Friday, May 16, 2014

Bringing Up the Periscope 2.0

Arkansas Politics: Passing The Mixed Nut Bowl

With marriage equality sucking all the air out of the room, COP 24/7 got caught up in the media tsunami that put our beloved state on blast. However that blast had it's good as the rest of the nation stood stumped that those Arkies didn't take the advice of the "Gay Illuminati," who had deemed the pecking order of who was to be in line for their turn at the marriage equality apple. As they were

scratching their heads that them Arkansas folks had the gumption to talk to homegrown legal folk who had the audacity to recognize the situation, engage plaintiffs, do there due diligence and move ahead with making the case resulting in a affirmative outcome from Pulaski County Circuit Judge Chris Piazza’s ruling that the ban was unconstitutional. It was amazing that them Arkansas folks do have some smarts, wear shoes and can walk and think at the same time.  Do tell....

With that said as well as being on blast with legal stay in place, a online piece in The New Civil Rights Movement reported the following from the brain trust of our own Senator Jason Rapert ( R-Conway). Bless his heart.

"In what was designed to be a strong message sent to the Arkansas state Supreme Court insisting it reinstate and permanently keep Arkansas’ unconstitutional state ban on same-sex marriage, the Arkansas legislature inadvertently has sent just the opposite message: let same-sex couples marry.

“A non-binding resolution objecting to a judge’s decision striking down the ban failed before the Arkansas Legislative Council on a procedural vote Friday,” the AP reports. “The resolution would have urged justices to overturn Pulaski County Circuit Judge Chris Piazza’s ruling striking down all measures preventing gay couples from marrying.”

Republican state Senator Jason Rapert could not get his proposal to even pass a committee, much less the entire senate. Sen. Rapert’s proposal also would have demanded that the 500 or so legal, civil marriages of same-sex couples performed in Arkansas over the past week be invalidated."

OK. As southern folk we know we have crazy people elected to office and its an undeniable fact of life of living in Arkansas. However, we do have folk that are about not having none of this tomfoolery or other foolishness from some of their fellow lawmakers.

And now we wait for the Supreme Court to do some thinkin, ciphering and ultimately writin their response that Piazza’s decision will now go through the appeal process. A record of the lower court case must be prepared. A briefing schedule must be set and probably oral arguments. The court takes a two-month recess each summer. Even with an expedited schedule, it’s uncertain if the case can be decided this calendar year Unfortunately the legal process can be a meat grinder therefore there's no word on the status of those 500+ marriages, which are likely now in limbo, like those of Utah and Michigan same-sex couples.

Gosh those Arkansas folks do have a way of doing things that don't need no messin with from other folks who may think they know our state but really don't. Y'all stay tuned now...!

Equality Roaring at the Capitol

On Tuesday May 20, at Noon on the steps of the State Capitol local organizers are embracing
"Truthful Tuesday's" by calling for LGBTQ and allies in standing up together for the LGBTQ community in support of their need for full Civil and Human Rights. This action is supported by the newly forming Arkansans for Human Rights, AIME, and CAR as well as other local social justice entities.

A notice on a FACEBOOK event page cited, "all people have the right to the protection of Human and Civil Rights regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. The LGBTQ community of Arkansas must have full equal rights and protections; the right to housing, employment, public accommodations and marriage."

Although COP 24/7 certainly encourages public demonstrations and or displays of civic engagement, often these attempts result in marginal participation due to numerous factors including work schedules, logistics, "comfort zones," fatigue and how hastily these get put together with some short notice. It is imperative that our "voices" remain heard especially at the ballot box. It is also important that we continue to build our own internal infrastructure while assessing our deficiencies within it. The throngs of license seekers was a clear indication that we must somehow have that same intensity about all manner of our communities "roaring" about issues that concern us directly and beyond.

Don't forget to Vote May 20!

Did you know that there were some Mid-term election going on? Again, this marriage equality and Human Rights Campaign initiative has taken up much of the scenery, COP 24/7 can not emphasize enough about the power of the ballot box. Although we have the Stonewall Democratic Caucus, three needs to be a concerted effort to utilize its contacts and knowledge base to further educate and create the next wave of possible LGBTQ candidates across the board or elector delegates during the next presidential cycle come 2016. For more information about the current slate of candidates and other information check out  

If you still have questions, concerns or assistance in how your new insurance works, call 501-349-7777 to get the latest updates and or information until June 30. Remember that the next open enrollment is November 15, 2014.


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