JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - A rally on the Craighead County Courthouse grounds on Saturday stood for change toward fair employment with the city of Jonesboro.
The group worked to pass a resolution to include gender identity, sexual orientation, and veteran status to protect classifications and employment policy.
In a Human Rights Campaign survey, eight Arkansas cities were scored based on Municipal Equality. The city of Jonesboro scored a 0 out of 100.
Northeast Arkansas Pride President Yesenia Hernandez says they have no protections in the LGBTQ community.
“Up until five years ago, a lot of members in our community couldn’t even marry the person that they loved, so legal discrimination is still discrimination so that’s what we’re trying to fight today,” she says.
The group formed a resolution to the city of Jonesboro and asked to be placed on Tuesday night’s city council agenda.
According to Hernandez, Jonesboro Mayor Harold Perrin denied their addition to the agenda.
However, Bill Campbell, the city’s communications director, said the mayor was out of town and did not turn down the request. He said dropping the resolution off with the city council was "not how procedure works."
A similar resolution was proposed several years ago.
“The mayor, in response, said the city deems the current language the same language used by the federal government and state as protecting everyone and denying access to no one,” Campbell said referring to the 2015 resolution.
Campbell said in an earlier statement that the city’s policy "covers all protected classes in that law. We also have paragraphs that say employment and promotion decisions will be made only on individual qualifications.”
The group plans to attend Tuesday night’s city council meeting.