- Associated Press - Friday, April 10, 2015

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - A group representing downtown Little Rock’s businesses is calling on Arkansas’ governor to issue an order extending workplace anti-discrimination protections to gay and lesbian state employees.

The Downtown Little Rock Partnership’s board of directors on Friday called on Gov. Asa Hutchinson to issue an order protecting employees from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Hutchinson, a Republican, had floated the idea last week as he called for changes to a religious objections measure.

Hutchinson said Thursday he didn’t see an urgent need for such an order after lawmakers revised the religion bill to more closely mirror federal law. Hutchinson called for the changes after the initial version faced widespread criticism that it was anti-gay. About 200 businesses, organizations and individuals are members of the Downtown Little Rock Partnership.

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