BENTONVILLE, Ark. (AP) – Bentonville School District leaders have asked the superintendent to draft an anti-discrimination policy that protects sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status and veterans.
The Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports the change would emulate the University of Arkansas and area employers. The district already protects employees on the basis of race, religion, gender and other criteria.
This comes after Arkansas cities have looked at expanding their own anti-discrimination laws because of state lawmakers pushing for a “religious freedom” bill.
The American Family Association, a national Christian advocacy group, opposes the change and has urged Arkansans to speak out against it.
Fifteen of the 18 people who addressed the school board on April 20 opposed including protections for gays and lesbians. They say the proposed change is unneeded and anti-religious.
The superintendent says he is examining other anti-discrimination policies and plans to make a recommendation to the board in May.