Arkansas Civil Rights

political animals clarke Tucker bob ballinger rex nelson
Sarah Whites-Koditschek

A state representative who opposed a religious conscience bill says increased preferences for LGBT people may be added in the next legislative session if religious rights for clergy are clarified. 

A marriage ceremony being performed in the Pulaski County Courthouse in May 2014.
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

An opinion from the Arkansas attorney general’s office is giving some hope to justices of the peace who want to officiate weddings but be allowed to refuse the public service to same-sex couples.

JP Alan Malone of Cleburne County told KUAR on Thursday that he is encouraged by Wednesday’s advisory opinion in which AG Leslie Rutledge (R) contends the state’s religious freedom law might allow JPs to wed some, but not all.

Democratic Party of Arkansas Chair Vincent Insalaco in his office in Little Rock.
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

The head of the Democratic Party of Arkansas is considering a name change to the annual Jefferson-Jackson Dinner. Party Chair Vincent Insalaco told KUAR on Tuesday that the two former Presidents, with ties to slavery and Indian removal, don’t always live up to modern standards.

Web surfers who type in will be redirected to an LGBT chatroom by an Arkansan who says he’ll use the domain name in the next election to discuss Hutchinson’s record on gay rights.

Fort Smith Southside High School's mascot Johnny Reb.

UPDATE: The school board in Fort Smith voted unanimously on Monday night to end or phase out the use of Confederate-linked themes at Southside High School. Around 200 people attended the meeting to lend input to the decision.

25 years ago the federal Americans with Disabilities Act was signed into law. Complying with the Act is still a matter many public and private entities have to contend with in Arkansas. Below is a discussion with Bryan Ayres, director of the Technology and Curriculum Access Center at Easter Seals Arkansas about the legacy of the law.



You can learn more about Easter Seals and their advocacy work at their website.

The Confederate soldiers monument has a soldier holding a Confederate battle flag.
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

In recent weeks, the battle over Confederate imagery has focused mainly on a flag, but for some the debate naturally extends to other symbols they see as offensive. As Arkansas, like many Southern states, continues to grapple with emblems of its past, the question arises: To what extent are monuments in public places an issue?

60th Anniversary Of Integration Of NE Arkansas School District

Jul 13, 2015
Hoxie 21
Johnathan Reaves / KASU

While Central High’s Little Rock Nine are remembered for their courage in 1957, the tiny northeast Arkansas town of Hoxie was first in the nation, peacefully integrating two years earlier. A ceremony over the weekend marked the 60th anniversary.

About 200 people gathered in the Hoxie High School gym to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the school district's integration.

Several of the black students who helped integrate the district also returned to the school for Saturday's event.

Known as the Hoxie 21, the students went to their new schools on July 11, 1955. The integration was peaceful at first, but two weeks later, white supremacists from out of town protested the move.

The struggle to integrate continued in 1957 as federal troops were called to help integrate Little Rock Central High School.

Van Buren County Courthouse.

Arkansas House Majority Leader Ken Bragg says there are no specific or immediate plans to respond legislatively to the US Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage. Bragg’s comments to KUAR on Wednesday follow a statement last week on behalf of the House Republican Caucus that called for a new look at additional so-called religious freedom laws.