Fayetteville City Council approves new LGBT protection ordinance, referendum set for Sept. 8 | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Fayetteville City Council approves new LGBT protection ordinance, referendum set for Sept. 8

Posted By on Tue, Jun 16, 2015 at 10:25 PM

Tonight, by a vote of 6 to 2, the Fayetteville City Council approved a new LGBT non-discrimination ordinance. The ordinance, which you can read here, would extend employment, housing and public accommodation protection on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity within the city limits of Fayetteville. It will not take effect unless approved by voters at a special election Sept. 8.  

The votes against the ordinance tonight came from John LaTour and Martin W. Schoppmeyer Jr.

The vote, which happened just before 10 p.m. was proceeded by hours of public comment, in which those who lived in Fayetteville were given priority to speak. Speakers were allowed the floor for one minute, with council members being allowed to ask one question of each speaker.

Just before the vote, Fayetteville Mayor Lioneld Jordan delivered a moving comment in favor of the ordinance, saying the issue was important to him, and that he was determined to support LGBT rights even if it costs him votes in the next election. Jordan went on to speak of his childhood. Raised in poverty in a small house with no running water, he said that when he was growing up, the family's one treat was a simple sugar cookie his mother made. At his house, he said, the cookies were kept in a Folger's coffee can. At his grandmother's house, he said, the same cookies were kept in a fancier cookie jar. Both cookies, he said, tasted just as good no matter where they came from, because it was what was inside the container that was the important thing. Speaking of LGBT people, Jordan said: "We have spent too much time looking at the container."

"We have two forces at work here," Jordan said. "One is love and one is fear. I will not sacrifice my stand on equality for anyone. It may cost me the next election but I am willing to pay the price."

Voters repealed the previous LGBT protection Ordinance 119 in December 2014 by a margin of 52 to 48 percent, following an often ugly campaign. 

Though the new ordinance is similar in impact, it has many changes, including the formation of a commission to consider complaints, where before a single city official would have considered complaints under the previous ordinance. Mediation will be the first course after a complaint. If the issue can't be resolved, the commission will hear the complaint, with violators facing fines of $100 for a first offense. Churches, religious schools and religious organizations would be exempt.  

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

From the ArkTimes store


Comments (10)

Showing 1-10 of 10

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-10 of 10

Add a comment

More by David Koon

Readers also liked…

  • Auditor Lea caught not telling the truth

    State Auditor Andrea Lea, who began her tenure in statewide office with a degree of competence unseen in some other Republican counterparts (think Treasurer Dennis Milligan particularly), is becoming more deeply mired in a political scandal.
    • Mar 4, 2016
  • The two cities of Little Rock: East/west, black/white

    The Little Rock City Board illustrated this week a community divided over public schools, another blow to the Little Rock School District and another illustration of the need for ward elections to the board.
    • Mar 23, 2017
  • Another Republican miracle-working governor

    Great piece in Washington Post on the budget crisis in Louisiana. Big tax cuts and corporate welfare will do that to a state, particularly to a state whose previous governor, Republican Bobby Jindal, refused to join the Obamacare-funded Medicaid expansion. There's a lesson there for Arkansas.
    • Mar 4, 2016

Most Shared

  • Discussion: State killing of the mentally ill

    The Arkansas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty and others will have a forum on mental illness and the death penalty at 6:30 p.m. Monday at the Bowen School of Law's Friday Courtroom.

Most Viewed

  • The Monday Democrat-Gazette was slimmer this morning

    Did your Monday morning Arkansas Democrat-Gazette include a business section?
  • Hog football: The lawyers take over

    If you believe social media, it's all over but the post-season buyout for Razorback football coach Bret Bielema. That means, in turn, that the issue of what the coach's contract buyout is worth is not just an academic question.
  • Might the Weinstein case lead to a safer world for women?

    The exposure of Harvey Weinstein's serial offenses against women is quickly progressing far beyond the story of one man. It has begun to raise the question of whether it might, in time, change the world in treatment of women.
  • Potlatch acquires Deltic Timber

    Two major woodlands companies, Potlatch and Deltic Timber, are combining in a stock deal that will leave Potlatch shareholders with 65 percent control of the new company, which will be organized as a real estate investment trust. Potlatch is acquiring Deltic by giving its shareholders 1.8 shares of Potlatch for each Deltic share, making the deal worth about $1.18 billion.

Most Recent Comments



© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation