Press Room

January 23, 2012

Category: Marriage, State Advocacy, Arkansas

HRC Calls on Arkansas Newspaper to Drop Anti-Gay Weddings Announcement Policy

Joins Center for Equality in Asking Newspaper to Stop Treating Same-Sex Couples Like Second-Class Citizens

01/23/2012

Washington – The Human Rights Campaign – the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, is joining with the Center for Equality in Arkansas and calling on the Northwest Arkansas Times to drop their discriminatory policy of refusing to run the engagement and wedding announcements of same-sex couples. Recently, the paper rejected an announcement submitted by Cody Renegar and Thomas Staed.

The newspaper says it will only publish the announcements of couples who can legally wed. Arkansas law does not permit loving, committed same-sex couples to marry.

“We see archaic policies like this in newspapers across the country, and it’s a reminder of how discrimination against LGBT people can truly impact every aspect of our lives,” said HRC President Joe Solmonese. “It’s unfortunate enough that the Arkansas government refuses to recognize the relationships of all LGBT Arkansans as legitimate, but it’s insulting that a local newspaper won’t publish a simple wedding announcement. The Northwest Arkansas Times needs to get with the times and update their policies.”

“LGBT Arkansans face discrimination nearly every day – in their communities, places of worship, and their workplaces,” said Jason Rogers with the Center for Equality. “Same-sex couples can and do marry in places across the country with the identical goal of straight couples – building a future together and making a lifelong commitment to the person they love most. Updating their policy to reflect this would send a strong message that Arkansas is indeed home to a vibrant LGBT community, and its members shouldn’t ever be made to feel less worthy of the same dignity and rights everyone else receives.”

A majority of Americans support marriage equality and feel the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act should be repealed. View the Change.org petition, and learn more about the laws and protections – or lack thereof – impacting LGBT people in Arkansas.

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.

The NWA Center for Equality (or, affectionately, "the Center") is a 501(c)3 nonprofit community center focusing as an advocate and service organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) equality  throughout the Northwest Arkansas region.

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