04/02/2015 // West Palm Beach, Florida, US // JusticeNewsFlash // Justice News Flash // (press release)
Little Rock – Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson has said he would ask lawmakers to fix a religious bill that many view as targeting gays for discrimination. As reported by Reuters, the governor previously stated he would sign the measure into law; however, recently stated he would send it back so that lawmakers could rewrite it amid controversy over its provisions.
Activists have suggested that the bill allows discrimination against gays by businesses based on religion. Many have called on Hutchinson to veto the measure amid threats of boycotts and protests. A similar bill in Indiana has sparked protest and similar calls for changes.
Randy Zook, president and CEO of the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce, is quoted as stating of changing the language of the measure, “If we fix it now, it is probably a week’s worth of repairs to Arkansas’ image. If we don’t, it is a black eye that is going to be a long time healing, if ever.”
Wal-Mart Stores Inc., which is based in Arkansas, has praised Hutchinson’s actions after being among those requesting that the controversial bill be vetoed. Hutchinson is quoted as stating during a news conference in Little Rock, “We want to be known as a state that does not discriminate, but understands tolerance… We just didn’t get it perfect through that legislative process.”
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