After more than 10 hours of public debate, the City Council in Fayetteville, Ark., passed a bill implementing a comprehensive nondiscrimination ordinance, protecting individuals on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression in housing, employment, and public accommodations.
The ordinance became the subject of national news after TLC's 19 Kids and Counting matriarch Michelle Duggar recorded a robocall in opposition to the ordinance, using a number of debunked talking points about transgender individuals generally used as scare tactics.
Duggar's call played on the "bathroom predator" line of argument, equating transgender people to sex offenders and pedophiles, and suggesting that men will simply pretend to be trans as a means to assault women and children in private facilities. These talking points play on the public's fears, and ignore the fact that transgender individuals are far more likely to be the victim of physical or sexual assault in a place of public accommodation than they are to be the agressor.
Despite Duggar's efforts, the ordinance passed by a vote of 6-2 around 3:20 a.m. local time.
This morning, Duggar's daughter, Jill Dillard appeared with her husband Derick on ABC's Good Morning America to announce that they are expecting their first child. Following in her parents' footsteps, Dillard says she wants "as many kids as God will give us." ABC made no mention of the backlash over her mother's robocall.