ACLU joins Fayetteville gay civil rights case | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

ACLU joins Fayetteville gay civil rights case

Posted By on Tue, May 16, 2017 at 1:12 PM

The ACLU of Arkansas and the ACLU LGBT Project have been permitted to join the challenge of the state law barring Fayetteville from providing local civil rights protections to LGBT people.

The organizations have intervened on behalf of PFLAG Fayetteville/Northwest Arkansas and three LGBT residents. They argue that the state law violates their constitutional right to equal protection and allows discrimination against them in housing, employment and public accommodations. From a release, quoting Holly Dickson, the ACLU of Arkansas's legal director:
State officials are trying to overrule the will of the voters, and ban local communities from doing the right thing and protecting their LGBT residents from discrimination. That’s wrong and we’re are very grateful that our clients will be given a chance to work alongside the City of Fayetteville to protect their rights.”
The state and others in the lawsuit aimed at striking down the Fayetteville ordinance, including state Rep. Bob Ballinger, objected to the ACLU participating in the case. To those objections, the ACLU said:

“Proposed Intervenors are not vexatious litigants seeking to cause the State inconvenience. They would prefer it if the State did not seek to enforce unconstitutional laws that disadvantage them. But because the State has enacted such a law and seeks through this litigation to nullify their hard-won nondiscrimination protections, Proposed Intervenors should be granted intervention to defend those critical protections.”

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