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Legal Analysis Finds Arkansas Law that Bars Protection of LGBTQ People Unconstitutional

November 22, 2017

NYU Public Health,

Rachel Harrison,

November 21, 2017-

An original legal analysis by NYU College of Global Public Health finds an Arkansas law that prohibits local governments from enacting civil rights protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer (LGBTQ) individuals to be unconstitutional. The article, published online in the American Journal of Public Health, provides information in support of evidence-based policy-making in order to prevent the passage of similar laws in other states.

LGBTQ individuals have historically been discriminated against in a variety of ways; this puts them at an increased risk for disparate health outcomes when they reside in states that fail to extend equal protections to them or that actively deprive equal rights to them. “In the wake of the Supreme Court’s 2015 case holding that the Constitution protects the right of same-sex couples to marry, Congress and state legislatures have proposed and enacted laws to protect people who disagree with this ruling. These laws take several forms, but they all foster inequities that are concerning for public health,” said Jennifer L. Pomeranz, assistant professor of public health policy and management at NYU College of Global Public Health and the article’s author.

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