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Arkansas could make it 'illegal to be transgender' this week

State's bathroom bill proposal is just the tip of a transphobic iceberg

Arkansas could make it 'illegal to be transgender' this week
Governor.Arkansas.gov
Asa Hutchinson was elected Governor of Arkansas in 2015

Trans people in Arkansas could soon lead an essentially illegal life.

State lawmakers are currently discussing three bills: House Bill 1986, House Bill 1894, and Senate Bill 774.

If all three pass, it could force trans people out of a majority of public life because their existence would effectively be illegal.

SB774 is Arkansa’s version of North Carolina’s controversial HB2 ‘bathroom bill’.

Called the Arkansas Physical Privacy and Safety Act, it would require trans people to use public bathrooms matching the gender marker on their birth certificate.

It would apply to all government and other state-owned buildings.

And it’s only the tip of an iceberg of transphobic laws.

HB 1986 would expand existing Arkansas law and allow a person to press charges against trans people under indecent exposure laws.

Indecent exposure, it argues, is any situation where someone ‘knowingly exposes his or her sex organs to a person of the opposite biological sex: (A) In a public place or in public view; or (B) Under circumstances in which the person could reasonably believe the conduct is likely to cause affront or alarm.’

The law could, for example, ban trans men who had top surgery from going shirtless anywhere in public.

‘If a transgender man has top surgery, his chest could be viewed as a sexual organ, according to the the language used on the bill,’ Zachary Miller of the Arkansas Transgender Equality Coalition, told Salon.

‘Anywhere his chest is in public view — like at a public pool or going to a spa — he could be in violation of the law and be arrested.’

The law could see trans people fined $2,500 and also holds a maximum prison sentence of one year. And that’s only the beginning.

Trans people found guilty four or five times over a 10-year-span would face six years in prison on a Class D felony charge.

Any further charges would result in a 10-year sentence.

The third bill is HB 1894, which was voted down by a committee in early March, but was reintroduced by Representative Mickey Gates.

It would ban trans people from changing the gender marker on their birth certificate.

And it shows the Republican government doesn’t understand what it means to be transgender.

‘What happens if you have a guy and he’s 24 years old and he decides he wants to be a 14-year-old guy so that he can have sex with a 14-year-old girl,’ Gates said.

‘Will that not be rape?

‘Just because you have the right to identify doesn’t mean the state is obligated to recognize the way you feel.’

Currently, trans people in Arkansas need a court order, as well as written confirmation from their doctor that they have completed gender-confirmation surgery to change their birth certificate.

Governor Asa Hutchinson in the past said Arkansas did not need laws like North Carolina.

The House and Senate have until 31 March to reach a decision, before the bills fail. If they do, they will be tabled for the year.


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HAVE YOUR SAY

    i would go to jail simply for existing… in the land of the free…

    It’s time for a revolt against this oppressive government. These treasonous bigots should be summarily executed.

    arkansa- forever bacjwards time to send the nutcases to putins russia. let it be the new devils island, or better yet get the word too isil

    I feel that INTERSEX is key to finding answers. Intersex proves that the bibles idea that there is ONLY MAN AND WOMAN that should lie with each other is wrong. When the bibles binary gender classification is key to many of the problems. Ironically the bible spoke of “Naturally Born Eunuchs”, but like today, chose to ignore these and plump for just male and female. There is not just male or female, but a continuum, even in physical terms. Intersex also proves that what genitalia you have does not define what sex you are. You can be genetically male, but have no penis, or also have a womb. Insides and outsides do not always match, which is the same with trans individuals. What bits you have proves nothing. They prove that the world is not as clear cut as they would like it to be even in physical terms. Those who claim to be experts (Look in your pants, if you have a penis, you are a man, if you have a vagina you are a woman – er actually not so) actually know nothing and need to deal with reality. Even sex is not straight forward never mind identity.

    Trace Ellis says:

    This kind of discrimination brings basic human rights into question. It will bring back the days when transgender people were considered sub human. If these laws continue to pass in Republican states, the Witch hunt will cause transgender people to move to more protective states. The last I knew, I am entitled to the the pursuit of life, liberty and happiness in ALL OF AMERICA.

    Greg Westby says:

    Add Arkansas to the list of states I’ll never visit

    This is terrifying and unacceptable. Just because you have the ability to make laws does not mean you should be making them on matters you clearly do not understand such as the fact that being trans is not a choice

    These people have no clue.

    For those of you who are rightfully angry about this deplorable law, please remember 3 things. 1. It’s not law and even if this State manages to pass it, it’s a violation of the constitution! 2. They can’t stop people from living their lives and we can start a revolution and we will! 3. The key statement in their bigoted law is “gender marker on their birth certificate.” So ALL transgender folks who have already changed their birth certificates are free and clear ��� So fuck the republican bigots ! We are all human and the bigots are finally coming of the woodwork, so we can label them and they can face the consequences!

    If a man with a scar can be arested for indecent exposure then so can a man with a scar from open heart surgery. Or how about large biological men with gynocomastia(large breasts). This is insane legistlation.

    I wonder why they feel the need to focus on this it makes me very sad that they take the time and energy to bash people for being who they are so fucked up

    Attia Rante says:

    All this worry over trans* people, no worry over “regular” straight men raping women.

    I didn’t realize that the outhouses in AK were gender specific.

    This pisses me off to no end… ignorance and intolerance has no place in making laws!! ��

    Fallon Kunz says:

    How is changing the gender marker on a person’s birth certificate going to harm anyone? How is letting trans people pee hurting anyone? Fuck you Ark. and your anti-LGBT+ laws. We’re here. We exist. You cannot silence us. To the trans folks affected by this hate, I see you. I support you. God loves you.

