Case Study

Ensuring Equal Rights in Arkansas

“The Republican Party is facing backlash over religious freedom laws passed this week in Indiana and Arkansas. Governor Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas asked legislators to reconsider the bill. […] These state laws are creating a political headache for the GOP” (NPR, April 1, 2015).

Challenge

In 2014, bills targeting LGBT citizens swept through state legislatures across the country. In Arkansas, the legislature was considering the so-called “Religious Freedom Restoration Act” that would further limit the rights of the LGBT community. The bill allowed businesses to refuse service to LGBT people. Human Rights Campaign and Arkansas Public Policy Panel faced the challenge of mobilizing voters on this issue in a socially conservative state.

Our Role

HRC and Arkansas Public Policy Panel enlisted Winning Connections to mobilize Arkansans to urge their representatives to oppose the bill. Winning Connections connected thousands of these constituents with their legislators.

Outcome

Legislators responded to constituent pressure and the governor signed a version protecting the rights of all citizens instead of one that discriminated against some.

Winning Connections also worked to defeat similar measures in Indiana, Arkansas, Georgia, Texas, and Louisiana.

Services
  • Program Development
  • Issue Advocacy Calls