J. Froelich / KUAF

A spontaneous candlelight vigil was held by members of the LGBT community and allies in Fayetteville last night, following a mass shooting inside a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida early Sunday morning. The vigil was hosted by the Northwest Arkansas Center for Equality and St. Paul's Episcopal Church.

MUSIC: "The Swan" Yo Yo Ma

courtesy photo / Danny Montgomery

Last month, the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice issued guidance to public schools to ensure the civil rights of transgender students. Under the federal public education law known as Title IX, students enrolled in federally funded public schools are protected from discrimination based on sex. A dozen states have gone on record in defiance of the new White House guidance--including Arkansas-- leaving both schools and transgender students caught in the middle.

The NWA Center for Equality, which serves the LGBTQ community in Washington and Benton counties, is hosting this year's NWA Pride events. Events include a pub crawl, drag show, parade, and a festival.

Photo courtesy Dave Williams

Former Arkansas resident, Dave Williams, represented by Lambda Legal, the nation's largest LGBT litigation group based in Washington, D.C., is the first in the U.S. to be conveyed his deceased spouse's social security death benefits retroactively under Obergefell, the recent U.S. Supreme Court case which decided in favor of legalizing federal same-sex marriage. Williams has battled to obtain the entitlement for five years.

MUSIC: "Confidence" P'ARIS

Jacqueline Froelich

A little over a year ago, the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest LGBT civil rights organization based in Washington, D.C., announced it would spend $8.5 million dollars to expand LGBT equality in Mississippi, Alabama and Arkansas. While many southern LGBT activists look up to HRC as a powerful ally, a growing number of activists see HRC very differently.