FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (BP) — Fayetteville citizens voted to ratify the city’s Uniform Civil Rights Protection ordinance — which now protects the rights of the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community — by a slim margin Sept. 8.
Originally passed by the city council June 16, the law is a revised version of a law that the council passed in August 2014 and was then repealed by a popular vote in December 2014. The new law is set to take effect Nov. 7 and “prohibits discrimination in employment, housing or places of public accommodation on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity,” the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported.
The Democrat-Gazette also reported the law would create a seven-member Civil Rights Commission, appointed by the Fayetteville City Council, which will review complaints covered by the ordinance.
Protect Fayetteville, a group who opposes the law, filed a lawsuit Aug. 31. They alleged the ordinance should be voided due to procedural issues on behalf of the City Council and because the state’s Intrastate Commerce Improvement Act, or Act 137, prohibits municipalities and counties in the state from making laws that create protected classes or prohibit discrimination on a basis other than the criteria contained in the Arkansas constitution.
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