In States that have passed laws restricting municipalities/localities or cities from passing basic nondiscrimination protections for the LGBT community are seeing city’s commit civil disobedience. Civil disobedience is a term used when there is an active refusal to obey certain laws, demands, or commands of a government — or in this case, State government.
Cities that commit civil disobedience do so because of unjust laws. Having already discussed the hypocrisy of state legislatures who seek to undermine local control, we now are getting a taste of what happens when a state legislature passes these sort of laws.
In Arkansas, for instance, advocates are seeing an increase in cities that are willing to take a stand for the protection of their LGBT citizens. Ahead of the statewide ban, Eureka Springs, AR unanimously passed local LGBT nondiscrimination protections but is facing a repeal that will be brought to a city-wide vote on May 12. Little Rock, AR became the most recent city to not abide by the state’s new law and pass basic protections.
Beside showing the need for these protections, cities are sending a clear message to their state lawmakers that discrimination based on one’s sexual orientation and gender identity will not be treated lightly. Hopefully, these city’s ordinances will be used to mount a repeal of the statewide law banning local municipalities from passing their own protections, with timing.
In states that have introduced similar legislation, including West Virginia and Texas, LGBT advocates should continue to pressure local municipalities to pass protections for all of its citizens. We must continue to show the need for these protections by making sure that the places we live protect us.