Some are opposed to the prospect of Arkansas legislators discussing hate crimes legislation when the new session begins in January.
Senate Bill 3 (SB 3) is a bipartisan measure that calls for stronger sentences for anyone committing a crime because of, among other things, a victim's race, gender identity, ethnicity, and/or sexual orientation.
According to ArkansasOnline.com, Governor Asa Hutchinson (R) and Attorney General Leslie Rutledge (R) have voiced support for the measure. Lieutenant Governor Tim Griffin (R), however, neither endorses the bill as written nor does he want to see such legislation rushed.
The Arkansas-based Family Council is likewise opposed.
"We've seen laws like these proposed and passed in many other states around the country, and they've been proposed in Arkansas repeatedly over the last 25 years," Council spokesman David Cox tells OneNewsNow. "Family Council has opposed this type of legislation for about 25 years now because these laws simply don't work."
Cox goes on to cite the FBI's latest report on hate crimes in America.
"What we're seeing is states like California, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, [and] Ohio -- they top the list on hate crimes committed, and yet some of them have the most stringent hate crimes laws in America, where states like Arkansas and others are near the bottom of the list," Cox explains.
He goes on to point out that such measures "often carry very serious unintended consequences, especially for people of faith."