Target: Fayetteville Mayor Lioneld Jordan
Goal: Ensure the rights of all citizens are respected
Voters in Fayetteville, Arkansas recently repealed an anti-discrimination ordinance meant to protect citizens from discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations. Without laws in place, Fayetteville residents will no longer receive the same protections from prejudice.
The Civil Rights Ordinance was passed by the Fayetteville city council largely in an effort to allow transgender citizens to use public restrooms reserved for the gender they identify with. Michelle Duggar from the TV show “19 Kids and Counting”—who does not live in Fayetteville—recorded a robocall urging voters to block the ordinance.
According to The New Civil Rights Movement, Duggar also spent some $10,000 backing the ordinance’s political opponents. In Duggar’s argument, she said the ordinance would allow convicted child predators into public areas reserved for women and girls. The ordinance was repealed by Fayetteville voters, often citing violations to religious liberties, which were not included in the ordinance.
The language in the Civil Rights Ordinance did, however, protect citizens from discrimination in employment, city services, housing, real estate, public accommodations and business transactions based on ethnicity, age, gender, gender expression, gender identity, marital status, familial status, socioeconomic background, religion, disability or sexual orientation. Repealing this law doesn’t just mean that transgender people will not be allowed to use the public restroom they feel comfortable in, it allows egregious rights violations to be committed with impunity against almost anyone.
This isn’t just a loss for the LGBTQ community, this is a loss for civil rights. Sign this petition urging Fayetteville to reinstate protections for all of its citizens.
Dear Mayor Jordan,
The Civil Rights Ordinance protected Fayetteville’s most vulnerable citizens from discrimination based not only on gender identification and sexual orientation, but on sex, age, wealth, race and religion. The ordinance in no way violated religious civil rights, but stood for them. Repealing the ordinance does little more than ensure that Fayetteville residents will be treated unequally with impunity.
The ordinance also protected veterans from discrimination, ensured that people would not be refused service or assistance based on real or perceived status, orientation or expression. This is more than one town overturning a measure in order to protect its children,—who were not likely in harm’s way because of it—this repeal allows for rights violations across all sectors of public interaction against virtually all walks of life.
I urge you to reinstate civil rights in Fayetteville.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Ludovic Bertron via Wikimedia Commons