Fayetteville Civil Rights Ordinance Supporters Hold Campaign Rally

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FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) - Supporters of Fayetteville’s Civil Rights Ordinance kicked off their campaign against repealing it on Thursday (Nov. 13).

The rally was organized by a group called Keep Fayetteville Fair, which backs Ordinance 119. The Fayetteville City Council passed the ordinance in August, but opponents collected enough signatures to force a special election, which will be held on Dec. 9. The ordinance bans discrimination based on factors such as race, religion, sexual orientation and gender in hiring practices and real estate transactions and creates an administrator position to enforce the ordinance. The ordinance cannot be enforced until the outcome of the special election.

Keep Fayetteville Fair held the campaign rally at Fresco Cafe to advocate against the ordinance's repeal.

“We want to show everybody that our campaign is on the ground,” said Matthew Petty, a Fayetteville City Council member, who supports the ordinance. “We are ready, we are working hard, we are knocking doors, we are making phone calls. And, we are ready to win this.”

However, those for the repeal of Ordinance 119 say campaigning won't change the outcome of the upcoming election.

“It is totally unnecessary, and not something the people of Arkansas, or certainly the Fayetteville area, believe in,” said Bart Hester, an Arkansas State Senator, who supports the group Repeal 119.

Hester said those who want to repeal 119 question the measure's legality.

“The significant issue with 119, is that they have put the burden of proof on the accused,” Hester said. “So, you are guilty until proven innocent. That is un-American. And, I don`t think the people of Fayetteville will stand for that.”

Petty disagrees.

“The legal challenges to the ordinance, most of them are just false on their face,” Petty said. “They are just absolutely made up. It requires a judicial process for any result.”

At the event, Keep Fayetteville Fair announced campaign initiatives and goals. One of them is taking their message to the streets.

“I think that it shows that we are on the right side of history,” Petty said. “And, that Fayetteville supports what we are trying to do.”

The Repeal 119 group has also taken their campaign to the streets.

“I think there is no doubt in my mind that an overwhelming majority of the Fayetteville area will come out to repeal that ordinance,” Hester said.

On Nov. 7, the Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce recommended the repeal of Ordinance 119. Click here to read the Chamber's statement.

On Nov. 12, Fayetteville Mayor Lioneld Jordan and University of Arkansas Chancellor G. David Gearhart also issued statements voicing opposition to the Chamber of Commerce resolution. Click here to read the mayor's and chancellor's letters.

26 comments

  • Eric Parkinson

    Thank you for standing up for fairness, equality and the American way. I’m so ashamed of all the ignorant “haters” that want to allow “different groups” of people to be treated with substandard rights. Yes, I realize there are a LOT of such folks throughout the State. But please, let’s keep Fayetteville Fair and Enlightened. 14 years ago when my business was considering relocating to NW Arkansas from Los Angeles, our primary hesitancy was the widespread reputation throughout the rest of the USA of backwardness of this region. I was reassured (ironically by the then President of the Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce) that Fayetteville was (and I quote) “an island of enlightenment in sea of ignorance.” Please, let’s keep our sane, little island intact. Let’s send the “haters” to other communities to spew their vile venom of superiority and judgementalism. Why is this even a topic in this day and age? Personally, I hate people with grey hair and white skin; I think we ought to have the legal authority to banish these sub-humans from our businesses, places of worship – and DEFINITELY keep the geezers OUT of our public restrooms. Eeew! Let’s go ahead and have a majority vote and see how many others also hate grey haired, white people. Duh “it’s the ‘Merican way” to hold a majority vote. Heck let’s hold a vote to see how many are in favor of redistributing the Walton Family Fortune! How many do you think will vote for that?! Pretty silly you say ? Yes, it is. So take your divisive and hateful campaign to discriminate to done other, less enlightened community. Leave Fayetteville residents in peace.

  • John Mitchell

    Fools like Eric Parkinson ‘ s Disease practice their own form of intolerance. You read it in his post. If you don’t think like him, then there is something wrong with YOU. How about “enlightening” us all and getting the f out of Arkansas? I’m quite sure the state would be much better off.

  • Marie

    There a Already Federal Laws that prohibit discrimination. What is the goal to creat More rules, Laws and ‘panels’ to ‘watch’ and punish the Business and Churches in Fayetteville? I will not spend a Penny inside the city limits of Fayetteville. You will let these Liberals ruin your city. Soon it will be like LA.

