Quantcast
Connect with us

The next Indiana: Arkansas House passes its own heavily-criticized ‘religious freedom’ act

Published

on

The Arkansas House of Representatives on Tuesday passed a religious freedom bill similar to one recently approved in Indiana, over protests from critics who say it could open the door to discrimination against gays and lesbians.

The measure, which had strong support from the Republican members who dominate the statehouse, now goes to Republican Governor Asa Hutchinson, who has said he would sign it.

Both laws aim to keep the state government from forcing business owners to act against their religious beliefs, but critics say they could be used to justify refusing service to gay and lesbian people.

Final approval came when the Arkansas House overwhelmingly concurred with three amendments added by the Senate, which approved the bill last week.

Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola has asked Hutchinson to veto the bill, saying in a letter on Tuesday the legislation is unnecessary and could hurt the state’s economy.

“Any piece of legislation that is so divisive cannot possibly be good for the state of Arkansas and its people. With these kind of ‘wedge issues,’ no one is a winner on either side,” he said.

ADVERTISEMENT

Supporters said the law does not allow for discrimination and is needed to protect religious freedoms.

The Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce said it is “bad for business and bad for Arkansas.” Democrats said it will allow for bigotry.

“Our history will tell us that when religion is used as a sword it is often used to attack people of color and women,” said Representative Eddie Armstrong, an African-American and Democratic floor leader.

The outcry over the Indiana law was so fierce that the state’s governor, Republican Mike Pence, on Tuesday said he would “correct” the legislation to make it clear businesses cannot use it to discriminate against same-sex couples.

ADVERTISEMENT

The Arkansas legislature had already enacted a bill prohibiting local governments from adopting anti-discrimination codes that protected gays and lesbians.

(Reporting by Steve Barnes; Writing by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Lisa Lambert and Eric Beech)

Report typos and corrections to [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Hope Hicks told Congress that Trump has cut her out of his life — he virtually never calls her anymore

Published

on

Former White House Communications Director Hope Hicks was broadly considered to be one of President Donald Trump's favorite staffers.

But when she left the administration in 2018, the president virtually cut off ties to her, and has only spoken with her five times since then, according to the transcript of the closed-door hearing in the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday:

In her interview, Hope Hicks says she has only spoken to Trump between five and ten times since she left the White House in February 2018. (He used to call that much in a day.) They last spoke in April, when they had dinner. Our story from yesterday:https://t.co/3gzVY21c3z pic.twitter.com/VMZqhnbgib

Continue Reading

CNN

Hope Hicks called Trump’s plan for Jeff Sessions ‘odd’ — but White House lawyers blocked her from elaborating why

Published

on

By all accounts, ex-White House Communications Director Hope Hicks was not particularly forthcoming in her interview with the House Judiciary Committee — but according to the 273-page transcript of the closed-door hearing released on Thursday, she did begin to discuss a key point at which President Donald Trump potentially obstructed justice — until White House lawyers sitting with her intervened.

CNN's Manu Raju explained the details to Wolf Blitzer on "The Situation Room."

"She did answer some questions about her time in the campaign season, and at one point did make one reference to something that later became a dispute," said Raju. "She was asked about the details in the Mueller report in which the president tried to get Jeff Sessions, the then-Attorney General, to un-recuse himself, to go back and oversee the Russia investigation after he had stepped aside from overseeing it."

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

Elections regulator warns foreign intrusion into US campaigns is already happening

Published

on

In a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee, the Federal Elections Commission is warning that there is already foreign intrusion in the U.S. campaigns.

FEC chair Ellen L. Weintraub was forced to issue a statement after President Donald Trump said that he wasn't sure what he would do if a foreign government approached him with "dirt" on his political opponent. He said that he "might" tell the FBI but would likely hear what they had to say. He said that it wasn't illegal, but Weintraub issued a statement reiterating that it is illegal.

"I am particularly concerned about the risk of illicit funds and foreign support influencing our political system. Foreign dark money represents a significant vulnerability for American democracy. We do not know the extent to which our political campaigns receive foreign dark money, but we do know that the political money can be weaponized by well-funded hostile powers," the letter warned.

Continue Reading
 
 

Copyright © 2019 Raw Story Media, Inc. PO Box 21050, Washington, D.C. 20009 | Masthead | Privacy Policy | For corrections or concerns, please email [email protected]

I need your help.

Investigating Trump's henchmen is a full time job, and I'm trying to bring in new team members to do more exclusive reports. We have more stories coming you'll love. Join me and help restore the power of hard-hitting progressive journalism.

TAKE A LOOK
close-link

Investigating Trump is a full-time job, and I want to add new team members to do more exclusive reports. We have stories coming you'll love. Join me and go ad-free, while restoring the power of hard-hitting progressive journalism.

TAKE A LOOK
close-link