Arkansas Supreme Court Strikes Down City's LGBT Protections

Feb 23, 2017

The Arkansas Supreme Court

The Arkansas Supreme Court has struck down a city's ordinance banning discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, but it stopped short of saying whether a state law aimed at prohibiting local LGBT protections is constitutional.

Justices on Thursday reversed a judge's decision that Fayetteville's anti-discrimination ordinance didn't violate a state law prohibiting cities from enacting protections not covered by state law. Fayetteville, a liberal enclave in northwestern Arkansas, is one of several cities that approved local protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in response to the 2015 law.

Justices said they couldn't rule on the law's constitutionality since it wasn't addressed by the lower court, and sent the case back to the Washington County judge who upheld Fayetteville's ordinance.