A gay man in Arkansas has written an open letter to the state’s LGBT residents, informing them of a harmful piece of legislation that is supported by his brother, a state representative.
Donald Collins is urging Gov. Asa Hutchinson to veto SB 202, a bill recently approved by both the state’s Senate and House of Representatives that would prevent cities and counties from enacting or enforcing laws that ban discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
Collins’s brother, Charlie Collins, is a member of the House who voted for SB 202. In December he also lobbied for the repeal of an LGBT-inclusive antidiscrimination ordinance, which he called an “overreach,” in his hometown of Fayetteville, and voters did indeed repeal the ordinance.
The open letter was published online Valentine’s Day, which was also the one-year wedding anniversary for Donald Collins and his husband. In the text, Donald pointed out the strangeness of his brother’s actions, in light of his LGBT family members.
“What’s incredible to me is that my brother supported this bill even though he has a gay brother and a lesbian sister,” Donald remarked.
Donald called his brother “inconsiderate, hypocritical and rude” for seeking to deny rights to LGBT people, as Charlie is also attempting to secure a job for his daughter through the business connections of his lesbian sister.
Their sister works at a Fortune 100 company, where she “receives the company’s legal protections and benefits for herself, her wife and their two boys. These are the same types of anti-discrimination policies my brother campaigned to repeal,” he points out.
Donald notes that “my brother has a vote, but I have a voice.”
He encourages readers to contact Gov. Hutchinson and urge him to veto SB 202 and “create a bill that protects all workers from discrimination in the workplace, which will attract new workers and new companies, instead of repel them.”
“I can also hope that Charlie understands that the decisions he makes and the votes he takes are not just political, they are personal and they affect people in ways he couldn’t possible imagine because he’s never had to deal with the oppression of a society that treats you differently because of who you are attracted to and who you love,” he concludes.