On Thursday the Arkansas Legislature passed what could be the strongest religious freedom protection law in the country.

H.B. 1615, the Conscience Protection Act by Rep. Robin Lundstrum (R — Elm Springs) and Sen. Gary Stubblefield (R — Branch), makes important clarifications to the state Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

The bill also helps prohibit religious discrimination against individuals, business owners, and organizations that want to follow their deeply held religious convictions.

In 2015 Gov. Hutchinson signed Arkansas’ Religious Freedom Restoration Act into law. That good law has been on the books for the past eight years — but it needs to be improved upon.

Over the past decade, we have seen wedding venuesbakeriesphotography studios, and florist shops come under fire, because their owners wanted to operate according to their deeply held convictions.

Our laws must protect religious liberty as much as possible. H.B. 1615 improves on good state law to help prevent the government from burdening the free exercise of religion in Arkansas.

H.B. 1615 has already passed in the Arkansas House of Representatives, where it received very strong support. The bill now goes to Gov. Sanders to become law.

The Following Senators Voted For H.B. 1615

  • J. Boyd
  • J. Bryant
  • A. Clark
  • Crowell
  • B. Davis
  • Dees
  • J. Dismang
  • J. Dotson
  • J. English
  • Flippo
  • Gilmore
  • K. Hammer
  • Hester
  • Hickey
  • Hill
  • Irvin
  • B. Johnson
  • M. Johnson
  • B. King
  • M. McKee
  • J. Payton
  • C. Penzo
  • J. Petty
  • Rice
  • Stone
  • G. Stubblefield
  • D. Sullivan
  • D. Wallace

The Following Senators Voted Against H.B. 1615

  • G. Leding
  • F. Love
  • R. Murdock
  • C. Tucker

The Following Senator Did Not Vote

  • L. Chesterfield

The Following Senators Were Excused From Voting

  • Caldwell
  • S. Flowers