Saturday, November 07, 2015

Court Denies Preliminary Injunction In Challenge To Fayetteville Civil Rights Ordinance

In Fayetteville, Arkansas yesterday a state trial court judge refused to issue a temporary injunction to prevent the city's Uniform Civil Rights Protection ordinance from going into effect today. According to the Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette, opponents of the ordinance argued that it infringes freedom of conscience and religion of those who have religious objections to the protection of homosexual and transgender rights.  The lawsuit also contends that the Ordinance was improperly approved and submitted to voters, and that it violates Arkansas' recently enacted Act 137 which prohibits cities from enacting civil rights protections "on a basis not contained in state law." (See prior posting.) Voters approved the Ordinance in a referendum this week by a 53% -47% vote.  The court concluded that plaintiffs had failed to show irreparable harm and a likelihood of success on the merits of their claims.