The City Council of Fayetteville, Arkansas this week passed an ordinance protecting LGBT people from discrimination.
Passed with a vote of 6-2, the ordinance bans discrimination motivated by sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. It applies to matters of housing, employment and public accommodations.
Oh, and fun fact: 19 Kids and Counting’s Michelle Duggar has already made this ordinance famous.
The ordinance became the subject of national news after TLC’s 19 Kids and Counting matriarch Michelle Duggar recorded a robocall in opposition to the ordinance, using a number of debunked talking points about transgender individuals generally used as scare tactics.
Duggar’s call played on the “bathroom predator” line of argument, equating transgender people to sex offenders and pedophiles, and suggesting that men will simply pretend to be trans as a means to assault women and children in private facilities. These talking points play on the public’s fears, and ignore the fact that transgender individuals are far more likely to be the victim of physical or sexual assault in a place of public accommodation than they are to be the aggressor.
Sorry not sorry, Michelle! Congrats, Fayetteville. This is probably much needed and a huge, huge step for Arkansas.