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."
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.
YES, in recent years, there has been at least one criminal prosecution for HIV nondisclosure in Arkansas.
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.
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.
Any unmarried adult. Married persons must petition jointly unless excused by court. Ark. Stat. §9-9-204.
Not yet permitted.
Case law reveals hostility to gay parents. See Larson v. Larson, 902 S.W.2d 254 (App. 1995)
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 .
Now that the Supreme Court has ruled in favor of marriage equality, state and local officials can and should stop enforcing their marriage bans immediately. But it is possible that officials in some places may not start allowing couples to marry until the federal courts issue orders directly prohibiting them from enforcing their state or territory’s marriage ban. Federal lawsuits have been brought in all states that continue to enforce their marriage bans as well as in Puerto Rico, and we expect attorneys in those cases to promptly ask the courts to issue injunctions or to take other steps now that the Supreme Court has ruled. We know from experience, however, that this process can take a different amount of time in each jurisdiction depending on how quickly the courts move and how much government officials attempt to drag out the process. The process could be resolved as quickly as within a matter of days or it could take a bit longer depending on the particular jurisdiction.