Fayetteville Mayor, UA Chancellor Oppose Chamber’s Stance On Civil Rights Ordinance

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FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM)- Fayetteville Mayor Lioneld Jordan and University of Arkansas Chancellor G. David Gearhart have voiced opposition to the Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce’s resolution against the controversial civil rights ordinance, according to city documents.

The ordinance, passed in August by the Fayetteville City Council after nine hours of public discussion, is set to be voted on by the public after a petition with 5,714 signatures on it was turned in to Fayetteville City Clerk Sondra Smith. A special election scheduled for Dec. 9 will ultimately decide the fate of the ordinance.

It prohibits local businesses and entities from discriminating against customers and others based on gender, race, sexual orientation, gender identity and other factors. On Nov. 7, the Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce adopted a resolution stating they supported the repeal of the civil rights ordinance.

On Nov. 10, Jordan sent a letter to Bill Bradley, chairman of the Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce, and Steve Clarks, president of the chamber, stating he and Gearhart opposed their resolution that takes a stance against the civil rights ordinance.

In the letter, Jordan identifies himself and Gearhart as ex-officio members of the Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce Board. He called for the board to “rescind its decision to oppose and lobby against the civil rights ordinance,” the letter states.

“I was surprised to learn of this decision since I received no notification of the board meeting in which it was considered, and I was certainly disappointed in the announced decision to work for the repeal of the ordinance,” Lioneld said.

In his own letter, Gearhart also asked the board to rescind its recent action against the civil rights ordinance. Gearhart said he thought he should have been included, as an ex-officio board member, in the meeting where the Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce Board made the decision to oppose the ordinance.

“The failure to include all ex-officio members in the discussion contributes to the perception that the board operated under a veil of secrecy and was opposed to any divergent views,” Gearhart said.

To view Jordan’s letter, click here. To view Gearhart’s letter, click here. 


  • Get Real

    I would expect nothing less from these two arrogant liberal elitists. Like those who “crafted” obamacare, they seem to believe the average voter/citizen is too stupid to make the right decisions. Being an Ex officio does not lend any validity to their opinion. Let the voters decide, and let voters remember this when the City Council gang comes up for election. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ex%20officio

    • Mark

      I don’t ever remember Mayor Jordan or the Chancellor being characterized as liberal elitists…pretty sure they just want equality for all.. Sounds like you don’t… Maybe your Bible told you so!!

      • Larry

        And there it is, Mark’s now a Bible scholar. Please explain how thIs ordinance, read law, is not already covered adnausium by any number of laws already in place. Sounds like someone is afraid they won’t get to pee pee in the women’s restroom.

  • Eric Parkinson

    Kudos to Jordan and Gearhart for taking a stand against the Chamber’s absurd and bigoted declaration against Civil Rights. How in the world does the Chamber think that promoting inequality and narrow-mindedness is going to be good for the business economy? What sort of businesses would be attracted? Churches that pay no taxes? What year is this, 1854? For the first time in 12 years, I’m embarrassed and ashamed for Fayetteville.

    • Get Real

      The absurd and bigoted title belongs to those opposed to letting voters decide if the LGBT crowd gets special rights at the expense of others. Equal rights isn’t enough for you and Mark, and most of the City Council. Pandering to a loud, demanding, “in your face” minority while trying to prevent majority rule is a hallmark of liberalism. Now comes the name-calling and baseless accusations of homophobia, discrimination, and the rest of their anti-religious diatribe. They tried to sneak this “civil rights ordinance” past the voters, but got caught. Interesting title, but it is the exact opposite.

      • Mark

        What’s equal about discriminating against the lgbt community? Is sexual orientation a protected class? How is this at the expense of others-does it violate your Biblical beliefs?? The laws were written to protect the unpopular minority..not the majority.. Kinda like when the majority of people in the 60’s (in the south of course) didn’t want black people to attend colleges and public schools.. Is that the type of majority rule you are referring to?

      • Mark

        Get Real- you need to get real.. You never answered my question about majority rule? Unfortunately the govt has to get involved to protect those being discriminated against.. If this weren’t the case we wouldn’t have federally protected classes.. There would be no need.. But because of close minded people like you that try and force your religious beliefs on others we have to enact legislation that protects people that are different than you and your type..Fayetteville is the most progressive city in Arkansas.. If you don’t like it move to Mississippi.. The most religious and ironically the worst performing state in most societal metrics..I’m sure they would welcome you with open arms!!

      • Kyle

        I think you’ll find nothing was snuck past voters, not really was it ever referred to as “civil rights ordinance”. The clear title has always been “Non-Discrimination Ordinance” and it received the full three-reading treatment at the city council. There was more than ample public comment which should attest to the complete lack of sneaking.

    • Get Real

      You are exactly right Drake, the ignorant, arrogant, paranoid, and other miscreants seem to come screeching and whining out of the woodwork, out of their closets, and from under their rocks. No one is going to change their opinions/morals because of what is written here. Let the voters decide, and, win or lose, get over it. As liberals love to proclaim, at least before the last midterm election, elections do have consequences. Both sides will have to deal with them.

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