AR GOP Silences Minority Voices On “Hate Crimes” Bill

LITTLE ROCK — Arkansas is one of three states in the nation without a Hate Crimes Law. On Wednesday, an Arkansas Senate committee defeated Senate Bill 3 which would have created a hate crimes law. On Thursday, the Arkansas House Judiciary Committee advanced a bill that proponents are intentionally mislabeling as hate crimes legislation despite failing to garner a single vote from members of minority groups in the Legislature. SB622, the sham hate crimes bill, was passed on a voice vote. Committee Chair Carol Dalby ignored two separate audible demands for a roll call, gaveling the committee into an abrupt adjournment. This move prevents the public from knowing who voted for and against the bill, giving members cover for their votes.

Democratic Party of Arkansas Chairman Michael John Gray
“While it is normal to disagree about policy the heavy handedness from Chair Dalby, with the blessing of Speaker Matthew Shepherd, is beneath the process and beneath them personally. I was honored to serve with both of them and have seen them operate on a higher standard. It’s sad to see them sink to such a method. This parliamentary trick was a tactic used to dismiss minority voices.

While some may see it as a power move, it is a weak move beneath the office. Any members, Republican or Democrat, who are rejoicing about the fact their vote was not recorded on this bill due to such a cowardly move should consider whether or not they’re worthy of their office.”