Arkansas Civil Rights

Arkansas' attorney general says he will appeal a federal judge's ruling that found voters were wrong to ban gay marriage during a referendum 10 years ago. Attorney General Dustin McDaniel said Tuesday he would file a notice of appeal with the 8th U.S. Supreme Court of Appeals in St. Louis.

U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker ruled last month that a voter-approved gay-marriage ban and a separate state law are unconstitutional.A decision in a similar case before the Arkansas Supreme Court is pending.

Fayetteville's City Council in an August meeting on an anti-discrimination ordinance.
Jacqueline Froelich / KUAF

An alderman in Fayetteville is ready to try again to put an anti-discrimination ordinance in place but a state senator in northwest Arkansas hopes to strip Fayetteville, and local governments statewide, from having the authority to pass such ordinances. 

Earlier this month voters in Fayetteville narrowly chose to repeal an anti-discrimination ordinance designed to provide protection and recourse in housing, employment, and public accommodations to historically discriminated against populations - including LGBT people.   

Arkansas Capitol
Ron Breeding / KUAR News

Recent decisions by federal grand juries to not indict police officers in the deaths of unarmed black men in Ferguson, Missouri and New York have stirred protesters around the country.

In Little Rock, a small group of organizers is planning a “silent protest” this weekend. They hope to call attention to and help mend tensions between black communities and the local police.

KUAR's Chris Hickey caught up with Jessica Lawson, who, along with Mondale Robinson, is organizing the event.

 

A federal appeals court in St. Louis is scheduled to hear oral arguments as part of a wrongful death lawsuit by the family of a 67-year-old Arkansas man killed by an off-duty Little Rock police officer.

The female officer and a colleague who also was working private security when Eugene Ellison was shot to death in December 2010 want the appeals court to overturn a lower court ruling denying their immunity claims in the suit by Ellison's family.

State Rep. Greg Leding (D-Fayetteville)
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

Voters in Fayetteville next week will decide the fate of an anti-discrimination ordinance designed in large part to protect the city’s LGBT population. Fayetteville’s city council approved the measure – the first of its kind in Arkansas - in August and a petition process for its repeal began immediately after. Signature gathering was successful and the ordinance is up for a repeal vote December 9.

gay marriage
Jacqueline Froelich / KUAF

Research out of the UCLA School of Law Tuesday finds ending Arkansas’s ban on same-sex marriage could lead to an economic boost amounting to over $13 million of spending over three years. The study focuses on the direct impact to wedding services by comparing same-sex marriage rates in states where it is legal to the number of same-sex couples in Arkansas.

UALR

Civic and religious leaders from Little Rock spoke on racial inequality and conflict in the city at a forum Monday night at the University of Arkansas in Little Rock.  The meeting was organized as a response to the recent shooting of teenager Michael Brown and subsequent civil unrest in Ferguson, Missouri.

Religious leaders at the event spoke to the crowd about their role in helping with reconciliation between the races. Assistant pastor of Second Presbyterian Church, Lindy Vogado, said primarily white congregations need to do more to raise consciousness about issues of race.

Arkansas' highest court has denied a request by same-sex couples challenging the state's gay marriage ban that any justices planning to seek re-election recuse themselves from the case.

The Arkansas Supreme Court on Thursday denied the motion asking any justice expecting to run for re-election anytime in the future to consider not hearing the appeal of a state judge's decision striking down the state's ban on same-sex marriage. The court did not elaborate on the reason for the denial.

The Waterford apartment complex in Little Rock.
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The Arkansas Attorney General’s office said Tuesday they are evaluating whether to proceed after the Arkansas Fair Housing Commission recently determined there is reasonable cause to believe Latinos are being discriminated against at a west Little Rock apartment complex.

National Fair Housing Logo
nationalfairhousing.org

The Arkansas Fair Housing Commission (AFHC) has determined there is reasonable cause to believe Latino applicants are being discriminated against at a Little Rock apartment complex in violation of the Fair Housing Act.

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