My name is Jay Phillips and my wife Laura Phillips and I are from Fayetteville, AR. You may recall our son Will, who took refused to say the Pledge of Allegiance due to the lack of “Liberty and Justice for all”, especially for LGBT folks. Since then, we’ve made a lot of strides towards fulfilling this aspiration. However, in every part of the Nation, we have much work yet to do and are fighting daily for the rights of all.
Now meet our friend Cody Renegar. He survived a difficult childhood and the foster system to serve in the Army, establish himself as a well known and sought after stylist, writer, and charitable worker. He's as good a man as he is a father & in June, he is going to marry his dearest love, Thomas. A short while ago, he asked to have his wedding announcement in our local paper the NWA Times and was told that the policy of the paper is to only print wedding announcements for marriages legally recognized by the State of Arkansas. Since he told me of this, Laura and I have been working with Cody and many others to help change this discriminatory policy by the newspaper and it’s publisher Rusty Turner. After discussing the matter with Mr. Turner, I am convinced this policy will only be changed when the people let him know how much it matters to them.
It is my opinion that Mr. Turner would like to see the policy changed and lacks only the support necessary to justify his papers elimination of the policy. Please help us to help him help his paper step into the 21st century and end a policy that once upon a time would have discriminated against interacial marriages as well. By doing so, you’ll help the cause of Equality and ensure that Cody & Thomas get the wedding they deserve.
When a local same sex couple tried to post a wedding announcement in your paper they were denied because of your paper’s policy to only print wedding announcements for “legal marriages in the State of Arkansas’. Sidestepping the obvious fact that one need not have a marriage license from one’s State to be engaged NOR to have a wedding, this is a paltry excuse for blatant discrimination has no place in the America of the 21st century!
I urge you to reconsider this antiquated and discriminatory policy and by doing so, help to tear down the curtain of silence and repression which treats Same Sex Couples as 2nd Class Citizens!