Arkansas governor seeks changes in religious freedom bill

   < < Go Back
from FoxNews,

Arkansas Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Wednesday urged state lawmakers to change a controversial religious freedom bill sent to his desk a day earlier, in the face of criticism that it could allow businesses and others to discriminate based on sexual orientation.

Hutchinson had initially said he planned to sign the bill but backed off as his state, overnight, became the new focal point of a nationwide backlash over such legislation. Indiana for days has faced similar criticism for a related religious freedom bill.

During a press conference in the state capital of Little Rock, Hutchinson said he wants to strike the “right balance.” The governor, amid calls by critics to veto the bill, made clear he still supports the intent of the legislation — which prohibits state and local governments from infringing upon someone’s religious beliefs without a compelling interest. But he said he wants changes made so it more closely mirrors a 1993 federal law.

“I asked that changes be made in the legislation,” Hutchinson said, urging state lawmakers to “recall” the bill — or pass additional legislation — to “remedy” the issue.

More From FoxNews: