MTV News spoke to Stevens, who told us about his decision to erect the pole. He feels it’s an issue of both freedom of speech and religion, as just this year, the state decided to place a monument of The 10 Commandments on its grounds.
“It’s crazy, isn’t it?” Stevens said. “The fact that [Arkansas’ government] think[s] The Ten Commandments is a historical document — ludicrous, beyond ludicrous. Courts across the land have well established the fact that it’s all or nothing. The premise is all or nothing — if you open a forum up, allowing one religion in, you have to allow everybody in.”
While it’s unclear whether or not the state will accept his submission, Stevens is hopeful that his pole with raise awareness — and money — for LGBT organizations, while making a ~point~.
Stevens said that he’s still waiting on a few responses, though: He’s contacted GOP presidential hopefuls Mike Huckabee and Ted Cruz about his plans for future Festivus Poles. “Austin has a manger on the capitol grounds, so we’ve reached out to [Texas senator] Ted Cruz,” he said.
Though he hasn’t heard back from Huckabee or Cruz, Stevens says their silence isn’t necessarily a bad thing. “Both campaigns haven’t rejected me, and obviously, if you follow the polls, you know both can use the boost,” he added.