    Jim Foxvog says:

    Nobody’s chest is a sex organ.

    These laws will be thrown out because the 14th amendment protects all people.Equal under the law

    Screw Arkansas, I’ve had my birth certificate amended and I’ll walk around shirtless if I want to! They are testing the wrong Transgender man!

    I will boycott Arkansas. Those idiots are inbred.

    They need a law against bigoted idiots!

    The ACLU will fight and win under the expose facto laws. You will never stop us transpeople from being who we are.

    Stupidity !!!! Get educated people

    Cyndi Ross says:

    Even if you were to change the marker on your birth certificate from male to female or vice versa, you can not change the year you are born…so the arguement about a 24 year old becoming 14 years old does not hold water in any state of this nation.

    Liz Shopes says:

    Does Mickey Gates understand what transgender means? If a 24 year old man wants to be a 14 year old boy – he’d still be male. And transgender has nothing to do with trying to change your age. WTF.. By the way,, if you’re a 24 year old man and you want to have sex with a 14 year old girl, that makes you a pedophile and there’s already laws about that. If she’s your cousin, that means you’re probably from Alabama or Arkansas.

    Is this Fake News?

    Jade Tomkins says:

    god i hate living here

    Wow. We need to make it illegal to be a smug, puritanical, incestuous pig…

    Deanna Rader says:

    This is so effing stupid.

    This is a classic example of why we are 31st in the world of acceptance of transgender communities. Next they’ll want to burn us at the fucking stake. Evolve already people.

    Michael Self says:

    There is no excuse for such willful ignorance. There is, however, an explanation: Fear-based loathing and bigotry. Explain, please, you homophobic demagogues, how it is illegal to be me.

    Jim Stadel says:

    Just all these politicians upset that they may end up with a Man when they go out picking up women protitutes.

    Is this the biggest problem they could come up with in today’s world??? What about all those children who don’t have enought to eat, or the homeless vets, or the seniors going without food to pay for meds??? Come on world, we have a very troubled world, and you are all uptight about sex??? Look beyond your own hangups on sex and look at the world.

    Obviously the hicks in Arkansas have nothing better to do with their time. They’ll soon feel the wrath as North Carolina did… financially and politically.

    This was a bad thing in the 80s. My transmother wwent to jail. She went just to buy some food. And send her to jaill back they all thoght trans people were selling there bodyies now trsoeople have jobs this is about money 2 fill the jails we the us want to go back 2 the slave days this is only brin8g truma 2 peoplr in this country

    Everything Republicans do is done out of greed fear or hate. They are virtually incapable of acting out of any other motive.

    Hope Tyler says:

    I hope this is fake news… Just when you thought you had heard it all. As a Christian mother to a beautiful transgender son, who is a straight A student, it is almost laughable the lack of knowledge that #Arkansas state leaders have on what being transgender means. Illegal? Really? What in God’s Holy Hell are they thinking? They have no idea of the science behind being trans. And the guy that made the 14 year old comment…Bless his dad sad heart. He is just too far off in left field for me to explain to him this topic…even with crayons. Being trans is not rocket science. Google has been around for years now. Everyone needs to watch Katie Couric’s “Gender Revolution” on the Discovery Channel. I believe it is “On Demand” now. *side note. For these men in Arkansas even considering such ridiculous bills, have your Grandchildren explain to you how to find the documentary on the “On Demand” channel. The pure stupidity of even proposing such a bill is just laughable, but I assume not-so-much for those who cannot move from such a backwards state with no basic knowledge of the science behind being transgender, when it has now been VERY openly discussed in the recent past years. Just pray for these men, even though it is hard to cure “stupidity.” And I’m not being mean, but making transgender children illegal is the most absurd thing that I have ever heard in my fight for transgender rights, since before #PatMcCrory finally left Raleigh. #GodIsGood Just when you thought you had heard it all….As a Christian mother to a beautiful transgender son, who is a straight A student, it is almost laughable the lack of knowledge that #Arkansas state leaders have on what being transgender means. Asa… Illegal? Really? What in God’s Holy Hell are you thinking? You guys CLEARLY have no idea of the science behind being trans. And to Mr. Gates, the guy that made the 14 year old comment, Bless your sad sad heart. He is just too far off in left field for me to explain to him this topic…even with crayons. Being trans is not rocket science. Google has been around for years now. Everyone needs to watch Katie Couric’s “Gender Revolution” on the Discovery Channel. I believe it is “On Demand” now. *side note. For these men in Arkansas even considering such ridiculous bills, have your Grandchildren explain to you HOW TO FIND the documentary on the “On Demand” channel. The pure stupidity of even proposing such a bill is just laughable, but I assume not-so-much for those who cannot afford to just move from such a backwards state with no basic knowledge on the science behind being transgender, when it has now been VERY openly discussed in the recent past years. America needs to just pray for these men, even though it is hard to cure “stupidity.” And I’m not being mean, but making transgender children illegal is just the dumbest and most absurd thing that I have ever heard in my fight for transgender rights, since #PatMcCrory finally left Raleigh. #GodIsGood

    Welcome back to the 19th century, America

    Mel Kennedy says:

    I swear, it’s like conservatives think that being transgender means we pose an inherent danger to others. Yet, they have no proof of such views because it doesn’t exist anywhere. Why are people so afraid of what they refuse to understand?

