This morning the Arkansas Supreme Court ruled the City of Fayetteville cannot enforce an ordinance that gives special protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
The court case stems from a so-called “nondiscrimination” ordinance the City of Fayetteville adopted in 2015 despite a state law effectively preventing cities and counties from creating protected classes that are not found in state laws like the Arkansas Civil Rights Act.
Besides running afoul of state law, the Fayetteville ordinance has a number of significant problems.
Under Fayetteville’s ordinance, a minister could be penalized for declining to solemnize a same-sex marriage, and people of faith who own catering services, florist shops, and wedding venues could be penalized for choosing not to participate in same-sex ceremonies.
After more than three years of legal wrangling, the state’s highest court has handed us a solid victory in this case.
Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge and her office have worked tirelessly to stop the City of Fayetteville from enforcing this unlawful ordinance.
The lawsuit over this ordinance has bounced from court to court in the state, but the A.G.’s team has been very proactive at every turn. I honestly don’t believe any state attorney general’s office does a better job standing up for what’s right than Arkansas’.
Photo Credit: “Old Main from the northwest, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Arkansas (autumn)” by Brandonrush – Own work. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported.