- Associated Press - Friday, October 21, 2016

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - An Arkansas city says its ordinance banning discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity doesn’t violate a state law that was intended to prevent such local protections, and argues the state’s highest court doesn’t need to weigh in on the law’s constitutionality.

Attorneys for the city of Fayetteville told the state Supreme Court on Friday that a judge who upheld the ordinance didn’t rule on the constitutionality of a 2015 state law preventing cities and counties from adopting anti-discrimination ordinances that go beyond what the state protects. Arkansas civil rights law doesn’t include sexual orientation or gender identity.

Fayetteville said those protections are laid out in other state laws, so the ordinance is allowed. Attorney General Leslie Rutledge has asked the court to strike down Fayetteville’s ordinance.

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