[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]On Tuesday, Arkansas became the 21st state to pass some version of a Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Although Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson previously said that he would sign the bill into law, this morning he has caved to pressure from those distorting the bill by claiming that it legalizes discrimination against gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgenders, sending the bill back to the Congress for changes.[/vc_column_text][banner300 banner=”5517620b381df”][vc_column_text]Almost immediately after the Arkansas legislature passed RFRA, Walmart, the state’s and country’s largest private employer, began leaning on the governor to veto the bill which they claimed was discriminatory. Their actions in distorting the bill put them in the same category of other high powered companies, such as Apple and the NCAA, who accused Indiana, who became the 20th state to sign RFRA into law last week, of discrimination.
With threats of repercussions by progressive led businesses, Indiana Governor Mike Pence said on Tuesday that he would clarify the law. Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson will now not sign the bill into law until and unless the legislature makes changes.
During a news conference, Gov. Hutchinson said, “This is a bill that in ordinary times would not be controversial. But these are not ordinary times.”
Republican Rep. Bob Ballinger, who sponsored the bill, said during a phone interview with the Washington Post, “This legislation doesn’t allow anybody to discriminate against anybody, not here. The bill does just the opposite. It focuses on the civil rights of people believing what they want to believe, and not letting the government interfere with that.”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]