Arkansas Civil Rights

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.


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.

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

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.

Fayetteville Passes Anti-Discrimination Ordinance

Aug 20, 2014

The Fayetteville City Council passed a broad anti-discrimination ordinance and created a new civil rights administrator to investigate reported abuses Wednesday.

The wide-reaching measure, sponsored by Alderman Mathew Petty protects basis of race, ethnicity, age, gender, familial status, socio-economic background, religion, sexual orientation and disability, to ensure access to employment, housing and public accommodations for city residents. The rule excludes tax-exempt churches and similar organizations.

Federal authorities have charged a Guatemalan man arrested in Arkansas with transporting people who are in the country without legal permission. The Texarkana Gazette reports Isaias Elias-Pelico was transporting at least seven passengers when he was pulled over July 24.

Court documents state Elias-Pelico presented a fake driver's license to a trooper. The officer contacted the Department of Homeland Security.

Arkansas Family Council / Arkansas Family Concil

One of the state’s largest conservative Christian advocacy groups Arkansas Family Council is pushing back against survey results reporting lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender residents experience a high level of discrimination.