Arkansas

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Know the laws in your state that protect LBGT people and people living with HIV.
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 LGBT employees. Lambda Legal maintains that the EEOC adjudications regarding Title VII’s coverage should supersede contrary authority that exists in some federal circuits.

HIV & Healthcare

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NO
Does the state explicitly ban transgender exclusions in health insurance?
NO
Does the state have laws that may be used to fight against health care discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity?
Does Arkansas have an HIV criminalization law?

YES, Arkansas has a criminal law that punishes people with an HIV diagnosis specifically for nondisclosure of HIV status prior to sexual conduct, and the statute explicitly includes very low or no-risk sexual activities.  A violation of this statute is classified as a felony.

Has there been at least one HIV-based criminal prosecution—brought under an HIV-specific criminal law or a general criminal law—in Arkansas in recent years?

YES, in recent years, there has been at least one criminal prosecution for HIV nondisclosure in Arkansas.

Does Arkansas have laws that criminalize or enhance the penalties for biting, spitting and/or throwing bodily fluids or substances (such as urine or excrement) if a person has been diagnosed with HIV?

NO, Arkansas does not have laws that criminalize or enhance penalties for biting, spitting and/or throwing bodily fluids or substances (such as urine or excrement) if a person has been diagnosed with HIV, but that does not mean the state could not prosecute a person engaged in such activities under general criminal laws or argue for sentence enhancements based on the person’s HIV diagnosis.

Does Arkansas have criminal laws addressing HIV+ sex workers and/or HIV+ patrons of sex workers?

NO, Arkansas does not have laws that enhance penalties for HIV-positive people involved in commercial sexual transactions, but that does not mean that a prosecutor could not argue for an enhanced sentence in such a situation based on the defendant’s HIV-positive status, if the prosecutor has access to that information, or attempt to bring separate charges under an HIV-specific nondisclosure statute or the general criminal laws.

Who may adopt?

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

Second-parent adoptions:

Not yet permitted.

Public Accommodations

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NO
Public accommodations protections on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity?

Relationships

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YES
Does the state allow same-sex couples to marry?
YES
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?
YES
Does state law prohibit bullying in public schools?
YES
Does the law include cyberbullying?
YES
Does the law specifically mention sexual orientation?
YES
Does the law specifically mention gender identity?
NO
Does the law also apply to private, non-religious schools?
NO
Is there a state antidiscrimination law that applies (or may apply) to schools?