NWA Center for Equality Calls for Update to Arkansas Civil Rights Act as Governor Signs SB 975

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – April 3, 2015 – NWA Center for Equality issued the following statement as Governor Asa Hutchinson signed SB 975 into law:

“SB 975 is the lesser of two evils. Almost any bill is better than Rep. Bob Ballinger's divisive HB 1228 that brought national embarrassment to our state, but SB 975 still leaves the door open for potential discrimination against any Arkansan. The right solution for protecting religious freedom and the rights of every Arkansan is simple. Now is the time to finally update the Arkansas Civil Rights Act to include sexual orientation and gender identity. Denying LGBTQ Arkansans the same protected rights of others is wrong and out of sync with Arkansas values. If the legislature and Governor Hutchinson don't have the courage to protect all Arkansans we will support a ballot measure to finish the job."

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NWA Center for Equality Statement on Remarks by U.S. Senator Tom Cotton

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – April 2, 2015 – NWA Center for Equality issued the following statement regarding remarks made by U.S. Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas in an interview with CNN April 1st:

“Tom Cotton is the person who has the wrong perspective. Rather than lecturing LGBTQ Arkansans and minimizing the inequalities we face each day, he should protect the rights of all our citizens. His comments added fuel to a heated debate and further hurt our national reputation. Now is the time for him to fight for full equality for all Arkansans, regardless of the inequalities that exist overseas. That's what we deserve from our
U. S. Senator."

Voices That Cannot Be Ignored: NWA Center for Equality Statement on HB 1228

“Arkansans have had enough. From the world’s biggest companies to individuals in small towns, we stand together against the inequalities that still exist in our state today. Governor Hutchinson showed that the voices of outraged citizens here and around the world can no longer be ignored. After weeks of insisting that HB 1228 exactly mirrors federal law, Governor Hutchinson now sees the harmful differences and says he will not sign this bill.

“This is a pivotal moment for Arkansas. Governor Hutchinson has an opportunity to reposition our state from injustice and discrimination to full equality for all Arkansans. We appreciate the change in his thinking and ask him to keep his word. Representative Bob Ballinger must finally agree to update his bill with language stating it cannot be used to undermine federal, state or local non-discrimination laws. (continued)

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