NW Arkansas Town Voting On Anti-Discrimination Ordinance

May 12, 2015

Same-sex couples lined up on May 10, 2014 in Eureka Springs to get marriage licenses.
Credit Jacqueline Froelich / KUAF

A northwest Arkansas town known both for a 66-foot-tall Jesus statue and as a gay-friendly tourist destination is voting whether to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

Eureka Springs voters are casting ballots Tuesday on whether to keep the expanded anti-discrimination protections adopted in February by the city council.

Keeping the measure could prompt a broader legal fight over a state law taking effect later this year aimed at preventing such local protections. Officials in Little Rock and Hot Springs have approved more scaled-back anti-discrimination ordinances that only apply to the cities and their vendors.

The proposal is highlighting the dual personalities of the town of roughly 2,000 people, which was the first city in Arkansas to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples last year.