Arkansas Civil Rights

Local & Regional News
9:12 am
Fri May 16, 2014

Washington County Again Issuing Gay Wedding Licenses

The Washington County clerk has resumed issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, a day after a circuit judge in Pulaski County ruled that all state laws barring gay marriage are unconstitutional.

Two same-sex couples received wedding licenses shortly after the Washington County clerk's office opened Friday at 8 a.m. Clerk Becky Lewallen says a couple did stop by Thursday afternoon for a license, but she told them toreturn in the morning.

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Local & Regional News
9:02 am
Mon May 12, 2014

Gay Rights Group Seeks Couples' Full Recognition

Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign, speaks to reporters Monday morning outside the Pulaski County Courthouse in Little Rock.
Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

The head of a gay rights group is seeking full federal recognition of same-sex couples married in Arkansas.

Gay couples began getting married in the state Saturday and more were lined up to wed Monday. Human Rights Campaign president Chad Griffin said the group asked the Department of Justice to recognize the unions. A similar move was extended to Utah couples who married before a gay-marriage ruling was put on hold.

Arkansas' attorney general has filed a notice that he would appeal a judge's ruling that paved the way for this weekend's same-sex marriages.

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Local & Regional News
8:57 am
Mon May 12, 2014

Same-Sex Marriage Licenses Issued In Fayetteville

Washington County has begun issuing wedding licenses to same-sex couples after a circuit judge in Pulaski County overturned the state's constitutional ban on gay marriage.

Washington County Clerk Becky Lewallen says 23 licenses were issued Monday morning to same-sex couples. Another license was issued to a heterosexual couple Monday morning as well.

Couples began lining up before the courthouse opened Monday, with one couple arriving at 2:30 a.m. Many couples immediately wed outside the courthouse after receiving the licenses.

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Local & Regional News
8:46 am
Thu April 17, 2014

Hearing Set In Challenge To Arkansas Gay Marriage Ban

Advocates of ending Arkansas' ban on same-sex marriage are to make their case before a circuit judge in Pulaski County.

More than three dozen people are listed as plaintiffs in the lawsuit challenging Arkansas' voter-approved ban on gay marriage. Circuit Judge Chris Piazza is to preside over the hearing at 1 p.m. Thursday in Little Rock.

Late last year, Piazza refused to grant a motion by the state that sought to dismiss the lawsuit, but he also refused to grant a motion by the couples suing, who asked him to block enforcement of the ban.

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Local & Regional News
3:59 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

Civil Rights Figure John Lewis To Speak At Little Rock Event

Rep. John Lewis of Georgia, who will be speaking at this year's Arkansas Literary Festival.

The Arkansas Literary Festival scheduled for the end of the month will feature a talk by civil rights figure Rep. John Lewis, who is to discuss his graphic novel memoir.

The festival is to run April 24-27 in Little Rock, and Lewis is scheduled to speak on the closing day.

Lewis, a Democratic congressman from Georgia, took part in sit-ins and freedom rides during the civil rights movement.

His book, "March: Book One," is the first of three planned volumes. Andrew Aydin worked as co-writer with Lewis and it was drawn by North Little Rock artist Nate Powell.

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Local & Regional News
1:02 pm
Mon January 20, 2014

The Mosaic Templars Cultural Center Hosts Annual MLK Challenge

75 kids from around Central Arkansas are volunteering their time in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

The Mosaic Templars Cultural Center hosts an annual “MLK Challenge”, teaching kids about the legacy of Dr. King’s service, as well as the work of many others.

The children, ages 12 to 18, volunteer with eight different sites around Little Rock, including the Dream Center and the Rice Depot.

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Local & Regional News
6:15 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

North Little Rock Apartment Complex Faces Discrimination Complaint

The National Fair Housing Alliance says it has found evidence that an apartment complex in North Little Rock discriminated against deaf rental applicants. The organization filed a complaint Thursday with the Department of Housing and Urban Development based on findings from a months-long investigation.

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Local & Regional News
8:47 am
Fri December 13, 2013

Hearing Begins In Case Over Arkansas Gay Marriage Ban

A Pulaski County judge has opened a hearing in a lawsuit challenging Arkansas' constitutional ban on gay marriage.

State voters in 2004 approved a constitutional amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman. A number of same-sex couples filed suit this year asking that the amendment be set aside.

The lawsuit names officials from around the state, including county clerks and the state of Arkansas. The government wants the case dismissed, while those who sued are seeking an injunction to stop enforcement of the amendment.

Central Arkansas Schools
6:05 am
Tue November 19, 2013

Desegregation Agreement Reached, Joshua Intervenors On Board

From left: Little Rock School Board Members Tara Shephard, Jody Carreiro, Norma Jean Johnson, Greg Adams and C.E. McAdoo discuss the agenda before the start of the meeting
Chris Hickey / KUAR News

Three Pulaski County School Districts, the state of Arkansas, a group called the Knight Intervenors and a group representing black families have agreed to settle a decades-long lawsuit.

The settlement would have the state send about 65 million dollars a year to the three districts for four more years among other provisions. The fate of the deal hinged on a Little Rock School Board meeting on Monday.

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Local & Regional News
10:11 pm
Sun October 27, 2013

Arkansas Criminal Justice Project Continues Prison Research

Adjoa A. Aiyetoro directs the Racial Disparities in the Arkansas Criminal Justice System project.
Credit Malcolm Glover / KUAR

Efforts are underway to examine the criminal justice system in Arkansas and eventually come up with recommendations to improve state prisons.

UALR Bowen Law School professor Adjoa Aiyetoro is overseeing the project. She’s been working with elected officials and community leaders for nearly a year on research concerning racial disparities in sentencing and treatment at Arkansas courts and prisons.

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