Watch CBSN Live

Arkansas House passes its own "religious freedom" bill

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- The Arkansas House of Representatives passed a "religious freedom" bill similar to the controversial measure in Indiana. The bill now heads to Gov. Asa Hutchinson's desk for signing into law.

Hutchinson said that he would approve the measure if it made it to his office, CBS News affiliate KTVH in Little Rock reported. The Arkansas version of the bill -- HB 1228 -- would prevent state and local governments from infringement on someone's religious beliefs unless there were a "compelling" reason.

Like the Indiana law, opponents say it would foster discrimination against the gay and lesbian community.

Local leaders and businesses including Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola, the Little Rock Chamber of Commerce, and Acxiom Corporation have released statements urging Gov. Hutchinson to veto the bill.

Also, Apple CEO Tim Cook, who has spoken out publicly against the Indiana law has appealed to Hutchinson to veto the Arkansas bill.

The Arkansas bill has made national headlines and has drawn hundreds of protesters to Little Rock, many of whom held signs at the Arkansas State Capitol that read things such as "Equal love," "Say no to hate," "Discrimination is not a Christian Value," and "Discrimination is a Disease."

Pence said that he wants to amend a the law t... 02:18

On Tuesday, Indiana's largest newspaper called on state lawmakers to change their state's controversial "religious freedom law." The Indianapolis Star's front page editorial says "Fix this now" in large white letters.

But in a Wall Street Journal op-ed, Gov. Mike Pence insisted the legislation "only provides a mechanism to address claims, not a license for private parties to deny services."

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.