LITTLE ROCK – The ACLU of Arkansas issued the following statement regarding the Governor Hutchinson signing Senate Bill 289 into law. 

“There is no sugarcoating this: this bill is another brazen attempt to make it easier to discriminate against people and deny Arkansans the health care services they need,” said Holly Dickson, ACLU of Arkansas executive director. “Religious liberty is a fundamental right, but it is not an excuse to discriminate against people or deny them health care. As Governor Hutchinson himself recognized when he opposed nearly identical legislation in 2017, discrimination is not an Arkansas value – no matter how politicians try to disguise it. Discrimination on the basis of sex – including on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity – is a violation of federal law, and so we’ll be watching and working to ensure no Arkansan is denied life-saving health services because of who they are.” 

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