Bill Becomes Law Banning Local Anti-Discrimination Measures

Feb 23, 2015

Arkansas has become the second state to ban local governments from expanding anti-discrimination protections to include sexual orientation and gender identity.

Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Monday allowed legislation barring cities or counties from prohibiting discrimination on a basis not covered by state law to become law without his signature. It will take effect 90 days after the Legislature adjourns.

Arkansas' anti-discrimination protections don't include sexual orientation or gender identity.

Monday marked the end of the five-day window for Hutchinson to take action on the bill or allow it to become law. Hutchinson had said he wouldn't sign or veto the bill, citing concerns about its impact on local control.

The bill's opponents wanted Hutchinson to veto it, saying it sanctions discrimination. Supporters say it provides uniformity among local governments.