Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson:
“If this bill reaches my desk in similar form as to what has been passed in 20 other states then I will sign it.”
The Arkansas House today approved a religious freedom measure very similar to the one Mike Pence signed into law in Indiana –sparking intense outrage from businesses, sports organizations and popular culture figures who said it opened the door to discrimination against gays and lesbians.
Following Indiana’s new law, Arkansas becomes the second of what could be a whole slew of states to add religious freedom laws to their books this year. There are 14 other states considering similar proposals according to the National Conference of State Legislatures: Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming. Those efforts have stalled, though, in North Carolina and Georgia.
Arkansas’s home-state giant Walmart has been a leading critic of the religious freedom bill. All they have to do is hint at a move out of state and Mr. Hutchinson will need some Depends. Well, we’ve got a new hashtag, anyway! Let’s see if we can’t get it trending!? #BoycottArkansas (via CNN)
UPDATE: April 1 –Hopfully not an April Fool‘s gag but Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) just announced he will NOT sign a controversial religious liberty bill because he wants lawmakers to make changes but he doesn’t say WHAT changes. Stay tuned.