Just minutes before Governor Asa Hutchinson (R-AR) announced that he would sign the Arkansas RFRA bill that restricts liberty for certain Americans but only if changes were made to it to reflect the national law, former Secretary of State and presumed 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton urged Hutchinson to veto the bill. The bill is similar to the Indiana “religious freedom” excuse for discrimination law.
Secretary Clinton tweeted, “Like IN law, AR bill goes beyond protecting religion, would permit unfair discrimination against #LGBT Americans. I urge Governor to veto.”
Like IN law, AR bill goes beyond protecting religion, would permit unfair discrimination against #LGBT Americans. I urge Governor to veto.
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) April 1, 2015
The Arkansas legislature passed a bill on Tuesday that is similar to the infamous Indiana law, which supporters (and of course the press) call “religious freedom” laws. These bills have less to do with religious freedom than they do with feeding red meat to the GOP base by denying freedom to those the base disagrees with, while emboldening corporations with more “freedoms”.
Ironically, Arkansas’s largest corporation is Walmart, and Chief Executive Doug McMillon came out against this bill. Walmart has learned some hard lessons about public relations in recent years – lessons elected Republicans seem largely unable to grasp. In a statement, McMillon said, “[Tuesday’s] passage of HB1228 threatens to undermine the spirit of inclusion present throughout the state of Arkansas and does not reflect the values we proudly uphold. For these reasons, we are asking Governor Hutchinson to veto this legislation.”
This isn’t Hillary Clinton’s first go at coming out hard against the discrimination contained within these liberty-killing laws/bills. On March 27th, she tweeted:
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) March 27, 2015
With many of the Republican 2016 candidates so far supporting the Indiana version of giving liberty to discriminate against others under the guise of religion and most of the public disagreeing, Hillary Clinton just fired an easy missile into the foolishness that is the modern day GOP circus. This is a losing issue, so naturally the majority of the Republicans will be or have been forced by their base into backing it.
This is what happens when people are allowed to believe that letting other people have liberty to do things they don’t agree with is somehow an infringement on their rights.
Ms. Jones is the editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.