(KFSM) – Gov. Asa Hutchinson has asked legislators to withdraw the religious freedom bill and make changes to it so the legislation more closely reflects federal law.
The bill is called the Religious Freedom Restoration Act or HB 1228, and it passed the Arkansas House of Representatives on Tuesday (March 31). It had previously passed the Senate as well.
HB 1228 is designed to prevent state and local governments from infringing upon someone’s religious beliefs without a “compelling” interest. Opponents of the measure say it will allow widespread discrimination against gays and lesbians.
Hutchinson said the legislation was “divisive” among generations and even within his own family. He said his son Seth had signed a petition asking the governor to veto HB 1228.
Now the legislature will have to decide if it will change the bill and what specific changes to make to it.