Update 04/01/15 11:15am

On April 1, 2015, in Politics, by robertbacon

(by: Bailey Bibb) Asa 1

Gov. Hutchinson said this morning that he is sending HB 1228 back to the judiciary committee in hopes that this bill can directly reflect the federal RFRA. While this is a step in the right direction, we ask Gov. Hutchinson to sign an executive order preventing discrimination and harassment on account of race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, military or veteran status, or disability status. It is IMPERATIVE that you contact your legislators and tell them discrimination is not an Arkansas value, and the people of Arkansas deserve better.


Yellow Rocket Concepts Position on Arkansas HB 1228

On April 1, 2015, in Politics, by robertbacon

31 March 2015


Yellow Rocket Concepts
Position on Arkansas HB 1228

“Our core principle at Yellow Rocket Concepts is to treat every customer, team member and associate, and member of our community with absolute fairness, dignity and respect. That commitment allows us the opportunity every day to serve our community with pride. And we strongly believe that this welcoming of diversity in our customer base, and in our team who serves them, has yielded bottom line benefits both in our businesses, and in the communities we serve.

The passage today of HB 1228 stands in stark contrast to those values of diversity and inclusion that are at the core of our businesses, and their success. Likewise, as a group that depends upon visitors and conventions to our state for a significant part of its revenue, we are strongly opposed to legislation that moves us backwards as a state, rather than forward, and that threatens the growth of our commerce from out of state sources.

HB 1228 is a threat to the diversity of our state, and to the core values that make us proud to be Arkansans. We respectfully ask Governor Hutchinson to veto this legislation.”

Scott McGehee
Executive Chef / Partner

ZAZA Fine Salad & Wood Oven Pizza Co.
BIG ORANGE Burgers Salads Shakes
LOCAL LIME Tacos & Margaritas
LOST 40 Brewing


The Stonewall Democratic Caucus of Arkansas is outraged by the passing of HB 1228 with the adoption of all three amendments on the House floor today. This bill passed even though the Little Rock Chamber of Commerce, Axciom, Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau, Levi Strauss & Co., Gap Inc., Walmart, Apple and many other smaller local merchants vehemently oppose its passage. The refusal of Representative Bob Ballinger to entertain any equality amendments demonstrates the clear discriminatory intent of HB 1228.

We want to thank all who voted against HB 1228. We applaud and thank the valiant efforts of Representatives Eddie Armstrong, Camille Bennett, and Clarke Tucker to amend the bill to reflect the Arkansas values of equality. We also want to thank Mayor Mark Stodola for his objection against HB 1228.

We implore Governor Hutchinson to veto HB 1228 and send a message that Arkansas is open for business and equality.


A message from the SDC

On March 31, 2015, in Politics, by robertbacon

(by: Bailey Bibb)

First off, let us start by thanking each and every one of you for your enthusiasm and hard work to make our state a better place! You’re making all the difference!

Our event Sunday was a massive success with over 750 people in attendance! It was great to see a room (and an overflow patio… and the sidewalk) packed to the gills with fair minded Arkansans. Special thanks to all of our distinguished speakers that explained the law in a way that non-lawyers could understand and ensured us that those who understand and embrace the Golden Rule stand with equality! You are all credits to your respective professions and the state of Arkansas as a whole.

The enthusiasm at the Capitol and Governor’s Mansion yesterday was simply awe inspiring! With that being said it is of paramount importance that we remember to respect all of our elected officials, whether or not they support us. Hate does not drive out hate, only love can do that.

Let us finish by saying that we will fight the good fight from sun up to sun down and all hours in between, but we cannot do it alone. The next time you call or write a letter to our governor (whose mailing address is 500 Woodlane Street, Suite 250, Little Rock, AR 72201 and phone number is 501-682-2345) invite your friends and family to do so as well! Thank you for your hard work and support, let’s keep on keeping on!

And here’s our logo for you to attach to your letter to the Governor when you write that up!
(on your PC mouse, right click and then click “Save Image As)


Blue Hand Group



On March 29, 2015, in Politics, by robertbacon
Contact your legislators and let them know how you feel about the passage of HB 1228. If your legislator is listed as being one that voted against discrimination call them and let them know you appreciate them standing up for what is right. If they voted for it call them and explain to them how this is bad for Arkansas. If they didn’t vote, voted “present” or “not voting” encourage them to do the right thing and stand against this bill. Listed below we have the Senate and House votes on the bill, if you’re unaware of who your legislators are click the link below and contact them accordingly. Thank you for all your hard work, together WE WILL make Arkansas better.



call to action 2


call to action 1


Thank you! Nearly 700 times…

On March 29, 2015, in Politics, by robertbacon

Thank you, thank you, thank you, to everyone that came out to South on Main today! (Nearly 700 people showed up!) Together we WILL make the difference in this state! It is your continued commitment and conviction that makes it all worthwhile.

