Arkansas Gov ‘Will Sign’ Same Anti-LGBT ‘Religious Freedom’ Bill As Indiana (VIDEO)

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Asa Hutchinson

Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson

#BoycottIndiana has been a top trending topic since Gov. Mike Pence signed the anti-LGBT Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) on Thursday. The Hoosier state and its bigoted governor are getting hammered on social media.

A firestorm of criticism along with pledges to boycott the state have been coming in from major US businesses, celebrities, athletes and politicians. Indiana is set to pay a heavy price for discrimination.

Arkansas must be a glutton for punishment. They see the massive economic hit Indiana faces and have decided they would like some economic hardship, too. According to Buzzfeed, the Arkansas House and Senate have both passed a bill similar to Indiana’s. On Friday, Gov. Asa Hutchinson said that once the House and Senate work out the technical details in the bill, he’ll sign it,

“I will sign this bill as amended,” said Hutchinson said in a statement. “This bill is designed to protect the religious freedoms of all Arkansans. It’s no different than legislation that has passed in 20 other states, from Illinois to Connecticut. Arkansas is open for business, and we recognize and respect the diversity of our culture and economy.”

Business leaders, civil rights leaders and LGBT advocacy groups are urging Gov. Hutchinson to veto the bill.

Apple CEO Tim Cook urged Gov. Hutchinson to veto the bill in a tweet on Friday,

Tim Cook,RFRA,Twitter

Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman delivered an open letter to all states pursuing anti-LGBT legislation,

“… it is unconscionable to imagine that Yelp would create, maintain, or expand a significant business presence in any state that encouraged discrimination by businesses against our employees, or consumers at large.”

The Arkansas law is opposed by Wal-Mart, Apple, and the Arkansas Municipal League. Salesforce, Eli Lilly, the NCAA and other businesses expressing concern over Indiana’s anti-LGBT law are sure to react if Arkansas passes their backward bill.

Jenny Pizer, the law and policy project director at Lambda Legal, is concerned about these newly minted “religious freedom” laws. She feels they may have a broader reach in a post “Hobby Lobby” world,

“We should work with the assumption that bills being championed by religious arch-conservatives who delighted in the Hobby Lobby decision raise serious concern,” Pizer said. “Everyone who may be on the pointy end of the stick of someone else’s religion could be refused.”

Dr. Julian Bond, a civil-rights movement leader, released the following statement,

“This legislation cloaks discrimination in the guise of religion — and it will mark people of color, LGBT Arkansans, religious minorities and women as second class citizens,” said Bond. “Governor Hutchinson has a duty and a moral obligation to veto this legislation or the ghosts of the past will haunt his legacy.”

LGBT advocacy group, the Human Rights Campaign has asked Hutchinson to veto the bill. KATV 7 News filed this report documenting the group’s effort,

Is Gov. Hutchinson’s IQ is higher than his shoe size or will #BoycottArkansas become the next hot trending topic on Twitter? Only time will tell.

 

Reprinted with permission from Addicting Info