Thursday, September 10, 2015

Fayetteville Passes An LGBT Anti-Discrimination Ordinance ... Finally

Last year, Fayetteville Arkansas voters overwhelmingly struck down an anti-LGBT discrimination ordinance following a series of lying robo-calls from Michelle Duggar and her clan.

My, how times have changed. This week Fayetteville voters resoundingly ratified the city’s Uniform Civil Rights Protection ordinance in what I’d like to call the Anti-Duggar Vote. The ordinance is scheduled to take effect November 7, though it faces a challenge from Protect Fayetteville, a group that believes in discrimination.

The Uniform Civil Rights Protection ordinance prohibits discrimination in employment, housing and places of public accommodation on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, and creates a seven-member Civil Rights Commission to review complaints.

The moment the votes were  counted and they knew they’d lost, Protect Fayetteville filed a lawsuit seeking to void the ordinance, saying it was improperly referred to voters at a June 16 City Council meeting. And, they claimed, the ordinance is illegal under Act 137, which prohibits cities and counties from enacting or enforcing legislation “that creates a protected classification or prohibits discrimination on a basis not contained in state law.”

The Arkansas Civil Rights Act of 1993 prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, religion, gender, national origin and disability but not based on someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity, though sexual orientation and gender identity are referenced in a section of state law that deals with bullying in public schools.

City Attorney Kit Williams begs to differ:
“The protected classifications are certainly there in state law, and, therefore, this is not a new protected classification.”
Let me make this queer: it’s wrong to deny service to, evict someone from a home because, or deny them employment because they are LGBT. It’s that simple: discrimination is wrong so, good on you Fayetteville, for doing the right thing and treating all of your citizens equally.

And, well, Shallow Bob is kinda gloating because this is just another smackdown of those holier-than-thou-hypocrite Duggars.

But, and this is important, there are still many places in Arkansas, and in many states in this country, where you can be fried, denied housing, denied service for being lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. This victory, while important, is just a small step in the ongoing march ...


the dogs' mother said...

Proud to see Washington state in the gray/grey category (can never remember USA spelling...)

Sadie J said...

Illinois, too. We occasionally do something right here!