    • Mark

      You are correct.. There are protected classes.. Sexual gender/identity is not one of them.. That’s the entire point.. Save your biblical nonsense for Sundays..and spare us from your uninformed comments.. If they were accurate you’d have a valid point.. But since they are factually incorrect please don’t make yourself look any more stupid than you already have!!

      • Ann

        Marie’s comments are valid. The only item listed that is not federally protected is sexual orientation.
        She stated nothing biblical in her comment.

  • Darin

    Now you see why so many people are against the ordinance. Its all about serving to one group because they don’t care about anyone else. I’m one of those white haired geezers and I am ashamed of how this City has turned from being a family oriented and loving City to a City that is full of hate, and people that don’t fit in to how the City once was. What would our parents and grand parents think about all of this. They would call it a SIN if have no doubt. The law is already set up that protects people rights but they are making it their own agenda to get special rights. What about the rights of people that have spent a life time building up their business just to have someone come in a call FOUL that the owner stands up for his rights to serve who they want. What happened to the signs that use to say WE RESERVE THE RIGHT TO REFUSE SERVICE TO ANYONE??? Where did that owners right go? I truly believe that the problem we have here in Fayetteville is outsiders that have come in and moved to this area and are now trying to change it to the mindset where they came from. I say- if you liked that then go back to it and leave Fayetteville alone. I urge everyone to vote for the REPEAL OF ORDINANCE 119. Don’t let he loud minority take over our city and tell us what to do.

  • Eric Parkinson

    Wow, so much love. Feels like we’re in Harrison. Yes, Jesus reserves the right to refuse service to anyone. Go ahead and hate your neighbor: I’m pretty sure that’s in the bible there, somewhere.

    • Mark

      I agree.. It’s ironic that the more religious you are the more hate and intolerance you appear to have..considering the majority of the opposition to this has been organized by Christian groups and attorneys known for representing Christian groups..way to go bible beaters.. Continue to make yourself look like regressive fools.. Only hurts your cause in the long run.. Please keep it up though!!

    • THE "REAL" ELAPHAS

      Great point. I agreed with everything you have said. It amazes me how much hate some people have and then they want to stand behind their biblical principles to justify their hate.

      • Not Hate

        Not agreeing with the LGBT agenda does not constitute hate! I’m tired of people using the word “hate” or “discrimination” just because people remain steadfast in their beliefs and will not change their mind. This is just a bullying tactic when you can’t think of a good argument to make your case. I will not apologize for saying that I would not want my daughter to have to share a bathroom with a male who identifies himself as a female and is sexually interested in females. It is not right to make the majority uncomfortable in the interest of a few. Its unfortunate that some people are born with true anomalies and have to decide which gender is best for them but for the most part I believe that the majority of those who consider themselves LGBT do so by choice. If you want special consideration, then include obese people, tattooed people, people that have many piercings or multi colored hair. All those listed have also experienced some sort of “discrimination” too.

  • My Real Name Like A DumbA$$

    Mark my word, if this is not repealed there WILL be some pedophiles taking advantage of this. My kids will not be going to the bathroom by themselves in Fayetteville if this is allowed to stand. In fact I think we will keep our business exclusive to Rogers so we don’t have to worry about this. And to think, all of this so a grown man can go pee in the womans restroom, you people are sick.

  • Get Real

    Eric, you should have left your business, arrogance, and politics, in Kalifornia. You and other liberals have nearly destroyed that state, now you want to start on ours? Homosexuals, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgenders are already protected under the same non-discrimination rights blacks and other minorities enjoy, that we all are protected by. Now this group of “individuals” wants a little bit more, the right to destroy anyone who doesn’t agree with their lifestyle, and force everyone to accept it. If Fayetteville does not defeat this arrogant attempt at special rights for “special” groups, businesses, churches, and the entire city will be the less for it. Demanding, screeching, in-your-face hysterics doesn’t, or shouldn’t, work here like it does in the liberal/socialist states. Name-calling and hand-wringing doesn’t do much for you either. Take the liberal infestation elsewhere if you don’t like the situation here, preferably back to the state you left ruined by a liberal agenda.

