Michelle Duggar, matriarch of the 19 Kids & Counting clan, threw her support behind a city ordinance in Fayetteville, Arkansas, that ended protections for the LGBT population, and now the Arkansas legislature has followed suit, passing a similar law statewide.
According to Salon, a left-leaning news site, Duggar had recorded a robocall for supporters of the ordinance citing concerns over transgender bathroom rights, claiming that “males with past child predator convictions that claim they are female” would have a legal right to enter private areas reserved for women and girls.
This did not sit well with Salon. The news-and-views hub made sure to point out that in addition to the robocall, Michelle Duggar “donated $10,000 toward the campaigns of the three most outspoken opponents to Fayetteville’s new Civil Rights Administration ordinance.”
“The Duggars gave $2,000 to John La Tour, and $4,000 to both Joshua Crawford and Paul Phaenuef,” the Fayettevile Flyer reported October 31. “La Tour, Crawford, and Phaneuf have all said they oppose the ordinance and were each listed as contacts on a press release for Repeal 119.”
“We wanted to repeal the ordinance because we didn’t believe it made Fayetteville a fairer city or a freer city,” minister Duncan Campbell, the head of Repeal 119, told KFSM News. “It did just the opposite. It was called the Civil Rights Ordinance, but it was misnamed. It was an ordinance that actually took away civil rights and freedom from people.”
Arkansas’ GOP-led lawmaking houses agreed, passing a similar law in the Senate removing special protections. Today the Arkansas House of Representatives took it up, passing by an overwhelming majority of 57-20.
Governor Asa Hutchinson, also a Republican, said he would neither sign nor veto the law, thus paving the way for its going into effect, telling BuzzFeed that he had “the desire to prevent burdensome regulations on businesses across the state,” and that he also had concerns about “the loss of local control.”
These developments have mobilized a small, but spirited LGBT contention against Michelle Duggar and the Duggar Family.
There have been unsuccessful, yet ongoing attempts to get TLC to take the show off the air. There are also often death threats and verbal attacks on the family’s Facebook page.
For now, it appears that Michelle Duggar and her supporters have defeated the LGBT movement and its efforts to enact what it calls “anti-discrimination laws,” at least until a higher court can weigh in on the constitutional validity.
[Photo by Brendan Hoffman / Stringer / Getty Images]