    This is a joke, right? These people can’t be seriously trying to implement such horrific legislations. Where is the U.N. in all of this? I don’t care what your views or opinions or beliefs are, this is absolutely clearly a straight up violation of basic human rights. How the he’ll do they expect to make it illegal for a person to simply be who and what they are? No! Watch me never go to or through Arkansas ever again!

    Stupid. This what happens when education isn’t a priority.

    Ian Spragg says:

    ‘Merikkkan Taliban! These ignorant, useless pigs have NO empathy nor concern for anyone other than privileged, white men!

    Gov. ASS….are you serious! Let’s see what can I not like about you, and then figure out how to make it illegal. What century do you live in?

    This bill is as stupid as the idiots voting for it. Clearly those opposed to anyone different than themselves is the real problem. When was the last time anyone in this thread exposed themselves to a stranger in a bathroom?

    Recognize it for what it is. It is a mental problem!

    Right. Conservatism IS a mental illness!

    Rowan Knight says:

    Breasts (or the lack of) are not sex organs. They’re breasts. How is that even an argument?

    It’s called misogyny. Men think of women’s breasts as sexual toys for them to play with, therefore they regard them as sex organs, (even though they aren’t.)

    It would seem the republicans don’t even recognize how changing a birth certificate works. Far as I know, you can’t change your age according to it. Just name, gender marker, and conditions of your birth, such as finding your genetic father on a certificate that says “Father Unknown”.

    Arkansas and Oklahoma are competing for the least American state in the Union. Which state is actually the gate to hell is what I want to know?

    FUCKING DISGUSTING PIECE OF SHIT REPUBLICAN ASSHOLES. I HOPE HE FALLS DOWN AND SKINS HIS KNEES. FUCKING PRICK.

    Sean Yoder says:

    Ok I have a question, when it says if a Transgender man shows his chest in public it could be indecent exposure does that mean someone who had beast implants or someone who had then removed? If it’s had beasts added then I gotta agree about the whole indecent exposure thing since I think that’s illegal for women to do in public areas at least in some states and places. I don’t feel strongly either way just want to understand

    Transgender man is someone assigned female at birth but male. Chest surgery is having breasts removed. So what it’s saying is a man, with no breasts, can’t walk around without a shirt cause there is an F still on their birth certificate.

    I think all 3 bills are ridiculous and inhumane!

    Sophie Dun says:

    This is bullshit. Transgender people deserve their fucking rights. If they feel uncomfortable about their own body/gender respect them. Trans man and trans woman are still fucking human. STOP TREATING THEM LIKE THEY’RE SICK PEOPLE. I STG. I HATE AMERICA LITTLE BIT MORE.

    What a bunch of stuck up bigoits!

    I thought Mississippi was ass backwards….

    Congratulations Arkansas! The “feelings” of the minority should never be forced upon the majority!

    Gwen Fry says:

    That is exactly what is happening, Mary. The feelings of the few are being forced on the majority of people in the state as they attempt to make being a transgender person illegal. Understanding is needed.

    WHY. DOES. MY. EXISTENCE. BOTHER. THESE. FUCKING. PEOPLE. SO. MUCH?!?!?!?!

    Gwen Fry says:

    You all please keep in mind that both SB 774 (Bathroom bill) and HB 1986 (Bathroom bill disguised as an indecent exposure bill) are still in the Senate Judiciary Committee. We are working hard to get these two bills killed in committee along with businesses and the medical community. HB 1894 (Birth Certificate bill) has been deferred in the House Public Health Committee. That makes it all but dead and will not (the odds are miniscule) be coming back. Please keep the transgender and GNB communities in your thoughts and prayers. Let us know you are supporting us on the ground doing hard, but amazing, work. Let’s try and refrain bashing the legislature here. We absolutely need a couple of nay and present not voting votes on the other side of the aisle to kill this.

    Arkansaw must be a utopian paradise as it seems all the state legislature has to worry about in trans issues and promoting christianity.

    Arkansas is in a race with Alabama and Texas to be the most backward, ridiculous and downright stupid places in the country.

    Move to Iowa! We love trans people!

    I’m looking at Mr. Scott’s comments and all though I may not agree with them, he has the right to say them. By us (“us” being gay or those who are LGBTQ friendly) are just as guilty as the religious right and others who feel that we as gay people period, not just those who are transgender, should not exist or want to take away our rights. We as a people need to understand, that just because we are humans, we are not all monolithic and we need to understand that what helps us grow is the fact that we can agree to disagree. In closing he did say he supports our trans brothers and sisters, but let’s remember this, if we are steadily fighting each other, what strength will we have to fight the real enemy?

    Arkansan here.. just wanted to set a certain record straight, we don’t all think this way. Condemning a whole state because of the opinions of a few makes others no better than the few making these types of laws. And as there is a certain seperation of church and state- religion doesn’t necessarily play a part either and even if it did, not ever person in any given religion thinks the exact same either…

    Marie Little says:

    So vote them out of office! And, in the meantime, tell them that you don’t support these things. if you don’t do that, then you deserve the same consequences as the people proposing this crap.

    Gwen Fry says:

    Thanks, Audrey. As an Episcopal priest who is also a trans woman I am living evidence that the theological spectrum in Christian traditions is diverse indeed when it comes to transgender people.

    It would be indecent exposure for a woman to go topless. You want to be a woman? Welcome to what it’s like for the people who were born one. You gave up your right to go without a shirt when you signed up to suddenly be one of us.

