Religion Bill, Which Opponents Cast As Anti-LGBT, Advances To House

Mar 30, 2015

Rep. Bob Ballinger, sponsor of the bill, speaking at Monday's legislative committee meeting.
Credit arkansashouse.org

A proposal aimed at protecting religious beliefs that opponents say allows widespread discrimination against gays and lesbians is advancing to the Arkansas House for a final vote.

The House Judiciary Committee endorsed on Monday the amendment version of a bill that prevents state and local government from infringing upon someone's religious beliefs unless a compelling interest is proven. If enacted, it would make Arkansas the second state to adopt such a law this year.

The proposal could go before the House as soon as Tuesday.

Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson has said he'll sign the measure into law if it reaches his desk.

Opponents of the measure filled the Capitol to protest the measure and chanted "shame on you" at the lawmaker behind the proposal after the hearing.