The Dreaded Ordinance

The Dreaded Ordinance
Dane La Born

Dane La Born

I’ve spoken a few times now about Fayetteville’s civil rights ordinance. I covered the first city council meeting, where Sarah Marsh was booed. I live-facebooked the entirety of the 10-hour follow-up meeting. I even wrote a bit about how shaming the opposition is not OK. This is going to be a little different. I’m going to give you my opinion, and I hope it counts for something.

I’ve lived in this city, my wonderful Fayetteville, since I was 4 years old. I had time on this Earth prior to that, four years of it in fact, but it’s Fayetteville that I was raised in, and Fayetteville that has helped shape me into the man I am today. I left for a little more than a year, and I toured this wonderful planet of ours and saw and did the things young people are supposed to. Never for a minute did I consider staying in any of the places I went; not London, not Chicago, not even Seattle or Portland, Ore. It’s Fayetteville that has and will always hold my heart.

When I talk to people who have never been here, and express my love for the city, the same questions always pop up. They mostly center around Fayetteville being a part of the Bible belt, and how forward thinking people can live in a city when hate is so commonplace for the rest of the region. The answer is always easy; that’s not Fayetteville.

Fayetteville has always been a bastion of the great parts of the south. An artistically driven community that is accepting of people from all walks of life, this is the town I grew up in. I never learned that gay was a bad word, I learned to accept anyone who was different than I was. When I was in high school, FHS was the only school in the entire state that had a gay/straight alliance, and I was an active part of it. There was bullying. I have been called faggot, and I’ve seen my gay friends on the receiving end of that hate speech as well.

However, when Fred Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church came to protest FHS for having a gay/straight alliance, those same kids who called me and others faggot were out there, blocking their protest, shouting “Get out!” and “We don’t think that way!” and other things of that sort. Bullying was one thing, but when it came down to defending the same kids they made fun of, every bully I knew was right there with the rest of the student body, fighting the hate.

This city is an accepting, wonderful city. Sadly, though, there are citizens here not given the same protection that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 put in place for other minorities. LGBT people can still be fired from their jobs or evicted from their homes just because their boss or landlord doesn’t agree with who they are, and — have no doubt people — this isn’t about personal choices. It’s not a choice to love who you love, you just do it, and it shouldn’t matter.

The Duggar family, infamous for pumping out more kids than can possibly be healthy for an ordinary human being, have been fighting this ordinance since its inception. It was actually Michelle Duggar’s little robo-call that rallied the troops in favor of the ordinance to come and show their support. It was also the Duggar family that donated $10,000 to certain city council candidates in order to insure that the council’s interests laid with the people. Here’s the big thing, though: The Duggar’s do not live here.They are not citizens of this city, and as far as I am concerned, have zero business sticking their hateful noses in our affairs.

I normally don’t go off like this, but I listened to that woman equate being transgender with pedophilia, and that is so far from being OK with me that I cannot sit and stay silent. The bathroom argument is their go-to for how terrible the ordinance will be, saying that it will give sexual predators the power to disguise themselves as the opposite sex and prey on children in the bathroom. This belief is beyond unfounded, and it is so hateful and bigoted I don’t even want to give all the reasons why it’s so wrong. If you believe that, please, please go and speak to someone who actually knows what they are talking about, because believing something that heinous and hateful is absolutely equal to believing that all black men are thugs, or that all native Americans are white-man-hating alcoholics.

On Dec. 9, Fayetteville is holding a special election to decide the fate of the civil rights ordinance. Please, anyone out there who has not been let in on what is happening, or who doesn’t see the need in voting, I am begging you to GO AND VOTE! Never has there been a more important election in the city of Fayetteville. The wording on the ballot is a little strange, so keep in mind that if you are FOR the civil rights ordinance, vote against the repeal. Do not let this city fall into the rhythms of the South as a whole. Let Fayetteville remain the bastion of love and equality that we stand as today. This is my city, and it’s been my city since I was a kid, and we absolutelyhave to have this civil rights ordinance. We have to. There is no other way to cut it, guys. Fayetteville has to remain fair.


Please, keep Fayetteville the wonderful city she is. Do not let hate win out.

Categories: Commentary