Thursday, September 10, 2015

Fayetteville Voters Approve Controversial Anti-Discrimination Law

In Fayetteville, Arkansas on Tuesday voters approved the city's controversial Uniform Civil Rights Protection Ordinance.  According to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, complete unofficial returns show 7,666 votes for and 6,860 against the Ordinance that bars discrimination in employment, public accommodations, real estate, contracts and voting on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. Opponents, many of whom object that the religious exemptions in the ordinance are too narrow, have filed suit challenging the legality of the Ordinance. They claim it violates free exercise and free speech rights as well as Arkansas' recently enacted Intrastate Commerce Improvement Act that prohibits counties, municipalities and other political subdivisions from expanding civil rights protections beyond those found in state law. (See prior posting.)