Group Touts Businesses Promoting LGBT Diversity As Fights Legislation

Mar 3, 2015

File photo of Human Rights Campaign state Director Kendra Johnson, speaking at a press conference at the Arkansas Capitol in July 2014.
Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

A national group is touting more than 100 Arkansas businesses that it says are promoting diversity for gays and lesbians as it fights "conscience protection" legislation that critics say would justify discrimination.

The Human Rights Campaign on Tuesday unveiled an "Equality is Our Business" program that's aimed at advancing protections in employment, housing and public accommodations. HRC said 106 primarily small businesses had signed the pledge to support the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

The move comes a week after House-backed legislation that supporters said would prevent state and local government from infringing on someone's religious beliefs failed before a Senate panel. HRC and other opponents of the bill said it would sanction bias by businesses against LGBT people.