Friday, April 2, 2021

On Thursday legislative leaders in the Arkansas Senate and Arkansas House of Representatives filed S.B. 622, a bill commonly being referred to as a “hate crimes” measure.

Family Council President Jerry Cox released a statement opposing the bill, saying, “We have taken a few hours to thoughtfully review and consider the merits of S.B. 622. Our conclusion is that this bill’s language is vague and subjective. The bill fails to define important terms like ‘recognizable and identifiable.’ This bill is so ambiguous that it’s impossible to know just how far-reaching this legislation may be.”

Cox said he is concerned S.B. 622 could carry serious, unintended consequences. “S.B. 622’s protections for religious liberty are not adequate. The bill does not contain sufficient safeguards to prevent cities and counties from enacting their own, more stringent hate crimes ordinances. It does not do enough to protect free speech or prevent thought-policing. These are serious concerns.”

Cox said Family Council will oppose S.B. 622. “This is a vague bill that could have serious, unintended consequences. We intend to oppose it.”