    Gwen Fry – Yeah, I noticed that too. A trans woman who had not changed the gender on their birth certificate, (so they are still legally male), could go topless, and you wouldn’t be able to charge them with indecent exposure under this law.

    Gwen Fry says:

    And it would also mean that i, as a trans woman, could go topless whenever I felt like it with no legal repercussions.

    Dawn Morgan says:

    Uh, Lollie, the article referenced Trans MEN who had top surgery going topless being against the law. That means, from the top up they look like guys because they are transitioning to Male. Requiring them to cover up their chest is ridiculous. I’d rather see them pass a law that any guy bigger than an ‘A’ cup be required to were a shirt, at least it would make more sense…. �

    Artem Black says:

    just what the fuck does he think it means to be trans? why is he equating it with a fetish?

    Bryan Cahen says:

    All three proposed bills will not pass constitutional muster and would be overturned by the Supreme Court. Secondly, there should be a nationwide economic boycott of Arkansas.

    Gwen Fry says:

    First keep in mind that the remaining two bills that are still active, SB 774 and HB 1986, are still in the Senate Judiciary committee. We are working very hard to kill them in the committee. I’m not so sure that it would be a certain SCOTUS decision in favor of the trans community with the nominated justice sitting on the court.

    This is the best I’ve herd in a long time. There was a time when not much people knew that these type of people existed even though they existed. This lifestyle was done in private. Now it’s in the open everywhere for people to look at. In the holy bible God made a the man for the woman that’s why a man cannot have a baby except with a woman. This is how it’s supposed to be. Anything else is considered an abomination to God. A sin. And he is coming to judge the world very soon. May God bless the people who are making this law.

    Gwen Fry says:

    Cheryl, I am an Episcopal priest who is also transgender. Please answer me this since it sounds like you know your bible. When God created all that is he created man and woman as well to be stewards of his creation. When he saw that Adam was alone, he created Eve out of Adam’s rib to keep him company. If you do believe this to be true wouldn’t it make sense that Eve was actually a transgender woman? She would have the same DNA and chromosomes as Adam. Be careful how you respond to this.

    This is incredibly inhuman, you twat. How does making MY EXISTENCE ILLEGAL sound like the best thing ever?! Maybe your fairytales deluded your logical thinking.

    Joe Jewell says:

    It’s about time someone uses some common sense.

    Gwen Fry says:

    I thought we NKU grads had more common sense than what you propose, Joe.

    Jeremy Gray says:

    Common sense? Making a group of people effectively illegal is common sense to you?

    Mandi Lewis says:

    What a jackass

    This is one the stupidest things I’ve heard. Who’s nest Black people?

    I don’t understand why some people fail to recognize the common sense in this. I sure as hell wouldn’t want a third bathroom.

    Cam Garcia says:

    I can see somewhere in the future that all of the Westrn Coastal States, such as California, Oregon, and Washington State pass a law that is illegal for any Arkansan to come to these States; except for Military, Government, or Business people since we know that they are here on official business. But for the average Arkansan who wants to come to these states to enjoy our senic and wonderful states, they should be banned, and the banning starts at our borders….LOL

    Gwen Fry says:

    That keeps me out as well. Support those of us in the trans community and our allies here. We are tirelessly working to get these two bills killed in committee and we could certainly use it.

    Yeah, the party of smaller government is actually the Christian Taliban.

    Sara Jevo says:

    And I thought the Taliban existed only in Afghanistan. Clearly I was wrong.

    Well congrats it shows 80% of the “refugees” come from countires who EXECUTE gay and transgender people. So we’re basically importing hate

    Haven’t they learned from NC? Pull this shit and even more hell will rain.

    David Smith says:

    I live in AR and am disgusted with these proposed bills. While NO fan of our governor, I do hope he vetoes all of them if passed. One only has to look at NC to see how stupid this would be.

    Gwen Fry says:

    The two remaining bills that still have life, SB 774 and HB 1986, are both still in the Senate Judiciary Committee and we are tirelessly working on getting them killed in committee. Asa has been a huge ally in this effort and deservse our praise and support this time.

    The USA travels back in time, state by state. Shocking.

    Cleis Abeni says:

    In Arkansas, bigotry in conservative politics appears to be particularly heinous.

    I think I might take a trip to Arkansas and go topless just to be “indecent”!! WTF People?!! Are you THAT Transphobic?! Better yet, Every transman in America who’s had top surgery, take a trip to Arkansas and take off your shirt and have a parade!!! Give out roses!!! Show them just how “scary” you are! Stupid rednecks!

    TRANS PEOPLE DESERVE EQUAL RIGHTS. THIS GOES AGAINST MEDICAL RESEARCH , IT’S A HATE BILL FULL OF FEAR MONGERING PATHETIC

    Ok.really weird thinking becoming law. Take that one to the Supreme Court. Strange thinking behind this one

    Abby Paden says:

    Dallas Scott We thought it was equally silly that an overtan reality star would be president, but he is.

    you dont sir understand religious extremists – they cant live without demonizing minority groups Pardon me while I puke

    They are also only interested in Trans Women. No mention hardly ever of trans men. Some kind of obsession!!. If they forced people to use the toilets that match their birth certificate, they would be forcing heaps of trans men to go back into the ladies and actually perverts could just go in the ladies and claim to be trans men. No need to even attempt to dress up.

