Arkansas Governor Asks for Changes to ‘Religious Freedom’ Bill Before Signing

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson holds a press conference, April 1, 2015, in response to the Religious Freedom Act. (KATV)
Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson holds a press conference, April 1, 2015, in response to the Religious Freedom Act. (KATV)

Arkansas Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson has asked his state’s legislature to alter a religious-freedom bill sent to his desk before he will sign it.

“I ask that changes be made in the legislature, and I’ve asked that the leaders of the General Assembly to recall the bill so that it can be amended to reflect the terms of the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act,” Hutchinson said.

The governor noted that the bill applies to corporations and litigation between private citizens or entities, neither of which are included in the federal law signed by Bill Clinton.

“We want to be known as a state that does not discriminate but understands tolerance,” Hutchinson said, referencing the controversy around Indiana’s law.

Hutchinson pointed out that his own son signed a petition asking him to veto the bill. He also said a debate will continue over whether to add protections against discrimination based on sexual orientation to the state’s laws or constitution, either through the state legislature or through a popular vote.

Passed Tuesday by the state legislature, the law is similar to the one Indiana Gov. Mike Pence signed last week, sparking a national wave of backlash from businesses, pro-gay-rights activists, and the NCAA.

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SOURCE: CHRIS GOOD
ABC News

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