  • Michael Chapitan Collins

    It is key that we have an adult discussion about the very serious problems about this ordinance. The Chamber was not anxious to alienate themselves from anyone, and only acted because this is such bad legislation (probably because it was written by a Washington D.C. lobbyist instead of a local alderman).
    For instance, when the Aldermen and Civil Rights Administrator answer questions, those are NOT legal decisions, those are only “opinions.” Kit said as much.
    From the FCOC: “Our Board was advised that any statutory interpretations by a City Attorney, Prosecuting Attorney or Attorney General are merely advisory and have no value as to precedent. Our Board was aware of the fact that the City Attorney’s stated interpretations of these vague and ambiguous provisions has no weight in court, and therefore provides no defense to someone charged with non-compliance under Chapter 119.”

    When a PRO LGBT group makes this kind of unanimous decision, it is evidence that this is not “hate” or “bigotry,” but actual wisdom! Please read the ordinance and the Chamber’s concerns below:
    https://www.facebook.com/notes/keep-fayetteville-free/the-ordinance-5703-which-creates-chapter-119/719114284833613

    • Mark

      I’ve read the report.. If there are legal implications that need to be fixed then fix them..Chancellor Gearhart is an attorney and brilliant man.. As he stated this week.. The law will be properly enforced with due process etc .. Let’s revise and not repeal.. Wether it’s right or wrong.. Repealing this law will portray fayettteville in a regressive negative light.. Not something we want!!

      • Michael Chapitan Collins

        Well, why didn’t the city address these deficiencies when we address them the first time? It would seem that when they refused to address these concerns with us and refused to compromise even a little bit on these extraordinarily terrible oversights that they actually wanted them in there for some reason.
        We came in good faith to negotiate, but they refused to listen (even decreasing the exemption for religious associations, reducing it to tax-exempt areas only, and unconstitutional burden).
        “Wether it’s right or wrong.. Repealing this law will portray fayettteville in a regressive negative light.”
        Well, that seems to be an extraneous reason to pass a law; how does it make us look? If we pass it, we will look like Houston which is extremely regressive… back to Roman days of persecution!
        But honestly, it is BECAUSE of this law that we are already losing businesses who want to locate here, and more will pack up to Benton County if it isn’t repealed completely.
        NO, it is more important that through the “due process” that businesses aren’t bankrupted and the city doesn’t lose money in frivolous lawsuits and constitutional violations (like the specific moral clause in Article 2, as well as the “public” worship rights therein) than to hold up some sort of image.
        What specific about their report do you find erroneous?

  • Tia Lynn

    Like many others, discrimination is everywhere.a business serving the public should not be able to discriminate against anyone who comes to their business seeking their service for a non criminal way.. You cannot just segregate people like others did in the 50s. This ordinance also protects the Veterans and everyone besides the LGBT, and yes laws can be amended. Like many others I have faced job discrimination in Fayetteville, I always get the interview, told I am hired, then they find out I am a Transsexual, and make up some lie, It happens everywhere except in the businesses that have an Anti Discrimination policy set up. Do not all people deserve rights? Should a town of mostly LGBT citizens say that straight cisgender individuals not have the same rights as others? There is at least 10,000 people in Fayetteville that are members of the LGBT, So yes we are a nice big portion of the City who deserve rights of everyone else. If you dont like people who are different than you, why live in a city with them?

  • Ann

    There is no need for the ordinance to protect on religion, race, or gender as those are covered under federal law. The only addition this makes to the federal law is based on sexual orientation.

    People resort to name calling and hateful comments towards others because the guilty party really doesn’t have the facts to do a serious argument to support his/her position.

  • Johnathan Doe

    ALL OF THIS SO ONE GUY “MATTHEW PETTY” CAN HAVE A COMMUNITY TO BACK HIM IN THE 2016 MAYORAL ELECTION. SO HE CAN HAVE ONE THING HE’S CONTRIBUTED AND A GROUP OF PEOPLE TO RALLY AROUND HIM TO BECOME MAYOR. THAT’S WHY ALL OF THIS IS HAPPENING. POLITICAL CHESS, AT THE EXPENSE OF THE TAXPAYERS AND CITIZENS OF FAYETTEVILLE. DO SOMETHING REAL, SOMETHING THAT CAN GENERATE REVENUE!! LAME DUCK

  • Gottalaugh

    I do not go around drawing attention to the fact I’m married,dont hate, im haveing a parade. Just be who you are without drawing attention to yourself and making waves. I could not care less what orientation you are just be cool and don’t cause a lot of problems. Noone is liked by everyone. Get over it and move on!

  • Marie

    What’s next? You Libs going to pass a Law that Forces people to do Business with someone they don’t agree with? When do you stop?

Comments are closed.