Arkansas is coming together to support a hate crimes law to protect all Arkansans. The proposal is backed by a broad bi-partisan coalition, including Governor Asa Hutchinson and U.S. Congressional nominee Joyce Elliott. Arkansas is one of only three states in the nation without any type of hate crimes law. The measure would increase penalties specifically for hate crimes that target people based on their race, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability.
This is an important moment for all of Arkansas, and a testament to the good we can do when we come together. Fundamentally this hate crimes law lays clear that as a society and as a state we believe in a moral foundation rooted in decency and respect.
State Rep. Tippi McCullough >>>
“Arkansas can send a message that we do not condone targeted violence against some of the most vulnerable in our society. Arkansas can speak for those who don’t have a voice and say, “you are not disposable if you are disbaled, or your religion is different, or you look different, or love someone different – you are valued. With bi-patisan support, we can show that Arkansas cares about its people – all of its people.”
Minority Leader Fred Love >>>
“The idea of a more perfect union, in the U.S. Constitution, guarantees that all persons regardless of race, color, creed, or sexual orientation will enjoy all the liberties set out by our Forefathers. Our work is never done in living up to the promise of forming a more perfect union.”
Rep. Nicole Clowney >>>
“This is a reflection of the most basic lesson we all teach our children: we are all created equal. In a time when so many people are grappling just to get back to normal, Arkansans continue to find ways, like this bill, to reach for better — together. Arkansans value justice and freedom and I’m honored to be a part of this team showing our state and country that what Arkansans value most of all, is one another.”
Reporting from the Associated Press/ABC News details the hate crimes law specifics, along with support from the business community of Arkansas.