On March 27, 2015, the Arkansas senate passed H.B. 1228, an Indiana-style bill that will open the door to discrimination against LGBT people, people of color, religious minorities, women and other minority groups across the state. Join HRC Arkansas TODAY to line the steps to the House Chamber inside the Capitol at 12:00 noon and again at 4:30 p.m. on the steps of the Capitol as community leaders will share words of inspiration and encouragement for the future of the Natural State. If you are unable to attend the rally, tell Governor Hutchinson to VETO discriminatory H.B. 1228 today.
The bill has been strongly opposed by major companies such as Wal-Mart, Apple, Gap Inc. and Levi Strauss & Co. Additionally, a wave of high-tech companies like Yelp and Salesforce - precisely the kinds of investment Governor Hutchinson has said he hopes to attract to the state - have condemned this kind of legislation. Acxicom, one of Arkansas' largest employers and a leading generator of tax revenue in the state, sent a letter calling on Governor Hutchinson to veto the bill.
The wave of anti-LGBT bills filed across the country continues to swell, and currently, there are more than 85 anti-LGBT bills in 28 state legislatures. Click here to learn more.
In an unprecedented effort to bring equality to Arkansas, HRC launched Project One America, a comprehensive campaign to dramatically expand LGBT equality in the South through permanent campaigns in Alabama, Mississippi and Arkansas. Project One America is the first of its kind campaign to work exclusively in Arkansas - where there are no non-discrimination protections for LGBT people at the state or local level in employment, housing or public accomidations, and where the state's constitution expressly prohibits marriage equality.
Click Here to Voice Your Support or text ONEARKANSAS to 30644 to join us.
In 2014, HRC undertook the largest survey of its kind to date on the needs, experiences, and priorities of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in Arkansas.
The results show that LGBT Arkansans are just like their friends and family members—living, working, volunteering, and going to church within their communities. However, LGBT people also face daunting amounts of harassment and discrimination and enjoy no legal protections at either the local or state level.
The marriage equality landscape is rapidly changing in Arkansas. On May 9, 2014, Pulaski County Circuit Judge Chris Piazza struck down Arkansas’s ban on same-sex marriages. On May 16, the state Supreme Court suspended marriages while state officials' appeal. During the week in which same-sex marriages were allowed, more than 450 Arkansas same-sex couples married. For more updates on the case, click here.