Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, received an award from the Human Rights Campaign last night and his speech indicates why the culture of his company might not be a good fit for Arkansas. (You remember Little Rock recently spurned an invitation to bid on a new Amazon HQ. How right city cheerleaders were in saying Arkansas might be a bad fit for Amazon. They seemed to not realize this could apply to other companies, too.)

Bezos lauded same-sex marriage. He said more people support gay and trans rights than ever before. “I believe that the idea of equality is ingrained deeply within all of us,” he said in accepting the award from the country’s leading advocate for LGBTQ rights.

Well. What Bezos said is undoubtedly true about many people in Arkansas. And it is perhaps also true that, though polls show the state trails in acceptance of equality, it is getting better. But …. as a matter of law, the state has recently made our legal climate even MORE discriminatory against LGBT people by laws that protect discrimination in employment, housing and public services. State legislators and the state attorney general (with no public opposition from other elected Republican officials of which I’m aware) are currently fighting in court to PREVENT equal treatment of LGBT people under the law in the city of Fayetteville. And they are proud of it.


Is it possible that legal endorsement of discrimination is not a development tool, except perhaps for people we might not want?