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Mike Beebe on Civil Rights

Democratic Governor

 


No gay marriage; no civil unions; maybe gay adoption

Mike Beebe on Tuesday night became the first sitting governor of the state to speak to a gay rights group. Beebe, who won his second term in 2010, addressed the Stonewall Democrats in a packed church hall of more than 200 people.

In the past, Beebe and the gay community have not agreed on many issues, including adoption rights and gay marriage, and the same was true on Tuesday night. "I think marriage is ... as defined by the law," he said, saying unions should be between a man and a woman. "That's something we disagree on," he said.

When asked if he thought marriage or civil union laws would ever become legal in Bible Belt Arkansas, Beebe said no. Beebe told the group his opinions had changed over the years. In 2006, he was opposed to gays becoming foster parents. When the issue reemerged in 2008, Beebe changed his viewpoint and said there should not be a blanket provision. The determining factor, he said, should be in the best interest of the child.

Source: Suzi Parker reporting for Reuters , Jun 27, 2011

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