    There are some really backwards people that truly believe that trans people are pedophiles and I have first-hand experience with one. We all tend to think that it’s JUST religious, Conservative Republicans that think that way but it’s not. My ex’s mother is a Liberal Democrat, non-religious hippie who protects minorities at her workplace through being a leader of the Union. Yet when her son and I came out to her as polyamorous and that I was dating a transwoman who moved in with us… She went berserk! Called her a circus freak, my “grotesque sidekick”, and made false claims to DCFS that we were having orgies around my kid and my gf was molesting him (despite her never seeing a damn thing that would give her that idea). She went from being my mother figure and close friend of 5 years to worst enemy all in 5 minutes. The next 9 months were hell until DCFS convinced us to get a RO. She proved in court how unstable she is.

    *boobs, not books! (sorry)

    Elisabeth Morrissey…. I also wonder about the locker room laws being drafted by dirty old men who want to lech over naked books and vaginas when trans women are forced to dress next to them in the gym.. (Not to mention the obviously more scary implications) it is becoming clear that much if the US is degenerating into an apocalyptic religious battle ground and I can think of a thousand more friendly and favourable holiday destinations before I will ever cross the pond!

    Dallas Scott, if you are truly interested in them, the bills are listed in the article and should be available for lookup under the state legislature’s website.

    Dallas Scott says:

    What makes Arkansas backward? It is a crappy place to live by my standards, but I have seen places that are far more retrograde by comparison. Although I still like to tell “marrying your cousin” and toothless jokes regarding Arkansas. It’s more progressive than articles like this would suggest. I personally think that it’s silly for anyone to believe that a bill such as this would pass (I am skeptical about the actual presentation of it and if such was made, what the actual content was). To enforce such a thing would beg for lawsuits. Think about it… how do you look at someone and determine if they are male or female. I have seen many cis-women that look like men and TG women that look more like a cis woman than many cis women! As for TG men, there are many that make better men than a number of them born with danglies. Anyway, I have gotten deeper into this than intended. Let’s just try to be what you are asking the legislators in Arkansas to be.. more accepting and less judgmental.

    Jasleen Kaur says:

    Arkansas can’t afford it. Taxes from NY andvCA would pay for it.

    Phil Culmer The wash-room laws certainly are. They are crafted by old straight men who know what they’d be doing if they could gain access to a women’s facility.

    Phil Culmer says:

    I strongly suspect that the paedophile accusations are transference. They assume that everyone else is a perverted as them.

    too bad we cant cibcentrate global exttreme war on these nu casees

    Clarissa Harings too bad we c ant mentally sterilize them Isnt that called a Lobottomy?

    the religion of slavery and segregattion now hatng on trans

    nno their alimentary canal is reversed due to the religious gene

    its flux capacitor is broken – remember that movie?

    Jasleen Kaur lots of hate of most minority groups cant we just tar and feather the kkklowns behind this bill?

    Ray Rowland says:

    I live in Ar. LMAO just Wal-mart…. btw I am not a rt wing nut 😉

    Jasleen Kaur true! That state ID broke as f!

    Jasleen Kaur Walmart Tyson and job hunt three of the largest corps in the us and world are here in Arkansas

    Gwen Fry says:

    Teri Dawn Wright, sadly for some businesses it’s all about business and not necessarily about the moral or human rights issue. But at this point I’ll take it.

    Jasleen Kaur says:

    Teri Dawn Wright that’s absolutely awful. people need to open their eyes and hearts to the people around them. accepting differences isn’t so hard once you use a bit of compassion.

    Jasleen Kaur says:

    Dallas Scott nope, i’m a vegetarian. luke warm about the clintons, but i think they’re in NY now anyway, right? there’s not much in Arkansas that would effect me.

    Dallas Scott says:

    Kristi Lee Hyuck hyuck.. Gawrsh, let me bust out my banjo for ya and play ya some toe tappin music! There aren’t as many “hillbillies” here as you may think. I thought the same before I moved here. Unfortunately what IS here (at least in this “city” that I live in) is women who have no idea what true commitment is, meth users i abundance, more bars than other businesses (well, perhaprs a close tie with car sales places), a lack of anywhere good to shop, which leaves you Walmart (I’m talking groceries here), unless you wish to get raked buying at an independent store. Relationships are mostly laughable, I kinda hinted at that already didn’t I? Income is low, but so is the cost of living over-all. It’s not my favorite place to live and as soon as i graduate nursing school I plan to run the hell back out of it and not look back. I would have been a better man for never moving here. But having said all this, I have indeed seen worse places/states to live in. I’m eternally grateful that I don’t live in Cali.

    Dallas Scott says:

    Jasleen Kaur .. That depends. Do you like chicken nuggets? Did you like Bill and/or Hilary Clinton?

    Gwen Fry really? Because Tyson Foods forbade me to use the ladie’s room without proof of surgery. I really hope they have progressed since 2014.

    Jasleen Kaur not really.

    Gwen Fry says:

    Jusy an FYI. The corporations in the state have been working in tandem with the trans community here in Arkansas to defeat these bills.

    Jasleen Kaur says:

    David Lee Quinn yeah life without walmart would suck. Lol.

    Kristi Lee says:

    Corn cob pipes & hillbillies.

    Jasleen Kaur different foods and everything that comes through the doors of Walmart., two things that just popped up quickly

    Jasleen Kaur Walmart, Tysons, JB Hunt… Numerous places come from here that are quite large. Those would be the best places to start lol

    Jasleen Kaur says:

    Economic boycott of Arkansas? Does anything come from Arkansas to boycott?

    Ian Matthew Lalama transgendered is so a word. **I am transgendered.** I am gendered. Are you a gendered person? ie do you have a gender? If you have a gender, you are a gendered person. You’re not a “gender person”. how bout stop harping about people’s slightly different declension of words that mean the same thing anyway?

