Indiana needs PR brushup. And not Arkansas, which did worse? | Arkansas Blog

Monday, April 13, 2015

Indiana needs PR brushup. And not Arkansas, which did worse?

Posted By on Mon, Apr 13, 2015 at 5:15 PM

This from Talking Points Memo.

Indiana announced Monday that it had hired a public relations firm to repair its image after a bruising fight over a controversial religious freedom bill that Gov. Mike Pence (R) signed into law.

In case you don't remember, a so-called religious freedom bill passed the Indiana legislature that is part of a national movement designed to establish religion as a pretext to discriminate against gay people. Arkansas passed an equally terrible bill, but Gov. Asa Hutchinson, who'd said repeatedly that he'd sign it, changed course at the last minute. A substitute bill, still bad but not quite as bad, was passed and declared a great victory by Hutchinson.

But .... Indiana's compromise legislation explicitly stated it wasn't meant to provide a means to deny gay people public accommodations. It included specific non-discriminatory language for sexual orientation and gender identity. Arkansas's fix contains no such language. Gov. Hutchinson has reneged on talk of an executive order on non-discrimination. We don't need it, he says.

But Indiana needs PR help and Arkansas doesn't?

Perhaps it means when you have nothing by way of a good reputation on equality under the law, you didn't have much to lose.

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