By Shaun King
On Wednesday morning, conservative Arkansas governor, Asa Hutchinson, refused to sign a new "religious liberty bill" into law passed by his state legislature.
Beyond his own good conscience, at least three factors played a major role in his decision.
1. Governor Hutchinson witnessed corporation after corporation after executive after celebrity after politician publicly announce that they were going to boycott Indiana for passing the same law. The consequences for this law in Indiana were swift and harsh and will have a serious economic impact on the state moving forward if something is not done to correct this unjust law.
2. Based out of Arkansas, Wal-Mart, the largest private employer in the country, publicly announced that they were strongly against this religious liberty billand implored the governor not to sign it. Widespread discussions of a boycott of Wal-Mart if the bill passed may have very well forced the company to take a bold stand.
3. According to the governor, his own son signed a petition asking him to veto the bill.
This did not happen on its own. Activists, protestors, organizers, and progressive journalists made this happen. Boycotts, which impact the most essential currency for politicians - money - work. The governor of Indiana, Mike Pence, claims to be scrambling now to see how his state can improve and "clarify" the law. While this remains to be seen, he is only doing it because the protests, petitions, and boycotts have gotten his attention.
What's clear is this - the Governor of Arkansas, a lifelong conservative, didn't want the trouble that has come to Indiana to come to his state, the most important company in the state didn't want the trouble, and the son of the governor thought signing the bill would be a mistake.
Never allow anyone to tell you that fighting for justice is futile. It isn't. What happened today is but one example that the work is worth it. Fight on.