A Senate committee has again rejected Sen. Joyce Elliott's bill — modeled after a suggestion in court proceedings by the attorney general's office — to provide equal treatment of same-sex married couples in issuance of birth certificates.
In a press conference on the steps of the Arkansas State Capitol this morning, representatives of the Arkansas Transgender Equality Coalition (ARTEC), ACLU of Arkansas and a transgender pioneer spoke out against a number of anti-trans and anti-LGBT bills working their way through the state legislature. Citing the economic and political fallout for North Carolina over their "bathroom bill," the groups say the bills will harm the Arkansas economy.
John Schenck, the founder of Arkansas's longest running Pride parade and a longtime champion of equal rights for LGBT rights, has died. The grief friends are sharing on his Facebook page gives a hint at his influence in the community. His partner and husband of almost 41 years, Robert Loyd, died just a little less than a year ago.
Apparently embarrassed that she's running out of time to make good on her campaign promise to battle President Barack Obama from Little Rock, Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today published an editorial in the Hill attacking the president over bathroom access for transgender people.
God, guns and gays. That bedrock Southern political triad came together in an awful way Sunday in Orlando. And Arkansas politicians don't want to touch the gay part. Meanwhile, in Texarkana, voters will get a chance to express their feelings on discrimination against gays in an election Tuesday.
The Arkansas Legislative Council this afternoon will consider a resolution by Rep. Stephen Meeks (R-Greenbrier) that "encourages" public schools and colleges to disregard the federal government's guidance on the issue of gender identity and public restroom use.
Rev. Gwen Fry, an Episcopal priest and president of the Arkansas Transgender Equality Coalition, shares a letter to Gov. Asa Hutchinson that others would do well to read for some background on the shortcomings in his blast of President Obama for reminding states of the need not to discriminate against transgender students.
Dianne Curry of Little Rock, the Democratic candidate for Congress against Republican U.S. Rep. French Hill, issued a prepared statement in response to President Obama's guidance on equal facility access for students, aimed at protecting the rights of transgender students: It's a welcome measured remark as Republican seize on bathrooms to promote a broader discrimination agenda.
The New York Times today has an op-ed from a lawyer explaining the evolution — in court precedent, including one opinion written by St. Antonin Scalia — of federal civil rights law protection for sex, including gender identification. Not that facts matter to the bathroom hysterics
Here's North Carolina's answer to the federal government's insistence that it not enforce a new LGBT discrimination law that includes bars on transgender use of public restrooms according to t sexual identity. It will sue the federal government to protect the state's insistence on legal discrimination.
Saying "we respect our fellow citizens," Louisiana's new Democratic governor, John Bel Edwards, yesterday issued an executive order mandating nondiscrimination by state government against people based on sexual orientation and gender. It's a marked contrast to Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, who's said he sees no need to offer any protections to LGBT people.
I'm about to decide that the lawyers who fought for marriage equality in state and federal courts in Arkansas got screwed. Get a load of what a Tennessee judge just gave winners of the lawsuit there challenging a same-sex marriage ban.
Ledbetter, the former state Board of Education chair who cast the decisive vote in 2015 to take over the LRSD, writes that Education Commissioner Johnny Key "has shown time and again that he is out of touch with our community and the needs of the district." However, Ledbetter supports the May 9 vote as a positive for the district's students and staff.
Kenneth Williams, 38, is scheduled to be executed at 7 p.m. tonight at the Cummins Unit near Grady. If a court does not stop the execution, he will be the fourth death row prisoner to die over the last eight days in Arkansas.
What's purported to be a final-words essay from condemned prisoner Kenneth Williams was distributed today by Deborah Robinson, a freelance journalist in Arkansas. He reflects on his execution, his victims, reactions of inmates and big servings of fried chicken, which he says are given to all inmates on execution days.
The state will move one step closer to a lawsuit on May 11, when the Capitol Arts and Grounds Commission will hear the American History and Heritage Foundation's plans for a Ten Commandments monument on the grounds of the state Capitol.
The execution of Kenneth Williams for his 1999 slaying of Cecil Boren during a prison escape remains scheduled for 7 p.m. tonight, though actions in state and federal courts are anticipated in the final hours.
At a press conference today at the Doubletree Hotel just across from the Pulaski County Courthouse, Pulaski County Fifth Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen and his attorneys announced that he has asked the Arkansas Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission to investigate the conduct of the entire Arkansas Supreme Court, and asked the director of the Arkansas Committee on Professional Conduct to investigate the conduct of Attorney General Leslie Rutledge and several others in the AG's office, related to what Griffen and his attorneys claim were forbidden ex parte conversations between the Supreme Court and the AG's office.
Photos taken Thursday night by Brian Chilson and David Koon, at Cummins Prison in Grady, the State Police barricade away from the prison and in front of the Governor's Mansion, before and after the execution of Ledell Lee.