    Beth, he said that some atheists and agnostics believe that we shouldn’t exist. If you took a little time and read everything he’s said, he’s pretty well proven to be an ally, not an opponent. You’re taking half of a quote and using it to damn, very much like how religious folk will use halves of verses to do the same. If you don’t like me standing up for Mr. Dallas, go for it, call me homophobic or transphobic if you want, but that would be so much more than laughable as I’m a lesbian and I’m a post operative transsexual. So please, leave the nice man alone.

    Alexandra Simmons It is a good thing that there are no LGBT people in Russia because they don’t have a “religious right” to oppose them. I don’t think that those Islamic folks tithe very much to LGBT causes either.

    Dallas Scott says:

    L Lauren Broido Provide some facts that would designate them as religion based

    Dallas Scott No, not really. Atheists generally don’t care about someone else’s lifestyle.

    Rod Kuehn it’s interesting though that the are happy to quote bits of the Bible from the old testament about gays (1 line and no actual real reference to trans anything). yet say the new testament supercedes the old on any of the hundreds of lines covering mixed fibres, beards, shellfish, stoning adulterers and shit loads of other stuff that they don’t feel like doing.

    Dallas Scott well said. As a transwoman I have been loved and supported by many religious folks. I hope more people understand it’s not the religions it’s the human.

    Lyra Lambert science!

    Alexandra Simmons Honetly I’ve had a number of atheists argue agiasnt trasngerderism. They just use the “It’s not natural” argument instead of “God says it’s a sin” one when they do usually. Where or not someone is Accepting of lgbt people or not does not depend sololy on their views of religion.

    Emma Moss says:

    Dallas Scott “Religion” is used as a guise and the majority of transphobic people self-identify as religious (christian in particular). They use it as a means to justify their actions. It does not mean all christians feel that way. If I were christian, I’d be furious at these people for trying to leverage my faith in order to discriminate. Sadly, I don’t see it happen very often. Until the community joins together and lets these people know it is unacceptable, they will continue declaring themselves christians and soiling the faith.

    Dallas Scott says:

    Emily Souza I’ve seen that a lot. I guess it’s because being transgender is not about sexual identity but rather gender identity. I could be wrong. I just do not have a clue as to what other reason they would use. Maybe tonight when I go to the gay bar for karaoke like I do every week I will ask a couple of them. Although here they don’t seem to have an issue with it in any large capacity

    Dallas Scott says:

    Beth Scherfee I would like to invite you to actually read my comment. I did not claim they should not exist. If you read it then you would understand what I was saying. The first thing that people should know is that I support transgender people and their rights. The majority of my friends are gay lesbian transgender etc etc. Why the hell would I have a problem with them or think they should not exist? As I said go back and read what I actually wrote

    Rod Kuehn says:

    Two points. The religious right (mostly literalist religionists, mostly Republican, most with an emphasis on Old Testament) has been at war with science since Origin of Species. They have been explicitly trained in their ignorance and it is a part of their identity. Their ignorance is immutable. They are unable to evaluate evidence and their propagandists are skillful at generating silly science that provides plausible deniability to charges of being anti-science. They are unable even to recognize outright lies, such as the Daleiden videos because they live in a bubble. They have built an alternate universe of law, history, science and politics. I’ve been unable to find any lever, including other Biblical passages, that will cause them to rethink their positions. They are intellectual dinosaurs without ac cess to reality checks. Non-theists can also be bigoted but they are generally not schooled in it. Second, many of us have little substantive contact with sexual minorities and even less contact with terminology. Some of it really is confusing and requires significant background to understand. Please cut us some slack. Explanations are helpful but it may take more than a single try.

    Dallas Scott Good grief – the very idea that “transgender people should not exist” is outrageous. The DO exist. They are our friends, our neighbors, our classmates, our children, and even our parents. I don’t care who is condemning them. They are PEOPLE and they deserve to exist!

    Ian Matthew Lalama Thank you for addressing that point. Saying “transgendered” is like calling people “a gay”. It’s usually just ignorance, not necessarily hate, but it should still be corrected.

    Diana Rebel says:

    Dallas Scott You’re right. Ignorant bigoted dicks who are not religious at all also behave that way but they are always teabaggers or other rightwing nutjobs. But the majority are fundamentalist fake Christians. Just saying.

    Dallas Scott Because every one of these bills is Christian based. This hate si being driven by Christian organizations based on their idea of religious freedom as a tool for bigotry and even violence.

    Raine Kitzig says:

    I finally found someone else who practices my religion. I post OMZ all the time!

    Dallas Scott says:

    Marion-mari Lewandowski why don’t you try to read what I said. Maybe try comprehending it also. I never said they shouldn’t exist, do not put words in my mouth.

    Dallas Scott what do you mean they shouldn’t exist??? What does it matter to you?? How does anything anybody dues with their body have any affect on you? Try to educate yourself on the situation please….I don’t believe people like you should exist but yet here you are…. Saying all kinds of stupid stuff

    Alexandra Simmons TERFs. Non-religious and transphobic.

    Emily Souza says:

    Let’s stop pretending atheists or even the the whole lgb community accepts us trans folk. I doubt Ru Paul is big into religion and he is gay as fuck but he is also super transphobic. While we get grouped into lgbtq and fortunately most of the community is atleast outwardly supportive not everyone is and I myself am trans and Christian and a variety of churches are starting to become welcoming, it just takes time.

