Arkansas Religion

The Arkansas secretary of state's office has denied a request from the Universal Society of Hinduism to place a privately funded Hindu statue on Capitol grounds.

The Arkansas Legislature passed a law this year to place a privately funded Ten Commandments statue on Capitol grounds. Several other groups, including The Satanic Temple, have since asked to erect statues at the Capitol.

A Wisconsin-based organization says Bible verses posted on a Facebook page operated by the director of 911 emergency dispatch services in Craighead County constitutes a government endorsement of religion.

Jonesboro Mayor Harold Perrin initially ordered that the religious material be taken off the page after the Freedom From Religion Foundation complained, but was later told the site was private and not under the control of city government.

The Jonesboro Sun reports that officials have asked for the state attorney general's opinion on the matter.

A marriage ceremony being performed in the Pulaski County Courthouse in May 2014.
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

An opinion from the Arkansas attorney general’s office is giving some hope to justices of the peace who want to officiate weddings but be allowed to refuse the public service to same-sex couples.

JP Alan Malone of Cleburne County told KUAR on Thursday that he is encouraged by Wednesday’s advisory opinion in which AG Leslie Rutledge (R) contends the state’s religious freedom law might allow JPs to wed some, but not all.

Van Buren County Courthouse.
flickr.com

Arkansas House Majority Leader Ken Bragg says there are no specific or immediate plans to respond legislatively to the US Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage. Bragg’s comments to KUAR on Wednesday follow a statement last week on behalf of the House Republican Caucus that called for a new look at additional so-called religious freedom laws.

10 commandments
Wikipedia

Arkansas' decision to put a Ten Commandments display on its Capitol grounds could lead to a monument menagerie that includes a statue of a monkey-faced deity and a banner promoting a vegan lifestyle.

The Satanic Temple has said it may erect a bronze Baphomet in Little Rock, and on Tuesday the Universal Society of Hinduism and the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals announced plans for their own displays.

10 commandments
Wikipedia

A group advocating for separation of church and state may propose that a Satanic statue be placed outside the Arkansas Statehouse after their first choice of the Oklahoma Capitol grounds was scuttled by a state Supreme Court ruling barring all religious monuments.

The Satanic Temple says Arkansas' approval of a Ten Commandments display gives the group a right to erect the statue.

Assistant Pro Tempore 1st District Senator Eddie Joe Williams (R-Cabot).
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.

Below is a collection of statements on the SCOTUS marriage ruling issued by Arkansas-related politicians and elected officials.

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson released the statement below following the Supreme Court’s ruling on same-sex marriage:

Hutchinson Statement On Marriage Ruling

Jun 26, 2015

Governor Asa Hutchinson Issues Statement on Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson released the statement below following the Supreme Court’s ruling on same-sex marriage

The Fayetteville City Council will consider whether to send a new anti-discrimination ordinance to voters in a proposed Sept. 8 special election. Alderwoman Adella Gray, who is sponsoring the ordinance, said Thursday the new version is "very different" from a previous ordinance the city council passed last year.

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