Jonesboro Mayor Says Anti-Discrimination Changes Unnecessary

Apr 22, 2015

The mayor of Jonesboro has said a proposal from Arkansas State University students to add protections for gays and lesbians to the city's anti-discrimination policy is unnecessary.

The Jonesboro Sun reports Mayor Harold Perrin made his announcement Tuesday. He says the language in the city's personnel handbook is broad enough to cover all types of discrimination.

A spokesman for a coalition of ASU student groups says changes to the city's handbook are needed, and the proposal offered only "modest" changes, including inserting the words "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" twice.

Arkansas is set to become the second state in the country to bar municipalities from enacting certain anti-discrimination protections. That prohibition doesn't prevent local governments from enacting anti-discrimination polices for their own employees.

The ASU group began pushing their proposal during the city's council meeting on April 7.