(All photographs below are the property of and copyright held by Barb Kampbell Photography – all rights reserved 2015)


SDC Meeting 032915

sdc meeting 3 032915 sdc meeting 2 032915




Message from the President

On March 26, 2015, in Politics, by robertbacon

Statement regarding HB 1228
From: Arkansas Democratic Caucus president, Tippi McCullough

The Stonewall Democratic Caucus of Arkansas’ mission is to achieve equal rights for all Arkansans regardless of sexual orientation and/or gender identity. The last few months have proved to be a challenge to say the least. Arkansas is moving backwards in regard to minority rights in general and especially the rights of LGBT Arkansans.

First the misleading, discriminatory SB 202 became Act 137. Now, we are past disappointed in regard to the reintroduction and passage out of committee of HB 1228. We are saddened and quite frankly let down that Democrat Senator David Burnett saw fit to flip his vote to guarantee that this bill would get out of committee and eventually arrive at the governors desk.

HB 1228 shows how out of touch the Arkansas Legislature is with swiftly changing attitudes towards the LGBT community and big business and commerce. Over 50% of Americans are in support of same gender marriages and do not approve of discriminatory employment and housing practices that target the LGBT community. Not only do a majority of Americans not support discriminatory legislation that target LGBT but also multi-billion dollar businesses including Walmart and Apple have come out against HB 1228. If and when HB 1228 passes, the legislators have successfully alienated extremely talented young Arkansans who have contacted us and made it clear they refuse to live in a state that relegates the LGBT community to second class citizenship.

We are also disappointed that Rep. Ballinger has failed to keep his commitment to debate the Stonewall Democrats regarding HB 1228 in an open forum to educate the public. The Stonewall Democrats have attempted numerous times to make arrangements with Rep. Ballinger to schedule the debate but he has yet to respond. The last open forum that Stonewall Democrats hosted was standing room only with over 200 citizens in attendance. The public not only wants open discussion and explanation for HB1228 but deserves that open and honest discussion. So again, Stonewall Democrats are extending an invitation to any legislator who supports and plans on voting for HB 1228 and Governor Hutchinson to an open forum and public debate to explain their support for this discriminatory bill.

We would like to thank Senators Chesterfield, Elliott, and Johnson for their votes against HB 1228 and their strong stance for equality.


AR House Bill # 1950 to amend AR Civil Rights Act

On March 9, 2015, in Politics, by robertbacon
Blue Hand Group
The Arkansas Stonewall Democratic Caucus is proud that a brave legislator, Representative Greg Leding, has responded to ours and the community’s call to present a bill (HB# 1950) to amend the Arkansas Civil Rights Act to add five simple words: sexual orientation and gender identity.
After the introduction of SB 202 which passed and HB 1228, the Stonewall Democratic Caucus rallied to host a town meeting made up of a panel of legislators to discuss and educate the public on the two discriminatory bills. Two hundred people showed up on a Sunday afternoon in extremely rainy and cold weather to participate in the discussion. We also launched our new logo with the 5 simple words on it to achieve added awareness.Arkansas is experiencing a time where the LGBT community continues to face discriminatory bills being introduced and passed. A time where only one city in Arkansas has a nondiscrimination ordinance which will be moot after Act 137 goes into effect. Basically a time where LGBT Arkansans feel not only disenfranchised and unequal but also targeted by legislation that ensures no legal recourse when discriminated against. In the rest of the country, thirty seven states have legalized gay marriage, over 300 Republican leaders have endorsed gay marriage, and polls continue to show that a majority of Americans believe that gay marriage
should be legal. Many successful cities such as Orlando, Shreveport, Starkville, Atlanta and Dallas have passed non-discrimination ordinances that have helped their city’s businesses grow and be successful. The vast majority of Fortune 500 companies have also joined the fight for equality by adopting LGBT non-discrimination policies including Apple and Walmart who have also spoken out against discriminatory bills such as SB 202. Poll after poll shows America’s support of not just gay marriage but of gay rights, yet in Arkansas the LGBT community is under attack.
The South must not go through another time of discrimination. We were soberly reminded Saturday of another struggle as many walked across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama to commemorate the “Bloody Sunday” march of 1965. It is our hope that Arkansas continues to progress into a state that is welcoming and accepting of all people regardless of “race, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability…….”
Thank you, Representative Greg Leding for bravely stepping forward and giving us the hope of a better day where not only will all Arkansans be viewed as equal but will also be treated equally
in life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Thank you,

Tippi McCullough, president

Stonewall Democratic Caucus of Arkansas



 Tales from the south 030514Click play button below to listen!





A Statement from the president…

On February 25, 2015, in Politics, by robertbacon

Statement from AR Stonewall Democratic Caucus 2-25-15
President Tippi McCullough
Re: Defeat of HB1228

HB1228 is a thinly veiled effort to use religion to advance animus intent toward the LGBT community through the legislative process.

We are encouraged that the Judicial Committee voted against HB1228 but our efforts to expose the true animus intent of both SB202 and HB1228 continues.

We ask a legislator to bravely step forward and present a bill to amend the Arkansas Civil Rights Act. The true intent behind SB202 and HB1228 will be evident if a bill is introduced to add five simple words to the Arkansas Civil Rights Act: sexual orientation and gender identity.

