IS DUKE AGAINST GAY COUPLES ADOPTING…?

He may be if the signature on a petition for An Act Providing That An Individulal Cohabitating Outside Of A Valid Marriage May Not Adopt Or Be A Foster Parent Of A Child Less Than Eightenn Years Old. KnowThyNeighbor has the PDF of the signed petition. Tom Lang writes:
Mike Duke [Walmart's CEO] of 16 Pinnacle Drive, Rogers, Arkansas with the birthdate of 12/07/49 appears on a petition sheet for the Anti-Gay Arkansas Adoption and Foster Ban or Act 1. ...[W]here one may find the alleged signature of Mr. Duke and the check mark put on by the State of Arkansas indicating that this name was verified and counted for the advancement and ultimate success of the anti-gay legislation in Arkansas in 2008 otherwise known as Act 1.
Walmart has a checkered past with homosexuals as we've noted here before. But, to my knowledge, this is the first time someone of Duke's position has gone on the record promoting legislation driven by such ignorance and superstition. Jeff Hess: Have Coffee Will Write.

13 Responses to “IS DUKE AGAINST GAY COUPLES ADOPTING…?”

  1. Duke’s personal stance on that issue is irrelevant provided it does not lead him to make inappropriate (read costly or unlawful) decisions in his role as CEO.

  2. Jeff Hess says:

    Shalom Someone,

    That’s true. You’re absolutely right.

    As long as Duke does not use his wealth or influence derived from Walmart to further the agenda of those backing the discriminatory bill then it is no business of those who shop at Walmart what he believes.

    But if he does use his personal wealth or influence in a way that causes American citizens to be denied the opportunity to participate in our democratic society, then it quickly becomes an issue for those who help fund his beliefs through their purchases.

    What really frosts my cupcake here is not so much the denial of rights to those who would be considered as foster parents or candidates for adoption (although I cannot minimize the importance of that part of this discussion) but rather the children trapped in public agencies when they could be living in loving, supportive homes.

    Gay couples are no more nor no less likely to be unfit foster or adoptive parents than their heterosexual equivalents. The only question that must be considered in this debate is the welfare of the child.

    B’shalom,

    Jeff

  3. UncleBob says:

    Wow. Like, wow. I thought, in this country, we totally celebrated an individual’s right to express themselves and to petition the government…

  4. Jeff Hess says:

    Shalom Bob,

    Notice that I’m not telling Duke to shut up. I’m a rabid advocate of the First Amendment. I do have the right to yell fire in a crowded theater.

    What I am advocating is that Duke’s free speech must be met with more free speech in an open national dialogue.

    We are all about the conversation.

    B’shalom,

    Jeff

  5. One more thing to note: This doesn’t only impact homosexuals, but also unmarried heterosexuals cohabitating.

  6. Jeff Hess says:

    Shalom Someone,

    Ah, unintended consequences.

    B’shalom,

    Jeff

  7. UncleBob says:

    There’ss nothing wrong with wanting a conversation, but there’s a right wayand a wrong way. Duke’s personal beliefs, whatever they may be, are his own. Just like my beliefs are mine and Someone’s beliefs are his/her’s. To take one individual’s beliefs and hold them up as an example of what ‘the company’ stands for is unfair critisim agains the company and those who work for the company and don’t believe that. When Walmart gets into the business of adopting out babies and Duke makes a company policy that says “Walmart will not let GBLT couples adopt”, then it’d be the right time to move this conversation to an anti-Walmart blog.

    Just my opinion, of course.

  8. Jeff Hess says:

    Shalom Bob,

    I have to disagree.

    Duke draws millions of dollars out of the Walmart coffers in salary, benefits and stock options. That money is the direct result of ordinary citizens shopping in Walmart stores.

    When Duke then uses that money to further personal agendas that I, and others, see as detrimental to the good order of society his actions become part of the public debate.

    In 2006 I applauded Walmart’s engagement with the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce and decried subsequent boycotts by groups opposed to people not like them.

    You can’t engage in a conversation with someone who never announces their world views. If a bigot never expresses nor acts on their bigotry are they a bigot? Listen for the one-hand clapping.

    My tolerance has always ended at the tip of my nose. But others expect the world to conform to their reality, regardless of a lack of evidence that non-conformity harms anything other than their own views.

    B’shalom,

    Jeff

  9. Jeff, earlier I tried to point out that this impacts unmarried heterosexual couples as well, but the site went crazy on me.

  10. Jeff Hess says:

    Shalom Someone,

    I found the comment in the spam filter (along with one of my own) and restored it. Thanks for the alert.

    B’shalom,

    Jeff

  11. Who says they are unintended? I would think that’s in line with the agenda of people who support things like this.

  12. […] was taken to task recently for suggesting that Mike Duke’s alleged support of an Arkansas bill prohibiting […]

  13. Jeff Hess says:

    Shalom Someone,

    You may very well be correct, but I was thinking of the negative consequences the people behind the bill don’t see coming at them.

    Here in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, we passed a domestic registry law. The anti-gay forces, led by a city councilman, attacked the registry but came up against a facet they had not anticipated: the number of elderly, heterosexual couples living together without the benefit of marriage because of the financial penalty they would receive if they married and lost part of their social security checks.

    In the same way, this group in Arkansas, by expanding their legislative ban to include single, heterosexual foster parents and adopters, greatly increase the number of people likely to oppose the legislation.

    B’shalom,

    Jeff

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