HRC blasted the Arkansas Senate on Tuesday for passing a mean-spirited, meaningless measure calling for a convention to amend the U.S. Constitution to define marriage as the “union of one man and one woman.” Senate Joint Resolution 7 will now go to the state House of Representatives.
“Marriage equality is settled law, and any bill or legislator seeking to undermine it is in conflict with the U.S. Supreme Court and the U.S. Constitution,” said Kendra R. Johnson, HRC Arkansas state director. “HRC Arkansas calls on our lawmakers put an end to these cynical, divisive theatrics, and start focusing on the issues that matter to Arkansans instead introducing a bill that would only seek to harm LGBTQ people.”
The Arkansas legislature has no authority to force Congress to begin the process of amending the U.S. Constitution, and would not be able to influence the outcome of such an undertaking. If the Constitution were to be amended in this way — which is unlikely — it would give states the ability to roll back marriage equality if they oppose it, effectively stripping away years of progress and placing millions of same-sex marriages in jeopardy.
In 2014, HRC launched Project One America, an initiative geared towards advancing social, institutional and legal equality in Arkansas, Alabama and Mississippi. HRC Arkansas continues to work to advance equality for LGBTQ Arkansans who have no state level protections in housing, workplace, or public accommodations. Through HRC Arkansas, we are working toward a future of fairness every day — changing hearts, minds and laws toward achieving full equality.