Fayetteville Alderman Matt Petty says he’ll try again to pass a city civil rights ordinance that extends some protections to LGBT people. Here’s a report from 40/29.
He says the ordinance likely will change and he talks of attempting to arrive at a new proposal through an advisory committee that includes business and religious people.
This could, of course, test the sincerity of people who threw up a flurry of technical legal arguments — many of them dubious. They insisted they didn’t favor discrimination. Some of them do, of course. Some also claimed, despite testimony to the contrary, that there was no discrimination in Fayetteville.
Sen. Bart Hester, who doesn’t live in Fayetteville but who has taken protection of gay people as a personal affront, is at least honest. He doesn’t want anybody protecting gay people. He says it wouldn’t do to have different city treatment for gay people around the state. No, he doesn’t propose to provide civil rights protection for gay people under state law that women, racial minorities and others enjoy. He simply wants to preserve legal discrimination against gay people at all levels. To that end, he’s vowed to introduce legislation to bar cities from passing civil rights ordinances. This would be another area in which a legislature that normally favors local control would pre-empt ocal control. Years ago, the legislature stripped the cities of home rule on guns.
Fayetteville voters narrowly repealed the earlier detailed ordinance, 51.66-48.34, or fewer than 500 votes of more than 14,500 cast.