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Rights Fight Underway in Fayetteville

FAYETTEVILLE, AR-- A fight for rights is underway in Fayetteville.
FAYETTEVILLE, AR-- A fight for rights is underway in Fayetteville.

The issue at hand is a proposal that would create a Civil Rights Administrator for the city.

Ordinance 119 would appoint that person to use the city's police powers to protect people from discrimination.

Click here to read the proposed ordinance.

For the past few weeks Ordinance 119 has garnered a lot of discussion.

People in favor and in opposition to the new Ordinance, filling the last council meeting.

Tonight, at an emergency meeting called by the City Council, the possibility of moving tomorrow night's meeting was discussed.

That alternate plan was rejected, and the meeting will go on as planned at the City Hall tomorrow night at 5:30. Doors will open for those wanting to attend at 4:30.

Local religious groups have spoken about their concern over whether the ordinance would interfere with their ability to conduct religious ceremonies in accordance with

their beliefs. Today, Matthew Petty, the Alderman who originally proposed Ordinance 119 discussed these concerns. "Anybody who says

 this ordinance is going to force any church to accommodate a wedding or any other kind of ceremony that goes against religious beliefs is simply misinformed

about the ordinance." Petty said. "It doesn't require that- what it does require is if your opening your doors to the public, say your serving lunches to the poor. That you

have to do that in a manner that isn't discriminatory." Petty continued.

Tuesday, August 19, marks the third and final reading of the ordinance, where aldermen can choose whether to approve the proposal.

The regularly scheduled city council meeting will be held Tuesday night at 5:30 at Fayetteville City Hall.

We will have updates as they become available.

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