LGBTQ Rights

Monday, March 27, 2017

Monday, March 27, 2017 - 13:28:47

Update: Senate committee again rejects birth certificate equity

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.

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Monday, March 20, 2017

Monday, March 20, 2017 - 15:10:00

ACLU, HRC, Ark. Trans Equality Coalition decry anti-trans bills

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.

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Thursday, March 2, 2017

Thursday, March 2, 2017 - 17:53:00

Anti-transgender bill would prevent amending birth certificates

Currently, state law explicitly allows for the sex listed on a person's birth certificate to be amended by court order, following a surgical procedure. House Bill 1894 would strike that statute.

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Thursday, December 29, 2016

Thursday, December 29, 2016 - 11:30:00

LGBT rights hero John Schenck dies

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.

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Thursday, November 10, 2016

Thursday, November 10, 2016 - 11:14:00

A message from North Carolina for Arkansas on LGBT discrimination

A North Carolina vote should send a message to Arkansas about discriminating against gay people.

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Friday, August 5, 2016

Friday, August 5, 2016 - 12:38:00

Leslie Rutledge: "Obama bullied schools into multi-sex bathrooms"

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.

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Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Tuesday, July 26, 2016 - 16:02:00

Lucie's Place to open transitional housing for LGBT young adults this fall

Lucie's Place, the Central Arkansas nonprofit serving homeless LGBT young adults, has announced it will be opening a transitional living program for up to four clients in Little Rock this fall.

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Thursday, June 16, 2016

Thursday, June 16, 2016 - 16:01:00

Please don't respond to Orlando by buying more guns

A gay Little Rock resident explains why she's decided to carry a concealed handgun in the wake of the Orlando shooting. But will it make her safer?

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Monday, June 13, 2016

Monday, June 13, 2016 - 07:30:00

God, guns and gays: Politicians' sympathy stops short of support for non-discrimination

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.

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Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Wednesday, May 18, 2016 - 10:58:00

Congressman Hill responds to transgender classmate's complaint

Sarah Vestal writes her congressman and former Catholic High classmate, French Hill, about his stance on transgender use of restrooms. He responds.

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Wednesday, May 18, 2016 - 10:53:00

Legislators want in on the school bathroom scaremongering party

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.

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Monday, May 16, 2016

Monday, May 16, 2016 - 16:17:00

Priest provides Gov. Hutchinson with some legal background on transgender issues

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.

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Monday, May 16, 2016 - 06:58:00

Candidate for Congress backs equal treatment for 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.

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Saturday, May 14, 2016

Saturday, May 14, 2016 - 10:44:00

Civil rights law lesson for the bathroom hysterics

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

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Monday, May 9, 2016

Monday, May 9, 2016 - 09:36:00

Shades of George Wallace: North Carolina begins massive resistance to LGBT equality

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.

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Friday, April 22, 2016

Friday, April 22, 2016 - 08:59:00

Bryan Borland named editor of Out in Arkansas

Last year, the Arkansas Times announced plans to expand that coverage with the launch of Out in Arkansas, a series of LGBTQ-focused stories with the aim of ultimately building a separate publication.

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Thursday, April 14, 2016

Thursday, April 14, 2016 - 07:05:00

Louisiana governor orders LGBT non-discrimination, a path Hutchinson rejected

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.

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Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Tuesday, April 5, 2016 - 14:34:08

Rutledge gets national attention for support of discrimination

Attorney General Leslie Rutledge went on WBUR, the NPR station in Boston, to defend discrimination  — specifically her fight to overturn a Fayetteville non-discrimination ordinance.

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Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Wednesday, March 30, 2016 - 07:18:00

Lawyers in Tennessee marriage case get $2 million

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.

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Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Tuesday, March 1, 2016 - 17:27:00

Judge: Fayetteville civil rights ordinance does not violate state law

Fayetteville's Ordinance 5781, which voters ratified in a popular vote last fall, still stands.

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  • Former state board of education chair Sam Ledbetter weighs in on Little Rock millage vote

    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.

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Haralson, Smith named to Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame

Haralson, Smith named to Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame

Chuck Haralson and Ken Smith were inducted into the Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame during the 43rd annual Governor’s Conference on Tourism

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  • The Kenneth Williams' execution thread

    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.
  • Last words from Kenneth Williams: 'Finger Lickin' Good Fried Chicken'

    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.
  • Commission to hear about plans for Ten Commandments monument

    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.
  • Death watch includes a family reunion, arranged by a victim's family

    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.
  • Griffen asks probe of Ark. Supreme Court and AG's office conduct

    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.

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