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Little Rock officials defy Arkansas state ban, enact anti-LGBT discrimination statute

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The governing board of Arkansas’s capital city on Tuesday adopted an ordinance forbidding discrimination against gays and transgender people in municipal hiring, setting the stage for a legal confrontation with the state government which has banned such regulations.

The ordinance also requires vendors doing business with the city of Little Rock to adhere to the same employment practices.

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The Arkansas legislature this year forbade cities and counties from establishing anti-discrimination codes that do not conform to state law, which includes no specific mention of sexual minorities.

The legislation was widely viewed as a response to the growing acceptance of gay marriage. The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to decide this summer whether state bans on same-sex marriage are constitutional.

With almost no discussion, the Little Rock Board of Directors passed the ordinance by a vote of seven to two.

City Attorney Tom Carpenter said the ordinance was legally defensible and in accord with other state statutes establishing protected classes as well as federal procurement and hiring standards.

There was no immediate comment from social conservatives who had been critical of the proposal and have hinted that a court challenge was possible.

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The gay marriage issue for months has roiled politics in Arkansas, where pressure from major business interests including Walmart stopped the legislature from enacting a religious freedom bill that opponents said would have given the color of law to discrimination against gays.

A similar bill at the same time brought a fire storm of criticism to Indiana.

Also, two members of the Arkansas Supreme Court, including the chief justice, have publicly accused their colleagues of improperly avoiding an appeal of a lower court’s finding that the Arkansas ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional.

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Fayetteville, home to the University of Arkansas, saw its anti-discrimination ordinance repealed in a referendum led by religious conservatives.

In nearby Eureka Springs, which has a substantial gay population and a reputation for tolerance, a similar ordinance will be tested in a public vote in May.

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(Reporting by Steve Barnes; Editing by Ellen Wulfhorst)


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READ IT: More than 1,100 former US Department of Justice officials tell Bill Barr to resign now

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More than 1,100 former US Department of Justice officials called on Attorney General William P. Barr on Sunday to step down after he intervened last week to lower the Justice Department’s sentencing recommendation for President Trump’s longtime friend and political crony Roger J. Stone Jr.

“It is unheard of for the Department’s top leaders to overrule line prosecutors, who are following established policies, in order to give preferential treatment to a close associate of the President, as Attorney General Barr did in the Stone case,” wrote the former Justice Department attorneys in their Sunday letter. “It is even more outrageous for the Attorney General to intervene as he did here — after the President publicly condemned the sentencing recommendation that line prosecutors had already filed in court.”

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Trump campaign forced to delete #Daytona500 Air Force One photo because it was from 15 years ago

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Air Force One in flight.

Another oops moment happened for President Donald Trump's campaign manager stole George W. Bush's photo from the Daytona 500 in 2004.

Tweeting Sunday, Brad Parscale proclaimed, "[email protected] won the #Daytona500 before the race even started."

Except, it wasn't him. As many people pointed out, the image was from 16 years ago by photographer Jonathan Ferrey, CNN reported. Parscale was forced to delete it and tweet it out again with an underwhelming photo.

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‘America — y’all gotta wake up’: MSNBC panel cracks up laughing at Trump bizarre claims about the border wall

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Last month, President Donald Trump's border wall collapsed due to weather problems. A new decision was made that in certain areas, Trump's wall must be a kind of "gate" that will remain open during months known for heavy flooding.

After weeks of ignoring the news, Trump finally found something to say about the catastrophe during a press conference where he rambled about different ways that people have tried to get drugs over the wall using a sling-shot.

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