(AP) – Arkansas’ highest court will hear arguments next month
in a legal battle over whether a whether a city’s ban on discrimination based on
sexual orientation and gender identity conflicts with a state law aimed at
blocking local protections for gays and lesbians.
The state Supreme Court on Wednesday said it will hold oral arguments Feb. 2
in the state’s appeal of a Washington County judge’s decision upholding
Fayetteville’s anti-discrimination ordinance. The judge last year ruled the
ordinance doesn’t run afoul of a state law 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. But supporters of the ordinance have noted other parts of Arkansas law
include protections for LGBT people.
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