Arkansas Judge Upholds City's LGBT Protections

Mar 1, 2016

An Arkansas judge has upheld a city's ordinance banning discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, ruling it doesn't conflict with a state law aimed at blocking local protections for gays and lesbians.

Washington County Circuit Judge Doug Martin on Tuesday ruled the ordinance ratified by voters did not run afoul of a state law barring cities and counties from prohibiting discrimination on a basis not contained in state law. Arkansas' civil rights law doesn't include sexual orientation or gender identity.

Martin sided with supporters of the law who have pointed to those protections being mentioned elsewhere in state law.

Fayetteville is among several Arkansas cities that have passed anti-discrimination measures aimed at challenging that law, which was approved last year.