Last week Governor Mike Pence of Indiana gleefully signed a homophobic, piece-of-trash bill generated by his state legislature that would have enshrined discrimination against gays and lesbians in his state under the guise of "religious freedom." Soon businesses began boycotting Indiana - as did two other states. The NCAA was very unhappy with the the bigoted law, and numerous celebrities began speaking out against it. Pence later said that he did not consider the bill to be all that controversial, and he was not expecting the uproar that ensued.
The noise got so loud that Pence, a GOP presidential hopeful, eventually asked his legislature to fix the measure and bring it more in line with a national law that had been signed into effect by President Bill Clinton two decades earlier.
Meanwhile in Arkansas, the land that time forgot, their hillbilly legislature rushed to pass a very similar bill and get it safely to the desk of Governor Asa Hutchinson, a conservative fundamentalist who developed his intellectual skills at Bob Jones University. But when the Arkansas bill reached the governor, something unexpected happened: God intervened.
Hutchinson heard from all of the usual suspects as he mulled signing the bill. Gay rights are advancing quickly, due in part to a more open attitude of the younger generation. The governor's grown son, Seth Hutchinson, even went so far as to sign a petition asking his father to veto the hate legislation. The straw that broke the camel's back, however, came when Walmart CEO Doug McMillion got involved and strongly recommended that the governor not sign the legislation.
When Walmart spoke, Hutchinson couldn't move quickly enough to kiss their corporate ring. He threw the bill back to the legislature like it was a flaming bag of dog turds - and told them to re-work it.
God had spoken, and Asa listened. Both knew their places in the land called Arkansas.