Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge To Appeal Judge's Ruling Over LGBT Anti-Discrimination Ordinance
Mar 31, 2016 12:35 AM EDT
Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge is set to appeal a judge's ruling in Fayetteville where a law regarding LGBT anti-discrimination is being upheld. The news has been confirmed by her spokesman on Wednesday, March 30.
In a report by Arkansas Matters, Circuit Judge Doug Martin ruled earlier this month that the law does not violate the Interstate Commerce Improvement Act. The ordinance has been designed to prevent discrimination against people from the LGBT community regarding their sexual orientation and gender identity.
The Interstate Commerce Improvement Act was passed in 2015, preventing Arkansas cities and counties from creating more protected classes that are not covered by the state's anti-discrimination laws. Sexual orientation and gender identity are not yet protected under the state's legislations. However, Martin noted that anti-bullying laws in the state include protections for the LGBT community, ABC News reported.
Fayetteville is not the only city with the anti-discrimination ordinance as similar laws have been passed in Eureka Springs, Hot Springs, and Texarkana as well. Rutledge said in a statement that she disagrees with the lower court's decision and that it is her duty to fully defend the state law, Times Record reported.
Fayetteville City's Attorney Kit Williams said in a statement that the decision of the Attorney General to appeal is not surprising but he pointed out that the voters in the city chose equality against discrimination. He added that he will do everything he can to defend the ordinance that has been passed.
Efforts to limit or advance legal protections for the LGBT community have increased in recent weeks especially in southern states. Georgia Governor Nathan Deal said on Monday that he will veto the religious bill, which is said to allow discrimination against gays. North Carolina, on the other hand, has become the first state to enact a law that will require transgender people to use restrooms that match the gender they have on their birth certificates.