Arkansas Senate OKs Bill To Bar Anti-Discrimination Laws

Feb 9, 2015

Sen. Bart Hester at the podium, interacting with Sen. Linda Chesterfield (bottom left).
Credit Jacob Kauffman / KUAR News

The Arkansas Senate has approved legislation that would bar local governments from making it illegal to discriminate against someone based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.

The Senate voted 24-8 on Monday to prohibit cities and counties from enacting ordinances that prohibit discrimination on a basis not contained in state law. If approved, the measure would make Arkansas the second state to enact such a restriction.

The proposal is in response to a Fayetteville ordinance voters repealed in December that barred discrimination in housing, work and public accommodations based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

The bill now heads to the House.