A pro-family leader in Arkansas says evidently homosexual activists don’t want residents in that state – including themselves – to have religious freedom.
On a 24-7 vote, the Arkansas Senate has passed and sent to the House a bill to protect the religious freedom of everyone in the state. The measure prevents state and local government from taking any action that substantially burdens someone’s religious beliefs unless a “compelling” interest is proven. Governor Asa Hutchinson has stated he will sign the legislation should it reach his desk.
Jerry Cox of Arkansas Family Council tells OneNewsNow the most forceful opposition has come from the Human Rights Campaign, the largest homosexual activist group in the nation, whose chief officer is from Arkansas.
“We have faced all kinds of misinformation about what bad things are going to happen if we simply honor the God-given right that every person has,” Cox explains. “And that is [the right to] religious freedom and to be able to exercise that as long as you’re not hurting anybody, as long as you’re not breaking the law.”
Activists claim the bill, if it becomes law, will be used to discriminate against homosexuals. But Cox says that’s not true, pointing that it protects the religious freedom of everyone – including homosexuals.
“And what it does it restricts the government,” the pro-family leader continues. “It restricts how much the government can infringe on your religious beliefs. This law is a restriction on what the government can and cannot do.”
So if a governmental action infringes on religious beliefs that would be illegal, unless the government can show a compelling reason for doing so. The House is to take up the bill this week.
Last week Indiana became the 20th state to pass a religious freedom law, igniting a firestorm of protests that continue to make national news. Indiana Governor Mike Pence continues to defend his decision to sign that bill, saying it “is not about discrimination [but] empowering people to confront government overreach.”
According to The Associated Press, Republican legislative leaders in Indiana say they are working on adding language to that new state law to make it clear that it doesn’t allow discrimination against homosexuals.