Arkansas appealing ruling on Fayetteville's LGBT protections

Posted: March 30, 2016 at 11:51 a.m.

NWA Democrat-Gazette/JASON IVESTER Leslie Rutledge, Arkansas Attorney General, opens a workshop on Tuesday, March 29, 2016, inside the Northwest Arkansas Education Service Cooperative in Farmington. Rutledge’s office has partnered with a national organization, Break the Cycle, and the Arkansas Department of Education to offer Healthy Relationship and Dating Abuse workshops across the state.

LITTLE ROCK — Arkansas' attorney general is appealing a judge's ruling that a city ban on discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity doesn't conflict with a state law aimed at blocking local protections for gays and lesbians.

Attorney General Leslie Rutledge on Wednesday filed a notice that she was appealing a ruling by Washington County Circuit Judge Doug Martin this month upholding Fayetteville's anti-discrimination ordinance. Martin ruled that the ordinance ratified by voters last year doesn't run afoul of a state measure barring cities and counties from prohibiting discrimination on a basis not contained in state law.

Arkansas' civil-rights law doesn't include sexual orientation or gender identity.

Fayetteville is among several Arkansas cities that have passed anti-discrimination measures aimed at challenging that law, which legislators approved last year.