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Hindu Group Requests Ark. Capitol Statue

The Universal Society of Hinduism has failed to persuade the Arkansas secretary of state to permit a statue of a Hindu god, Lord Hanuman, at the state Capitol.

The group’s president, Rajan Zed, filed the request after the state legislature voted to erect a statue of the Ten Commandments on Capitol grounds. Read more

No Hinduism Here!: Ark. Officials Post Ten Commandments But Reject Symbols Of Other Faiths

Legislators in Arkansas voted earlier this year to erect the Ten Commandments at the state capitol in Little Rock. This would seem to be a clear example of government showing favoritism to a religious code. But for now, other faiths shouldn’t assume they’ll get the same treatment. Read more

Awful Award: Religious Right Group To Honor Controversial Ark. Lawmaker For His ‘Courage’

Let’s say you know of a state lawmaker who used taxpayer money to promote religion at a pre-school he owns. Imagine that he also legally adopted two children, then allegedly “re-homed” them with a man who was later accused of abusing one of those children. Would such an individual deserve an award for “courage”? The Religious Right seems to think so. Read more

Dixie Discrimination: Ark. Law Attacking LGBT Protections Goes Into Effect

Three Arkansas counties have refused to drop ordinances that ban anti-gay discrimination, despite a new state law designed to block them from enforcing the laws. The Associated Press (AP) reports that Little Rock, Hot Springs and  Pulaski County are keeping the ordinances; a fourth municipality, Eureka Springs, has not yet reached a decision. Read more

Common Sense In Carolina: N.C. Governor Vetoes Anti-LGBT Legislation

The Tea Party and other far-right groups speak often of their love for the Constitution. But for all their talk about America’s foundational document, many of these zealots understand our laws about as well as an average kindergartner. That is why it’s always a pleasure when a political leader rejects these stilted views. Read more

False Freedoms: Legislators Propose ‘Fixes’ To Discriminatory Bills

Legislators in Indiana have proposed a fix to their controversial “religious freedom” bill (RFRA), and it’s certainly a step forward for LGBT rights. The amendment, which still awaits approval from Governor Mike Pence, would prevent small businesses from using the RFRA to discriminate in many ways. Read more

Arkansas Gov. Should Not Sign ‘Religious Freedom’ Bill

Church-State Watchdog Group Says Legislation Is Worse Than Indiana’s Law And Could Be Used To Discriminate Against LGBT Persons

An Arkansas bill that claims to protect “religious freedom” is little more than an attempt to shield religious fundamentalists who want to discriminate against LGBT persons, Americans United for Separation of Church and State says.
The Arkansas House of Representatives today passed HB 1228, which is a state version of the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), a 1993 law intended to protect religious minorities.

Boot These Bigoted Bans: Movement Seeks To Remove Anti-Atheist Bias From State Constitutions

Eight states still have provisions in their constitutions that either bar atheists outright from holding public office or require people to believe certain things about God and religion before they can be elected.

These provisions can’t be enforced. They were declared invalid by the U.S. Supreme Court in a 1961 ruling in the case of Torcaso v. Watkins. Yet they linger on, a testament to the bigotry of bygone days. Read more

Shooting Her Mouth Off: Ark. Firing Range Owner Announces ‘Muslim-Free’ Zone

An Arkansas woman has declared her gun range a “Muslim-free zone.” Jan Morgan, proprietor of The Gun Cave Indoor Firing Range, announced the change on the business’ Facebook page; as justification, she cited the “strange behavior” of two recent patrons Morgan assumed to be of Middle Eastern descent.
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