Fort Smith, Arkansas adds protections for city’s LGBTQ employees

National / World

FORT SMITH, Arkansas (KNWA/KFTA) — Fort Smith adds protections for the LGBTQ community to its human resources policy.

The city’s board of directors approved the updated policy July 20.

It now includes language protecting city employees from harassment and discrimination pertaining to sexual orientation and gender identity.

City Administrator Carl E. Geffken says this move could increase Fort Smith’s Municipal Equality Index score from the Human Rights Campaign.

It examines how inclusive cities are to their LGBTQ communities.

“It will definitely garner us some good points as we do more and more to really put Fort Smith on the map to show how good the city is and that we in the River Valley are a good place to live and work,” Geffeken said.

Of the eight Arkansas cities surveyed, the Human Rights Campaign rates Fort Smith as the fourth highest rated city in Arkansas behind Fayetteville, Eureka Springs, and Little Rock.

The other four cities included in the survey are Springdale, Conway, North Little Rock, and Jonesboro.

A full list of all the cities surveyed can be found on the Human Rights Campaign’s website.

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