Court asked to block lawmaker testimony on LGBT rights law

Court asked to block lawmaker testimony on LGBT rights law
pic of Arkansas State Capitol in Little Rock, AR (Source: KAIT-TV)

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Arkansas' highest court is considering whether legislators and other officials can be shielded from testifying or providing documents about a state law that prevents cities from prohibiting discrimination against LGBT people.

The state Supreme Court on Thursday heard arguments from the state and supporters of a Fayetteville anti-discrimination ordinance over a judge’s ruling that Arkansas' constitution doesn’t protect lawmakers from being questioned about anything other than speeches or debates that occur in either chamber of the Legislature. The state is challenging that decision, saying it would eviscerate longstanding protections.

The high court in 2017 ruled Fayetteville’s anti-discrimination ordinance violated a 2015 state law preventing local protections based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Justices are also considering whether to reverse a judge’s ruling that the city could still enforce the ordinance.

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