On Wednesday Rep. Fred Love (D — Little Rock) pre-filed a second hate crimes bill at the Arkansas Legislature: H.B. 1020.

The bill is virtually identical to S.B. 3 by Sen. Jim Hendren (R — Gravette) and Rep. Fred Love enacting hate crimes legislation in Arkansas.

Family Council has opposed hate crimes legislation for more than 25 years.

These bills write special protections into state law for groups of people based on sexual-orientation, gender-identity, and other characteristics.

These laws simply do not work. Data from the FBI indicates that they don’t protect people, and violent hate crimes have continued to occur in states with laws like these on the books.

Hate crimes laws promote unequal justice, and they can carry serious, unintended consequences. Ultimately, these laws end up punishing people for their speech and their beliefs instead of simply punishing them for their actions.

That’s part of the reason groups like the Washington County Republican Committee have issued statements opposing hate crimes legislation in Arkansas.

Arkansans can sign a letter opposing hate crimes legislation. A copy of the letter and the names of those who sign it will be published and shared with state legislators and others.

Family Council will continue to oppose hate crimes measures like S.B. 3. and H.B. 1020. This legislation was a bad idea 25 years ago, and it’s still a bad idea today.