Just as Indiana lawmakers announce plans to "amend" their controversial religious-freedom law, the Arkansas state legislature approved a similar bill and sent it the governor's desk. In a surprise move this morning, the Republican governor of Arkansas, Asa Hutchinson, who’d previously expressed support for the bill, asked the legislature to recall or amend it. Will the furor over what happened in Indiana extend into 2016?
That Hutchinson did this abrupt about-face is further proof of what a political disaster the Indiana law, and other, ongoing anti-gay initiatives in other red states, is for the GOP. At least 20 anti-LGBT laws have been proposed in Texas this year alone, according to the Texas Observer. Hutchinson’s reversal is one small attempt to quell these flames before they do more damage to his state and his party. But much damage has already been done. Not a single Republican presidential contender came down against the Indiana law, and most have been vocal in their support of it and the Indiana governor, Mike Pence. That unanimity cannot now be written out of the record as the GOP faces 2016.