LITTLE ROCK – Following Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s announcement that he would refuse to sign Arkansas’ religious freedom legislation without a fix to prohibit discrimination by businesses, Rev. Stephen Copley, chair of Interfaith Alliance Arkansas, and Rabbi Jack Moline, executive director of the national Interfaith Alliance, released these statements:
Rev. Stephen Copley, a United Methodist pastor and Interfaith Alliance Arkansas chair, said, “Gov. Hutchinson made the right call by refusing to sign this discriminatory bill. People of faith and goodwill in Arkansas know that our rights should never come at the expense of others. Interfaith Alliance Arkansas will hold Gov. Hutchinson to his word and continue to strive for a state that respects the religious freedom and civil rights of all.”
Rabbi Jack Moline, executive director of the national Interfaith Alliance said, “We have seen too many laws like the one passed in Arkansas considered across the country. It is time for our nation’s leaders to recognize that discrimination will not safeguard religious freedom, that legislating the beliefs of one religious community will not protect the rights of all. People of faith in Arkansas and across America are standing up to say that this is not the freedom we desire. Politicians should listen to them, follow the Constitution, and stop these attempts to distort the guarantees of the First Amendment. The story in Arkansas has not finished, but we hope Gov. Hutchinson will be our partner in preventing the proliferation of these false claims of religious freedom.”
Interfaith Alliance is a network of people of diverse faiths and beliefs from across the country working together to build a resilient democracy and fulfill America’s promise of religious freedom and civil rights not just for some, but for all. We mobilize powerful coalitions to challenge Christian nationalism and religious extremism, while fostering a better understanding of the healthy boundaries between religion and government. We advocate at all levels of government for an equitable and just America where the freedoms of belief and religious practice are protected, and where all persons are treated with dignity and have the opportunity to thrive. For more information visit interfaithalliance.org.