Originally posted at OzarkFirst.com
Hundreds of people gathered both inside and outside city hall here awaiting city councils vote. It passed with only one vote against coming from Mayor Ruth Carney. Before the meeting, groups both for and against rallied in the parking lot where tensions were high.
Those against the nondiscrimination ordinance say they fear this law would open the door for more changes supporting a lifestyle they don’t agree with.
“If you get the government one little inch they’re going to want to pass more bills and more rights to be able to further what their cause is,” said a person opposing the law.
People supporting the ordinance say this is a law that should have been passed years ago.
“We just believe in equal rights. We believe this would be good for the city we worked long and hard on this.”
The ordinance would make it illegal for city employees to discriminate in hiring practices or against customers based on sexual orientation and gender identity. It would also be law for those doing business with the city.
Hot Springs, AR passes LGBT nondiscrimination protections in the wake of a statewide ban on LGBT protections that was passed by the Arkansas legislature earlier this year. The legislation had banned localities from extending basic protections based on one’s sexual orientation and gender identity in employment, housing and public accommodations.
Hot Springs is the second city, after Little Rock, to commit civil disobedience and pass protections for their city’s LGBT community.