Small Arkansas Town Split Over Anti-Discrimination Measure

May 10, 2015

A vote on an anti-discrimination ordinance is dividing a northwest Arkansas town that's known both for an outdoor play depicting Jesus' final days and as a gay-friendly tourist destination.

Voters in Eureka Springs will decide Tuesday whether to keep a measure that would prohibit the city and private businesses from discriminating against someone based on their sexual orientation and gender identity.

Keeping the measure could prompt a broader legal fight over a state law that takes effect later this year aimed at preventing such local protections.

The proposal is highlighting the dual personalities of the town of roughly 2,000 people that for almost a decade has taken the lead on gay rights issues, including being the first city in Arkansas to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.