Sarah Huckabee Sanders Appoints Homophobe to Arkansas Library Board

Author: Trudy Ring

Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders’s latest appointee to the State Library Board is a far-right activist who has claimed “activist teachers … are pushing homosexual pornography on minor children” and wants to defund public libraries that are challenging state censorship.

Jason Rapert is a former state senator who ran unsuccessfully for lieutenant governor last year. Like Sanders, he’s a Republican.

She appointed him to the library board November 20, the Arkansas Times reports. She also appointed another conservative, Shari Bales, with both Bales and Rapert succeeding board members whose terms have ended. But it’s Rapert who has been the most outspoken and drawn the most attention.

“Rapert generates controversy the way funerals bring on tears,” the Times notes.

In a lengthy post on X, formerly Twitter, after the November 7 election, he decried the Democratic Party and victories for abortion rights and transgender politicians. “Across the cousntry in elections yesterday, the Leftists in our nation through the #DemocratParty outworked the good people in America who work hard, run businesses, and keep America strong,” he wrote. “I predict that the voter turnout among church people was abysmally low in areas where abortion butchery won on the ballot, recreational marijuana was passed, and a transgender candidate was elected to a state senate seat.”

“The Democrat Party is behind the radical homosexual movement in our nation that sought the dilution of marriage between one man and one woman,” he continued. “The Democrat Party is behind the [radical] LGBTQ insanity attacking our children through public libraries and activist teachers that are pushing homosexual pornography on minor children.” He also blamed Democrats for anti-Semitism — as well as atheism and Satanism — and said no “sincere Bible believing Christian” could support Democratic policies.

Rapert is a leader of several far-right groups, including the National Association of Christian Lawmakers, Holy Ghost Ministries, and the American History and Heritage Foundation. The mission of the Christian lawmakers’ group is to “bring federal state and local lawmakers together in support of clear biblical principles,” its website says.

He has said libraries that are suing Arkansas over a recently enacted censorship law should not receive state or federal funds — and the State Library Board oversees distribution of those funds. Act 372, signed into law by Sanders in March, would, among other things, “create criminal liability for librarians who distribute content that some consider ‘obscene’ or ‘harmful to minors,’” according to the Arkansas Advocate newspaper. A judge has blocked some provisions of the law while a suit against it proceeds. Those suing include public libraries, bookstores, organizations, and individuals.

“When you turn around and sue the state of Arkansas, who is responsible for sending funding to you, that’s a problem,” Rapert told Little Rock TV station KTHV. “We want to make sure people are doing right.”

Among Rapert’s other anti-LGBTQ+ actions are saying his hometown’s Pride parade should not be held on a Sunday because it’s offensive to Christians; condemning Sesame Street for featuring gay entertainer Billy Porter as a guest; and expressing support for anti-LGBTQ+ policies adopted by the school board in Conway, Ark., where he lives.

The governor’s appointments to state boards and commissions are subject to confirmation by the Arkansas Senate, and two senators, one Republican one Democrat, say they won’t vote to confirm Rapert.

“His past actions and how he handles a lot of the things, I don’t feel like will serve best for Arkansas moving forward with deciding on libraries,” Republican Sen. Bryan King told KTHV.

Senate Democratic leader Greg Leding, speaking to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette,added that the library board doesn’t need “a polarizing figure” like Rapert.

The vote will take place sometime this month.

Pictured: Jason Rapert and Sarah Huckabee Sanders

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Original Article on The Advocate
Author: Trudy Ring

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