Arkansas Lawmakers Vow Legislative Response To Marriage Ruling

Jul 2, 2015

Assistant Pro Tempore 1st District Senator Eddie Joe Williams (R-Cabot).
Credit Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

Arkansas state Senate Republicans are working on legislation to reinforce protections for churches, religious organizations and religious schools in response to last week's U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing gay marriage nationwide.

The caucus released a statement Thursday signed by all 24 Republican senators, saying it planned to draft legislation to address any unforeseen consequences of the ruling on the religious community. Republican Sen. Eddie Joe Williams of Cabot said the caucus wants legislation ready in case Gov. Asa Hutchinson calls another special session.

House Republicans issued a similar statement Tuesday afternoon, affirming the caucus' desire to protect religious groups and calling the high court's decision "mistaken and dangerous." The lawmakers vowed to fight for "traditional" views and values, but didn't propose specific actions.