It’s a sad picture – a photograph taken of a couple determined to make life miserable for a segment of our community for reasons I can’t quite understand.
It was taken seven years ago at a city council meeting during discussion of Eureka Springs’ Domestic Partnership Registry that eventually passed.
These same people are back, and again determined, this time with outside help and money, to overturn our anti-discrimination ordinance.
And once again I’m puzzled, because I can’t understand their fear.
It’s difficult to share our fears. It makes us vulnerable, these intimate feelings – feelings we don’t want to share with ourselves, never mind our perceived enemies.
I own my own home and therefore will never have to fear being kicked out from under my roof for sharing my bed with another man.
I’m self-employed and never have to worry that I might lose my job because I was perceived too effeminate.
But I do fear that I, or a loved one, could be refused medical treatment from a doctor, nurse or EMT because they say it goes against their religious beliefs – or suffer the humiliation of being barred from a lunch counter, denied a loan, refused a new set of tires, a birthday cake for my partner or a coffin, simply for being gay.
The LGBT community is no stranger to fear, and I doubt anyone gay, lesbian, bi-sexual or transgender has not been a victim of oppression or marginalized for just being true to themselves.
So what is the other side afraid of? What do they think they gain, or lose, by rabidly going against us in our fight for equality? Surely it’s more than just the issue of bathrooms for the transgendered.
Contrary to what they may think, we are not out to get them, take over their town or take down their religion. What we want are just the same equal protections their families take for granted – nothing less and nothing more.
This fear and loathing, coming from the other side, and its “love the sinner hate the sin” rhetoric, are disingenuous at best.
Tell me honestly what you feel and fear and maybe we can have an honest conversation that just might turn those frowns upside down.