NWA Center for Equality Thanks Senate Committee for Defeating HB1228

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – February 23, 2015 – NWA Center for Equality issued the following statement by its president, Chaz Allen after the Senate Judiciary Committee defeated House Bill 1228 (HB1228):

“We thank the clergy, businesses and citizens across Arkansas who came together urging legislators to oppose HB1228. At a time when Arkansas faces international criticism for the passage of a separate anti-gay bill (SB202), the defeat of HB1228 sends a clear message: we will not tolerate the use of religion to mask discrimination against LGBTQ people. This is a victory for all Arkansans who believe in love and tolerance. We are extremely grateful for the senators who voted against this bill.

“We urge Representative Ballinger to accept this vote and focus on critical needs of all Arkansans, rather than bringing HB1228 back to committee or maneuvering its way to the Senate floor. At the same time, we continue our work to educate Arkansans about SB202 before that law takes effect. That law written by Senator Hester prevents local governments from enacting nondiscrimination ordinances at a time when state law still permits legal discrimination against any Arkansan based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. “

NWA Center for Equality Issues Statement on Governor Allowing SB202 to Become Law; Urges Senate to Oppose HB1228

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – February 23, 2015 – After Governor Asa Hutchinson allowed SB202 to become law Monday NWA Center for Equality issued the following statement by its president, Chaz Allen:

“Today Governor Asa Hutchinson pushed our state backward by permitting Senate Bill 202 (SB202) to become law. This is the latest attempt to prevent local governments from enacting nondiscrimination ordinances at a time when state law still permits legal discrimination against any Arkansan based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. We urge individual communities to quickly enact their own ordinances expanding civil rights before this law takes effect 90 days after the current legislative session ends (currently scheduled to end April 10th).

"Join us as we work with local businesses, organizations, leaders and individual citizens with renewed vigor in the fight to achieve equality for all Arkansans. We appreciate those legislators who stood on the right side of history by voting against SB202 and the Arkansas businesses that opposed it. Their leadership and the voices of people across the state are critical in opposing HB1228, another poorly masked attack on equal rights for LGBTQ Arkansans expected to reach the Senate Judiciary Committee February 25th.”

Track HB1228 here: http://bit.ly/18gGYOK.

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