The Fayetteville, Arkansas City Council in the wee hours of Wednesday morning, voted not to send a nondiscrimination ordinance directly to voters in November, and passed the bill instead.
Despite transphobic robocalls from 19 Kids and Counting's Michelle Duggar, Tuesday night the Fayetteville, Arkansas City Council voted 2-6 to not send a nondiscrimination ordinance to voters in November, and passed the bill. The final vote was 6-2 in favor. Public debate in the town of about 77,000 took more than 10 hours, and the final vote concluded at about 3:20 AM local time.
The ordinance bans sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression discrimination in housing, employment, and public accommodations.
Conservatives were dramatically opposed to the legislation, Ordinance 119, falsely claiming the bill would mandate unisex public restrooms.
TLC star Michelle Duggar even told voters, "I don’t believe the citizens of Fayetteville would want males with past child predator convictions that claim they are female to have a legal right to enter private areas that are reserved for women and girls."
A common lie from the religious right is that LGBT people are child molesters, and that trans women, for example, are really just men who want to lie their way into a woman's restroom or changing room.
One Fayetteville resident (image, below) who claimed he is a lawyer, denigrated the legislation and said that 85 percent of LGBT people are already covered by federal legislation. He also said he had a 14-foot chart he wanted to pin to the wall.
First Fayetteville resident is still speaking after 18 minutes.. Doesn't look like he's going anywhere pic.twitter.com/HqGGOlY7OE— amanda simmons (@amanda0simmons) August 20, 2014
"This statute is aimed at traditional religion," the speaker complained. "This is an ordinance, and it's more than that...it puts the burden on religious organizations."
#fairfayetteville Now he gets to his crux of the argument: He doesn't want to be "forced" to hire...aka not fire...a LGBT person— Terry Purdue (@TerryPurdue) August 20, 2014
"I'd rather see my tax money used instead for something that is necessary that would have daily impact," one woman said, suggesting the city "hire another animal control officer."
She insisted she supports "the minority."
"Of course I oppose discrimination, but..." and "I don't care WHO you sleep with" are like famous bigot rallying cries. #fairfayetteville— Carlos Maza (@gaywonk) August 20, 2014
A few more tweets to tell the story:
Mister Pastor, homosexuals don’t convert people into their type. You’re thinking of Christians. #FairFayetteville— jonathan (@jonvox) August 20, 2014
"To my mind, ordinance 119 is an assault on personal and religious freedom. " Creator granted us the right to discriminate.#fairfayetteville— Kelly McKenzie (@DireDigression) August 20, 2014
#FairFayetteville Mayor Jordan seems to nearly be on the verge of tears talking about his commitment to equality, vows to stand for freedoms— Flannery (@flandub) August 20, 2014
Mayor says he sees a day of love, peace and hope. Everyone needs a place at the seat of equality #fairfayetteville— Andrea Zekis (@andrea_zekis) August 20, 2014