    Peter Emuss says:

    Lyra Lambert Paul Dacre, editor in chief of the Daily Mail is an atheist. If you’re not familiar with the Daily Mail, it’s a horrible tabloid that prides itself on being against liberals and is frequently homophobic, transphobic, and hateful to any minority it happens to turn its eye upon. In 2013, they were responsible for hounding a transgender teacher, resulting in her suicide.

    Dallas Scott says:

    Lyra Lambert you could refer that question to Peter (he commented up a few)

    Dallas Scott says:

    Stephanie Marshall Thank you

    Dallas Scott says:

    Gwen Fry So what.. I wasn’t writing for a grade

    Dallas Scott says:

    Alexandra Simmons , First.. you don’t know anything of my beliefs. 2d.. I never justified slavery and have not condemned those who are LGBT. I suggest that you know something about someone before you start pointing that finger. About 98% of my friends fall into the category of LGBT, as do my brother, neice and nephew.. with 7 of my friends being transgender! So what makes you spew such nonsense toward me other than the fact that you do not like that I suggested that the issue is not entirely stemming from the religious sector?

    Dallas Scott says:

    Ian Matthew Lalama… seriously, get a life. Don’t nit-pick. Oh, I will be sure to tell my group of friends who are all transgender that you said they cannot use that word. That they MUST say “transgender” and never “transgendered” when speaking of them as a whole.

    Dallas Scott says:

    Lyra Lambert typically I do not go around asking people with their religion or lack of. But it is completely asinine to theorize that everybody is against transsexualism, homosexuality is a religious person.

    Dallas Scott says:

    Alexandra Simmons I beg to differ. It is not strictly a religious thing. There are plenty of people who are not religious in any way shape or form and do not like transsexualism. And I challenge you to show me where I used the Bible in any way shape or form for any reason. I don’t know why you guys think I’m attacking transgender people. I’m saying that what the commenter here said is not correct.

    Lyra Lambert says:

    Dallas Scott give me one example of a non-theist homo\transphobe and I might consider your argument that religion is not the cause of hate

    Dallas Scott I think the problem is that MOST of the hate comes from the Christian Right. I’m sure there are Athiests, and Agnostics, and Muslims, and Buddists, and Pagans who have some resentment toward the transgender community. Unfortunately, for Christians like me who do care about our transgender friends, the nasty Christians are the ones giving us a bad name.

    Gwen Fry says:

    Ian Matthew Lalama, thank you. Transgender is always an adjective modifying the noun.

    Peter Emuss says:

    Stephanie Marshall – What I was trying to say, only better.

    Alexandra Simmons – -I believe what he’s saying is that “Religious Right” generally encompasses fundamental/evangelical Christians, but it doesn’t account for every person in opposition to transgender or LGBTQ rights as a whole. The whole Judeo-Christian spectrum (i.e., Judaism, Christianity, and Islam) has a variety of sects/denominations that fall between outright opposition and enthusiastic support. Secular people have varying levels of support as well–just because your “atheist, skeptic, and Oasis” group is “fine with them” doesn’t mean that all atheists are. Please note that Mr. Scott didn’t say he is part of any particular religion. Responding that he specifically “used the bible (sic) to support slavery[…]” etc. is another jump in conclusion, and a defensive one at that. I understand your frustration with the groups that do use the Bible to support bigotry, but you’re jumping down the wrong throat.

    Peter Emuss says:

    Alexandra Simmons – I don’t think you can say that there does not exist a single atheist on the planet who is a bigoted arse. I can name a few that I know personally. People are people and some of us are awful, in every group. Quite happy that you don’t know any in your network, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t any out there.

    Dallas Scott – care to give some examples? The atheist, skeptic, and Oasis (link below, it’s a growing network) group I run/ am part of are all fine with them. Sure, a few of us might be a bit personally uncomfortable, but making people feel like they don’t belong on this earth is strictly a religious right thing. Same with gay marriage, etc etc. You used to the bible to support slavery and condemn mixed race marriage. You have always been on the wrong side of history. http://www.peoplearemoreimportant.org/

    Dallas Scott transgendered isnt a word. You dont call black people blackened or mexicans mexicaned. Its transgender people

    Dallas Scott says:

    While I certainly support transgender people and their rights, my question is why is it that something coming against them has to be because of religious people? Not only religious people believe things like that transgendered people are a problem or a blight. Some times you have to look at regular non-religious people also. There are plenty of atheist and agnostic person as well as people of other religions who do not believe transgender people should exist. Again, having said this… I fully support transgendered people., so please do not start yelling at me and telling me I’m a homophobe or a twisted asshole who doesn’t believe in the rights of others

    Dallas Scott at a loss for why you are being so hateful towards people whose rights you claim to care about.

    Dallas Scott says:

    Also at a loss as to why a canadian is worried about the lesgislation in an American state

    Dallas Scott says:

    Christopher Houston Are you implying that the entire state of Arkansas has issues with trans persons? We don’t. I personally had several friends who are trans (female and male) and am involved with a group that promotes acceptence of trans persons. I am certain I am not the only one in the state who is not at issue with trans-America.

    Dallas Scott says:

    Marie Little That was a stupid comment plain and simple! What I was saying is that the transpeople of Arkansas are free to enter the bathroom of thier choice.

