Arkansas governor’s son has the best response to his father not signing an anti-gay bill

Gov. Asa Hutchinson's surprise decision to refuse to sign bill into law owed in part to son's pressure.


Eric Geller


Published Apr 1, 2015   Updated May 29, 2021, 4:26 am CDT

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s surprise decision to refuse to sign a discriminatory “religious freedom” bill into law owed in part to pressure from his son Seth.

In announcing his decision on Wednesday to ask state lawmakers to modify the bill, H.B. 1228, Hutchinson revealed that his son had signed a widely circulated petition calling for him to veto it.

“What is important from an Arkansas standpoint,” Hutchinson said, “is one, we get the right balance, and secondly, we make sure that we communicate we’re not going to be a state that fails to recognize the diversity of our workplace, our economy and our future.”

The governor wants state lawmakers to add language to the bill that would prohibit private businesses or individuals from excluding or discriminating against gays and lesbians.

Seth Hutchinson responded to his father’s decision on Facebook, saying he was “proud to have made a small contribution to the overall effort to stop discrimination against the LGBT community in Arkansas.”

[Placeholder for embed.]

It is unclear whether there is enough support for revisions to the bill in the Arkansas General Assembly, but either way, Seth said he was also looking at the bigger picture.

“We must build a mass movement of Americans fighting for economic, environmental, and social justice if we want to see real progress,” he wrote.

Photo via jglazer75/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 2.0)

Share this article
*First Published: Apr 1, 2015, 5:18 pm CDT