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Arkansas Senate passes ‘religious freedom’ bill permitting discrimination against gay customers

Arkansas Senate passes ‘religious freedom’ bill permitting discrimination against gay customers

Today, 27 March, the Arkansas Senate has passed a ‘religious freedom’ bill, mirrors Indiana’s new law.

According to Arkansas Online, the southern state’s senate passed HB 1228, also known as the Conscience Protection Act, in a 24-7 vote.

The proposal made it through the House last week and now heads to the desk of Governor Asa Hutchinson.

Yesterday the Republican told Arkansas Online he plans on signing the legislation to make it law.

The Human Rights Campaign, the largest LGBTI civil rights group in the US, is calling for the governor to veto the bill.

‘This bill is a poison pill for jobs and investment in the state of Arkansas, and Governor Hutchinson has a duty to veto it,’  HRC President Chad Griffin said following the Senate vote.

‘If he does not, his reputation will be forever stained and the people of the state of Arkansas will suffer for his willingness to cater to a small political faction whose sole intent is to discriminate against their fellow Arkansans,’ Griffin continued.

Late last month, Hutchinson allowed a bill, blocking cities and counties from passing anti-discrimination laws covering LGBTI residents, to become law without his signature.

Tim Cook, the out CEO of Apple and a southerner, used Twitter to voice concern over HB 1228: