Arkansas appealing ruling on city’s LGBTQ protections

Attorney General Leslie Rutledge (R-Ark.)

Attorney General Leslie Rutledge (R-Ark.) AP

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Arkansas‘ attorney general is appealing a judge’s ruling that a city ban on discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity doesn’t conflict with a state law aimed at blocking local protections for gays and lesbians.

Attorney General Leslie Rutledge on Wednesday filed a notice that she was appealing a ruling by Washington County Circuit Judge Doug Martin this month upholding Fayetteville’s anti-discrimination ordinance. Martin ruled that the ordinance ratified by voters last year doesn’t run afoul of a state measure barring cities and counties from prohibiting discrimination on a basis not contained in state law.

Arkansas’ civil rights law doesn’t include sexual orientation or gender identity.

Fayetteville is among several Arkansas cities that have passed anti-discrimination measures aimed at challenging that law, which legislators approved last year.

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