If legislators vote no to add those five simple words, the tattered veil hiding the animus intent of SB202 and HB1228 will flutter away and the discriminatory intent will be in the open for all to see.


Town Hall Meeting…

On February 25, 2015, in Politics, by robertbacon

Press Release February 24, 2015

The Arkansas Stonewall Democratic Caucus will host a Town Hall Meeting to explain the legal and practical ramifications of SB202 The Intrastate Commerce Improvement Act and HB1228 The Conscience Protection Act and their impact on equality in the community. There will be a thirty minute panel discussion followed by a question and answer session from the public.

Panel: Senators Joyce Elliott
Senator David Johnson
Representative Warwick Sabin
Representative Clarke Tucker
City Director Kathy Webb

Date and Time: Sunday, March 1 from 4:00 – 5:00

Location: Arkansas Education Association
1500 W. 4th St. (Next to the Arkansas Capitol building)

Tickets: Free and open to the public


Below is information about the Tales from the South show AR Stonewall Democratic Caucus is sponsoring:

Two LGBT Shows Next Week on Tales from the South Radio Show

Little Rock, AR. February 24, 2015— In response to Arkansas’ discriminatory bill SB202, Tales from the South Radio Show will be having two “End Hate: True Stories Told by the LGBT Southerners Who Lived Them” shows: Tuesday evening, March 03 at the Arkansas Arts Center in Little Rock, and Wednesday evening, March 04 at The Oyster Bar in Little Rock. The live taping of the radio series is open to the public and will feature live music as well as the storytelling.

These special shows feature Arkansans who just happen to be part of the LGBT community and tell stories of discrimination, love, overcoming obstacles, having children, losing loved ones, and more. Tales’ goal in sharing these stories is to not only help people realize that the human experience is a universal one, but also show the world the other side of the South than the one being portrayed in the national and international media.

With the mission of giving all people a voice to share their stories, Tales from the South has partnered with Arkansas artist V.L. Cox and her “End Hate” conceptual art series “based on the labels once placed on doors, not that long ago, from our shameful past. These doors convey a message: to remind others of how dangerous and repressive the labels of discrimination can be, and how everyone deserves the right to walk through any and ALL doors with dignity and respect.” Cox’s “End Hate” series will be on display at both shows.

“Tales from the South” is a weekly NPR show now in its 10th year that features Southerners reading their own true stories in front of a live audience at various locally-owned restaurants and venues throughout Arkansas and the South. Tale’s home station is the University of Arkansas at Little Rock’s KUAR, and they are heard on multiple public radio stations across the country and satellite radio around the world. They are also syndicated by World Radio Network and are heard six times a week on WRN Europe, WRN Asia, and WRN Africa; twice a week on RTE, Ireland’s Public Broadcasting Service; and on Poland’s Public Broadcasting Network. In 2012 Tales became distributed by Public Radio Exchange and won PRX’s 2012 Zeitfunk Award for Most Licensed Debut Producer. In 2013 they won an Arkansas Governors’ Arts Award, were in the top 6 storytelling shows on Stitcher Smart Radio (with “This American Life,” “StoryCorp,” “The Moth,” “Risk!” and “Snap Judgment”), and received a 2014 Henry Award for Media Support from the Department of Arkansas Parks and Tourism. They recently partnered with NPR’s “Snap Judgment” and their stories are now heard there, too. Tales is included in The Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture, on the Arkansas Arts Council’s Arts on Tour Roster, and is in the processing of developing shows throughout the South. The show’s creator and producer Paula Martin Morell is on the Arkansas Arts Council’s Arts in Education roster and offers writing workshops to schools, hospitals, prisons, and more, culminating in aired shows. Tales is presented by Temenos Publishing and The Midnight Muse Writing Workshops, with additional support provided by The Oxford American Magazine, The Writers’ Colony at Dairy Hollow, UALR’s Department of Rhetoric and Writing, and the North Little Rock Visitors’ Bureau.

Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the door, plus the cost of dinner and drinks. Seating is very limited. Tickets can be purchased online at www.talesfromthesouth.com

The March 03 show is sponsored by the Stonewall Democratic Caucus of Arkansas.

Both shows will air within 7 days of taping, and podcasts will be available on Stitcher and the Tales from the South website.

Tales from the South, a radio show where southern writers bring their own true stories to life.

Article from Think Progress
Last week, both chambers of the Arkansas legislature passed a bill that would eliminate all local non-discrimination protections for LGBT Arkansans — legislation Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) has vowed to let become law without his signature. While citizens are imploring Hutchinson to change his mind and veto the bill once it reaches his desk, Arkansas’ business community has remained silent on the measure.

SB 202 would strip from local governments the power to protect LGBT citizens against employment, housing, public accommodations, as such protections go beyond existing state law. The text claims that this is to preserve “uniformity of law,” which it claims “benefits the businesses, organizations, and employers seeking to do business in the state and attracts new businesses, organizations, and employers to the state.”

Read the full article HERE

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