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Social Issues

Arkansas court weighs future of city's LGBT protections

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas Supreme Court justices have questioned whether a city's ordinance banning discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity flies in the face of a 2015 state law that was intended to prevent local LGBT protections.

An attorney for the state asked the court Thursday to strike down the anti-discrimination ordinance Fayetteville voters approved, saying it clearly violates the law from a few months earlier that intended to ban such ordinances. The state also asked justices to uphold the Arkansas law preventing cities from banning discrimination on a basis not contained in state law. Arkansas' civil rights law does not cover sexual orientation or gender identity.

Justices questioned Fayetteville's argument that the ordinances are allowed since other portions of state law include protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.