    Dallas Scott says:

    Mattie Stringer I yelled at people? I doubt any of the states you listed will effectively shut down business from Arkansas. If you like your chicken McNuggets (they come from Arkansas), Walmart, Tyson chicken and Tyson products, JB Hunt is based here and does a vast amount of the product shipping nation-wide. Do you see what I am saying? My issue is that anyone would wish hardship on a group of people for the actions of others. Do you imply that the voters of Arkansas knew the government would attempt such a ludicris action? Oh… the very people y’all are trying to be supportive of (transgender). we have a goodly number here. so i guess what you are saying is that they should suffer even greater hardships because of the fools in office? That’s like telling them that it is thier fault because they live here, but if they move… then the whole thing is moot! So, I am a little confused about what good it wold do for the transgender population of Arkansas for the state to experience further financial hardship.

    Dallas Scott says:

    Katherine Renee Brinson actually what my bathroom statement referred to is that trans persons can enter the bathroom of thier choice. Not that there are bathrooms which are specifically designated for trans people. Its like the bar I go to… You use whichever of the 2 bathrooms you want to use, no problem. That is what i was trying to relay.

    Dallas Scott part of the problem with your opinion, and only part is the comment you made about transgender specific bathrooms. Really? Did history teach you nothing. There were whites only everything but I guess that’s ok since it saved someone from unnecessary oppression and of harassment. No individual bathrooms are needed. I have NO interest in Arkansas wouldn’t be caught dead there but I do believe that striking out at their economic structure as a form of punishment is indeed well justified IF they pass this. I’m already very careful about what I purchase and where it comes from. If a company is against me or anyone LGBT then I have no need to support them financially for a product. It’s simple

    Dallas Scott Being “intolerant” of intolerance is not wrong. You are implying those of us who are angry at people who are transphobic are being judgemental. That is stupid.

    Dallas Scott The PEOPLE of Arkansas are resposnible for the gov’t and its actions; therefore, you must bear the brunt of their decisions. I’m sorry people will suffer, but don’t blame the people who simply don’t want to buy goods from people who hate them; blame the PEOPLE you voted for. If you can’t understand this very simple concept, then you’re just a troll. And yes, soon Arkansas will suffer enormous economic consequences. Its not just a boycott from people; larger states like California, NY, and PA will not allow any business with the state, neither will the NCAA and many companies. So, stop yelling at the people on this board and stop this bill from happening. Then, the consequences won’t happen. This is how demoicracy works.

    Marie Little says:

    Dallas Scott So, vote them out. While they are in power, self preservation tells me to not go there! I am not suicidal.

    Marie Little says:

    Dallas Scott I see. They have ‘trans washrooms’. Did anyone ask for those? Do they also have ‘coloured washrooms’?

    Dallas Scott I hear what you’re saying, but these legislators are VOTED in. Over and over. Because of all the progressives??�

    Dallas Scott says:

    Julie River Byrnesmith I suggest that you are the moron. I did not defend the legislature of Arkansas. I defended the people who live in the state. I do not think it is appropriate to wish the populace of the state to have economic hardship over what some people in a government office do. If you agree that everyone in Arkansas should suffer because of these people then that strikes me as the true definition of a moron. You fall in the category of judgmental assholes.

    Dallas Scott You’re a moron. To defend Arkansas’s attitude towards gay rights you point towards their recognition of same-sex marrage, which was forced on them by a Supreme Court decision, and that transgender people can use the appropriate restrooms, which is exactly what one of these laws is threatening to take away.

    Dallas Scott Boy, you are full of shit today.

    Dallas Scott says:

    The state is already plagued with low incoe and hardship. nice for you to wish that they experince more drastic financial issues as a whole because of what you read about some LEGISLATORS (which may or may not even be true). This state is progressive. They recognize and perform same sex marriage, have bathrooms for transgender persons to use without being subject to intolerence, and in the town (they call it a city) in which I live, there is a thriving LGBT community. I ask you please to try not wishing evil upon others in the name of acceptance. Its like saying, “Love everyone! Except those people… I don’t like the way the govenment in thier state does things, so they are all evil!”

    I totally agree….that makes zero sense

    Definitely the stupidest shit I’ve ever heard! Republic government is completely ignorant!

    His presidency allows those stupids to come out and speak up to show stupid people do exist.

    Micha Angela cats needing frying pans actually makes better sense! lol

    Robin Grant says:

    I think it is weird that the raping of a 14 year old is the 1st thing that comes to his mind….does he think alot about that???

    Oliver Carpenter I think he is internalizing some repressed pedophilia. Sick IMHO that he would even think of such a thing. Besides the court order we have to get to change our birth certificate now would surely make that impossible. No he is using a sick and perverted scare tactic to gain sympathetic support from the uneducated.

    Heather Kallinger he basically is saying that if we think we are what we identify as than what’s stopping someone as identifying as a 14 year old to rape a 14 year old.. He’s practically saying that identifying as the gender we feel rather than what we were assigned is as fake as someone identifying as a 14 year old to fuck a 14 year old. I want to know what this politician has done that fucking a 14 year old even crossed his mind

    No. It’s real. You’ve just got to fight for it. Never is it just ‘given’.

    Well, it’s Arkansas. They have a history of raping, (marrying), 14 year old girls there. 😉

    Marie Little says:

    That is a crock – and you know it.

    Clarissa Harings please can you not use “normal” in place of cis.

    Glenda Crump says:

    Clarissa, I have also thought about this scenario happening…besides Pedophiles don’t obey the rules so these stupid laws to ban Transgender people from using the bathroom they identify with is Not going to stop a criminal.

    Ryan Frye says:

    What? I don’t think that makes as much sense as you think it does.

    5 bucks says if a trans woman went in the same pool topless though they would lose thier minds….

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