, photographers and spending by friends and families are included.
«Precisely when the state needs all the tax revenue it can it, King's bill is exceedingly short-sighted,» he said.
O.K. Friends, ready to share some outrage on the home front? Get out your weapons, the mighty pen and get busy expressing your outrage to Arkansas State Rep. Bryan King at: If you do, forward us your comments or his comments. I'll be posting my own outrage letter to King later this week! You will not want to miss it!!!

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