LITTLE ROCK, Ark.- A recent report placed Arkansas at the bottom of state rankings for LGBTQ+ equality.

According to a map created by Out Leadership for its 2024 equality report, the Natural State received the worst score of any state in the report’s six-year history.

Arkansas scored as worst state for LGBTQ equality, report finds

Leaders from Central Arkansas pride say it’s things like the Drag bill along with the gender-affirming care ban that has Arkansas ranking low, but State Representative Robin Lundstrum is challenging that.

“The laws that we passed were laws to protect children,” Lundstrum said. “Adults, LGBTQ in Arkansas, they want to protect children too.”

She said she knows and works with many in the LGBTQ community who support the bills passed.

“Some people just want to cause a lot of trouble and want to cause division when most folks can find more things that they agree on,” Lundstrum said. 

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Joseph Johnson is the director for Central Arkansas Pride and said there’s a major difference in opinions.

“The reason why I think we are last is because a lot of the negative legislation that’s going on,” Johnson said.

Johnson said this isn’t Arkansas’ first time ranking last, and he believes it begins in 2021 with state legislators banning gender-affirming health care, to now having gender-neutral markers on driver’s licenses and IDs removed.

“How we overcome a lot of this anti-bullying by our government is to stand up is to be visible, is to use our voices at these pride events,” Johnson said.

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He said moving forward he and others apart of the LGBTQ community will continue advocating in hopes that things soon change.