ARKANSAS (KFSM) – The brother of Rep. Charlie Collins, R-Fayetteville, wrote a letter opposing Collins’ vote on a measure (Senate Bill 202) that passed the House and Senate prohibiting future civil rights ordinances.
The letter, written by Donald Collins on Feb. 14, is described as a “letter to the Arkansas GLBT Community and their extended families and friends.” Donald Collins said he wrote the letter on his one-year wedding anniversary with his husband.
In the letter, Donald Collins said SB202 blocks all cities and counties in the state from enacting anti-discrimination laws that protect LGBT people.
“My brother and the other Arkansas legislators who voted for SB 202 chose to move their state backward with a bigoted, hurtful bill that by [Sen. Bart ] Hester’s own admission is a reactionary one in the face of growing acceptance and political power of the LGBT community,” the letter states.
In the letter, Donald Collins asks Gov. Asa Hutchinson to veto SB 202. He also says he hopes his brother understands the votes he makes are not just political, but they affect people in ways he couldn’t imagine because he’s never had to deal with the “oppression of a society that treats you different because of who you are attracted to and who you love.”
To read the full letter, click here.
Charlie Collins responded to his brother’s letter on his personal Facebook page, saying he’s glad both of them live in a country where they can express their views freely.
He also said he loves his brother and sister (both of whom are gay), but he will continue to defend his vote on SB 202. He referenced Fayetteville’s own civil rights ordinance, which was eventually repealed by Fayetteville voters. Charlie Collins said in his Facebook post that SB 202 prevents “the kind of overreach that was pursued in Ordinance 119.”
In closing, Charlie Collins said he respected his brother’s differing views on the issue.