Look at these Duggars. What a kooky family, right? Backwards but harmless. Entertaining until the end.
Except we have seen in recent months how horrible certain members of the family really are. Recently, it’s gone past the Duggars making sexist and transphobic remarks. They are putting their money where their mouth is. Money that they receive from TLC. Money that they get because their show is so highly rated. Money that they have because we watch.
It is here that I would like to point out where the Duggars live- Tontitown, AR. This is pretty much equidistant from both the Walmart Home Office and the University of Arkansas and is famous for it’s annual Grape Festival and local winemaking. It is not, however, within the city limits of Fayetteville, Arkansas. Fayetteville is a college town and a (somewhat) liberal dot in the sea of red that is Northwest Arkansas. It is also the first city in the state to pass an anti-discrimination ordinance protecting LGBTQ people from various forms of discrimination, mainly housing and employment.
On this past election day, a Duggar-supported, anti-ADO candidate took a city council seat. Another one came close. The last still has a chance. On November 25th, Fayetteville will hold a city council runoff election between Adella Gray, a sitting councilwoman who voted to pass the anti-discrimination ordinance, and Paul Phaneuf, who received $4,000 from the Duggar family. He also wrote this gem of a blog post (note: he has since deleted the blog; this link is to a PDF of the post) a few years ago and is now explaining it away. $4,000 doesn’t sound like that much when we hear about senate races costing $100 million, but in a city council race in a city of around 80,000 people, it’s a lot. Please do not support entertainment produced by people who have proven themselves to be racist, homophobic, transphobic, sexist, misogynistic, and anti-semitic. By giving them our views we are lining their hateful pockets.
If you would like to donate to a campaign to support Fayetteville’s anti-discrimination ordinance, which will go to a popular vote in December, please check out Keep Fayetteville Fair.
UPDATE: The Duggars failed at one of their goals when Gray was re-elected in her runoff election, despite the financial backing the Duggars gave to her opponent. Unfortunately, the voters of Fayetteville ultimately voted to overturn the anti-discrimination ordinance.
UPDATE 2: In February 2015 the Arkansas legislature passed a law banning cities and towns from passing anti-discrimination ordinances similar to what the Fayetteville city council passed. Since then the town of Eureka Springs passed (and failed to overturn in a popular vote) an anti-discrimination ordinance in defiance of this law.