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Washington, D.C., Group Contributes Six Figures In Ordinance 119 Fight

FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) – The Washington, D.C.-based Human Rights Campaign has contributed $166,080 in nonmoney contributions to Keep Fayetteville Fair, the o...

FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) – The Washington, D.C.-based Human Rights Campaign has contributed $166,080 in nonmoney contributions to Keep Fayetteville Fair, the organization working to keep a local civil rights ordinance on the books, according to a report filed with the Arkansas Ethics Commission.

The nonmoney contributions from the Human Rights Campaign have gone toward Web development, legal fees, mailing, staff time and more in the local group’s campaign against the repeal of Ordinance 119, according to the financial report filed this week.

Ordinance 119 was approved Aug. 19 by the Fayetteville City Council, prohibiting local businesses and entities from discriminating against customers and others based on gender, race, sexual orientation, gender identity and other factors.

After that vote, opponents gathered the required number of signatures to place the issue to a public vote in a special election on Tuesday (Dec. 9).

Opponents contend the ordinance would require church officials against their wishes to perform same-sex marriages. Proponents say the ordinance does not require church officials to perform same-sex marriages.

The financial report for Keep Fayetteville Fair shows the group has raised $24,151 in cash contributions and has spent $17,896. The cash contributions are in addition to the nonmoney contributions from the Human Rights Campaign.

The Human Rights Campaign also provided Alderman Matthew Petty with the original first draft for what ultimately became Ordinance 119, said Kit Williams, city attorney. That first draft was substantially shortened before being approved by the City Council, Williams said.

The Human Rights Campaign website states the group is working for “Lesbian, Gay,
Bisexual and Transgender Equal Rights.”

The local organization working to repeal Ordinance 119, calling itself Repeal 119, has raised $7,696 and spent $6,403, according to its financial report.

Among that local group’s more than $28,000 in nonmoney contributions is a $1,334 contribution from the National Black Robe Regiment for “door hangers.”

The Texas-based National Black Robe Regiment is “a network of national and local pastors and pastor groups that equips and empowers pastors to engage in their Biblical and historical role to stand boldly for righteousness and transform society through spiritual and cultural engagement,” according to its website.