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Hearing Set For Fayetteville Civil Rights Ordinance Stay Request

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FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) — Protect Fayetteville, a group that campaigned against Fayetteville’s civil rights ordinance, was granted a hearing Tuesday (Oct. 27) regarding a motion to stay the ordinance.

The hearing will be held Nov. 6 at 9 a.m. in Judge Doug Martin’s courtroom. The hearing is set for one day before Ordinance 5781 goes into effect.

Fayetteville residents passed the civil rights ordinance Sept 8. in a 53% to 47% vote. The ordinance extends civil rights protections to sexual orientation and gender identity in matters like employment and housing.

Protect Fayetteville filed the motion for an injunction Oct. 22 stating the group can show the passage of the civil rights ordinance violated the due process and constitutional rights of Fayetteville residents.

The motion also states the ordinance violates the Intrastate Commerce Act, which was passed by the Arkansas legislature earlier this year. The Intrastate Commerce Act prohibits cities, counties or any other governing bodies from passing civil rights ordinances that extend civil rights protections beyond those already provided by state and federal laws.

The motion goes on stating the ordinance leaves out protections for right of conscience and religion and will result in irreparable harm when it goes into effect Nov. 7.

To read the brief in support of Protect Fayetteville’s motion, click here.

In its response, the City of Fayetteville argues Protect Fayetteville is misinterpreting the laws that govern city council proceedings. The city also argues the residents’ rejection of a different civil rights ordinance in 2014 doesn’t mean the city is forever barred from presenting voters with a similar ordinance at another time. In its response, the city also takes issue with Protect Fayetteville’s claim that the civil rights ordinance violates the Intrastate Commerce Act.

To read the city’s response to Protect Fayetteville’s motion, click here.

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