ARKANSAS: Judge Upholds Fayetteville’s LGBT Rights Law, Rules It Doesn’t Conflict With Statewide Ban

Take that, Duggar family. The Associated Press reports:

A state judge on Tuesday upheld a northwest Arkansas city’s ban on discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, ruling that it doesn’t conflict with a law aimed at blocking local protections for gays and lesbians.

Washington County Circuit Judge Doug Martin ruled that the Fayetteville 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. Martin sided with supporters of the Fayetteville ordinance who pointed to those protections being mentioned elsewhere in state law.

“Clearly, the classifications of gender identity and sexual orientation were classifications of persons protected on bases contained in state law prior to the enactment of (Fayetteville’s ordinance),” Martin wrote.

The case is expected to wind up before the state Supreme Court.