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Hillary urges veto of Arkansas religious freedom bill

Hillary Clinton is calling on Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) to veto a religious freedom bill passed by the state’s legislature on Tuesday. 

Clinton, the former first lady of Arkansas who is preparing to announce her 2016 presidential bid, said the bill would allow for discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender people on religious grounds. In a tweet, she cited similar legislation in Indiana that has sparked a firestorm.

Hutchinson said during a Wednesday morning press conference minutes after Clinton’s tweet that he would not sign the bill. The governor said he plans to send it back to the legislature for changes, saying it doesn’t conform with a federal law protecting religious freedoms passed in the 1990s. Hutchinson had previously said he’d sign the bill.  

{mosads}Religious freedom bills have been put under the microscope since Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R) signed legislation that bars the government from infringing on religious beliefs absent a strong, compelling interest.

Civil rights activists and business leaders condemned the Indiana law, claiming it created a loophole allowing discrimination founded in religious beliefs, specifically toward the LGBT community.

Pence, who has not closed the door on running for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination, was forced to backtrack on Tuesday and call for a legislative fix to the law.

Clinton only tweets sporadically, but she has ramped up her social media posts ahead of her widely expected April announcement of a White House bid.

Without an official political organization like most prospective candidates, her Twitter account provides a rare glimpse into her take on current events ahead of her campaign. 

The controversy over the religious freedom law is also shadowing the likely GOP presidential field, forcing 2016 hopefuls to stake out their positions.

Former Gov. Jeb Bush (R-Fla.), Sens. Ted Cruz (Texas) and Marco Rubio (Fla.), and Gov. Scott Walker (Wis.) all came out in favor of the Indiana law, before Pence urged the state legislature to clarify the legislation.

Tags Arkansas Hillary Clinton

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