Acxiom Asks Gov. Hutchinson to Veto HB1228


Acxiom Asks Gov. Hutchinson to Veto HB1228
Scott Howe, president and CEO of Acxiom Corp., signed the letter to Gov. Hutchinson along with Jerry C. Jones, the company's executive vice president and chief legal officer.

Acxiom Corp. of Little Rock on Monday joined the list of technology companies calling House Bill 1228 “discriminatory” and asked the governor to veto the measure.

In a letter (PDF) to Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson, Acxiom President and CEO Scott Howe wrote that “we are hopeful that you will exhibit the courage and leadership necessary to do the right thing and veto this bill.” The letter was also signed by Jerry C. Jones, the company's executive vice president and chief legal officer.

The “Religious Freedom Restoration Act” was sponsored by Republican Rep. Bob Ballinger of Hindsville.

“We are not alone in the belief that the bill is a deliberate vehicle for enabling discrimination against the LGBT community and should not become law, as it effectively re-establishes that shameful period before Civil Rights, when some used religious beliefs as a thinly-veiled justification for discrimination against our fellow citizens,” Howe wrote.

Howe wrote that the bill “inflicts pain on some of our citizens and disgrace upon us all” and would exclude people from “pursuing normal, everyday life, that straight citizens take for granted.”

Howe added that the measure was also in opposition to some of Hutchinson’s statements about economic opportunity in the state.

“HB1228 is not wiser either from a business perspective — we have seen that it has already created a backlash in the business community of our country and is certain to bring ridicule and derision, if it becomes law. This bill is at direct odds with your position that ‘Arkansas is open for business,’” Howe wrote.

Howe joined several other technology companies and executives in opposition to such measures. Within the past week, Apple Inc. CEO Tim Cook penned an op-ed opposing the "religious freedom" laws and Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman wrote his own open letter against them.

A spokesman for Hutchinson did not immediately return an email seeking comment Monday afternoon.


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