Arkansas

Relationships

NO
Does the state allow same-sex couples to marry?

No. The state constitution prohibits marriage between same-sex couples. Amended in 2004 to say: “Marriage consists only of the union of one man and one woman. Legal status for unmarried persons which is identical or substantially similar to marital status shall not be valid or recognized in Arkansas, except that the legislature may recognize a common law marriage from another state between a man and a woman. The legislature has the power to determine the capacity of persons to marry, subject to this amendment, and the legal rights, obligations, privileges, and immunities of marriage.” See Arkansas Constitution Amendment 83 § 1 .

NO
Does the state recognize marriages of same-sex couples from other jurisdictions?
NO
Does the state offer any other type of relationship recognition for same-sex couples?

 

The state constitution prohibits marriage between same-sex couples. Amended in 2004 to say: “Marriage consists only of the union of one man and one woman. Legal status for unmarried persons which is identical or substantially similar to marital status shall not be valid or recognized in Arkansas, except that the legislature may recognize a common law marriage from another state between a man and a woman. The legislature has the power to determine the capacity of persons to marry, subject to this amendment, and the legal rights, obligations, privileges, and immunities of marriage.” See Arkansas Constitution Amendment 83 § 1 .

 

State statute prohibits marriage between same-sex couples. See Arkansas Code § 9-11-109.

Workplace

NO
Does state law protect employees in the private sector from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation?
NO
Does state law protect employees in the private sector from discrimination on the basis of gender identity and/or gender expression?
NO
Does state law expressly protect employees of state and local governments from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation?
NO
Does state law expressly protect employees of state and local governments from discrimination on the basis of gender identity and/or gender expression?

All government employees are protected by the U.S. Constitution against irrational discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. In addition, some measure of protection already exists under Title VII based on gender, which has been held to include gender identity and expression.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and several courts have interpreted Title VII to protect transgender employees, and the EEOC has interpreted Title VII to cover sexual orientation discrimination. The Supreme Court has held that the EEOC's interpretations of Title VII are entitled to "great deference." 

Parenting

Miscellaneous
Who may adopt?

Any unmarried adult. Married persons must petition jointly unless excused by court. Ark. Stat. §9-9-204.

Miscellaneous
Second-parent adoptions:

Not yet permitted.

 

Case law reveals hostility to gay parents. See Larson v. Larson, 902 S.W.2d 254 (App. 1995)

Bullying

YES
Does state law prohibit bullying in public schools?

No

YES
Does the law include cyberbullying?

Yes

YES
Does the law specifically mention sexual orientation?

Yes

YES
Does the law specifically mention gender identity?

Yes

NO
Does the law also apply to private, non-religious schools?

No

NO
Is there a state antidiscrimination law that applies (or may apply) to schools?

No

Ark. Code Ann. § 6-18-514 (Supp. 2011)

Wolfe v. Fayetteville, Ark. Sch. Dist., 600 F. Supp. 2d 1011 (W.D. Ark. 2009), states that Ark. Code Ann. § 6-18-514 does not create a private cause of action.

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