Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Defying Criticism, Arkansas Legislature Passes Bill on Religious Freedom

Despite intensifying criticism from business leaders both within and outside of Arkansas, the state legislature on Tuesday passed its version of a measure billed as a religious freedom law, joining Indiana in a swirl of controversy that shows little sign of calming.

The bill, passed when the General Assembly concurred on three amendments from the State Senate, now goes to the state’s Republican governor, Asa Hutchinson, who expressed reservations about an earlier bill but more recently said he would sign the measure if it “reaches my desk in similar form as to what has been passed in 20 other states.” The Arkansas Senate passed the measure last week.

While there were several attempts up until the last minute to add a clause to the bill that would explicitly bar discrimination of gays and lesbians, a measure that Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana pledged to add in a news conference on Tuesday, the sponsors of the bill in the General Assembly rejected such moves.

More:  http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/01/us/governor-mike-pence-defends-indiana-religious-freedom-restoration-act.html

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