In Win For Equality, Largest County in Arkansas Passes Employment Protections for County Workers

Pulaski County’s historic move makes county sixth Arkansas municipality to pass pro-LGBT legislation this year

LITTLE ROCK— Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC),  the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, praised Pulaski County for passing much-needed non-discrimination protections that will protect county employees in the workplace. By a vote of 10-5, members of the Pulaski County Quorum Court enacted essential workplace protections that will prohibit discrimination against county employees based on sexual orientation and gender identity, as well as political or religious opinions or affiliations, race, age, sex, national origin, handicap, disability, genetic information or other non-merit factors. Non-discrimination provisions in city services and city contracting are also included in the ordinance. Pulaski County, which has more than 382,000 residents and is the largest in Arkansas, is the sixth municipality to take action protecting LGBT Arkansans since the passage of SB 202, a discriminatory law that will strip municipalities from local control in enacting non-discrimination ordinances this July. Similar measures have been enacted in Conway, Little Rock, North Little Rock, and Hot Springs. Eureka Springs is the only municipality in the state to successfully pass comprehensive LGBT protections not only for city workers, but for all residents of the city.

“Pulaski County’s leadership has sent a clear message to our state legislators in Little Rock: Arkansas is ready for equality,” said HRC Arkansas State Director Kendra R. Johnson. “Members of the Quorum Court are standing on the right side of history by extending necessary protections to all county employees, regardless of who they are or whom they love.  Every Arkansan deserves to be treated with dignity and respect, and HRC Arkansas will continue to work aggressively to achieve that goal.”

HRC Arkansas is working to advance equality for LGBT Arkansans who have no statewide protections in housing, workplace, or public accommodations; and legal state recognition for their relationships and families. Through HRC Arkansas, we are working toward a future of fairness every day—changing hearts, minds and laws toward achieving full equality.

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. HRC envisions a world where LGBT people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.

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