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Breaking: AZ Lawmakers Send Religious License To Discriminate Against Gays Bill To Gov.

by David Badash on February 20, 2014

in Civil Rights,Discrimination,News,Politics,Religion

Post image for Breaking: AZ Lawmakers Send Religious License To Discriminate Against Gays Bill To Gov.

The full Arizona House just passed a religious freedom license to discriminate bill that will allow anyone, for any reason, refuse to provide services to anyone if they claim it violates their religious beliefs. The Arizona Senate passed their version of the bill, SB 1062, just yesterday.

The legislation is now headed to Republican Governor Jan Brewer for her signature or veto.

After several hours of debate, the Republican-led Arizona House in an unrecorded voice vote sent HB 2153, an Act Relating To The Free Exercise Of Religion to the full House for a vote. That vote happened only minutes later. The final vote was 33-27.

vote

The legislation is sponsored in the House by Republican Rep. Eddie Farnsworth, and in the Senate by GOP state senator Steve Yarborough, along with the conservative Christian Center for Arizona Policy.

SB 1062/HB 2153 provides a foothold into Arizona of both Sharia law, and, yes, even Satanism. Believe it or not, “the Devil made me do it,” should Gov. Brewer sign it, will become the law of the land in the Grand Canyon state.

U.S. Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema issued a statement urging Gov. Brewer to veto the bill.

Speaking eloquently in opposition to the legislation, Rep. Ruben Gallego (image, top) reminded his colleagues that Arizona is trying to attract the Super Bowl, and companies like Apple and Google. “God forbid someone should come to the Super Bowl and come to a restaurant that is not going to allow them in,” he warned. “We’re saying it’s open season on gays, it’s OK to put this sign up,” he said, holding a large “No Gays Allowed” sign.

Rep. Gallego also noted that gay service members would “have more rights by staying on that base” than by stepping foot on Arizona soil. “In expanding religious freedom we are expanding state-sanctioned discrimination.”

Rep. Chad Campbell, the Democratic Minority Leader, delivered a very passionate speech, telling his fellow House members, “this is state sanctioned discrimination.”

“If you are gay, don’t come to Arizona. That’s what we’re saying to the nation,” Rep. Campbell said. “This is a direct attack on a certain group of people — the LGBT community,” he noted.

Later, he noted, “there’s only one type of equality, and that’s equal.”

Rep. Mark Cardenas was passionate throughout the debate, and challenged many of those who were in favor of the legislation. He talked about the economic impact the legislation will have, and framed the debate as Arizona suffered when it refused to recognize Martin Luther King Day.

Rep. Victoria Steele on the House floor read pastor Martin Niemöller’s famous poem, “First they came …

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out– Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out– Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out– Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me–and there was no one left to speak for me.

She also reminded her colleagues that when the Pilgrims came to America, they subjugated and slaughtered millions of native Americans in the name of their religion.

Rep. Demion Clinco, who is Arizona’s only gay lawmaker, said, “I don’t think we deserve a bill like this anywhere in this country.” Saying he was appalled by the legislation, he added it is discrimination hiding behind religious freedom.

“It’s hurtful to me personally, it’s hurtful to the LGBT community… We’re responding to a problem in another state.”

But those opposed, like Rep. John Kavanagh, falsely claimed that “people are using the cloak of discrimination to persecute religious people.”

“I’m sick and tired of the majority being trampled on by the minority,” Rep. Steve Smith said. “I won’t stand for it. We’re the bad people. Why? Because I dare to wear my religion on my sleeve?”

The legislation was drafted in direct response to Elaine Photography v. Vanessa Willock, in which the New Mexico Supreme Court in a unanimous decision ruled that a photographer violated that state’s Human Rights Act by refusing to photograph a same-sex wedding.

 

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{ 17 comments }

keithff February 20, 2014 at 6:45 pm

I cannot believe that they would enact a law that violates the constitution of the United States. I think if passed this law would be defeated in the courts. Thank God I live in the UK, where we are all almost equal. shortly we will be equal.
I thought that no state may enact a discriminatory law. If passed this state is no better than Uganda

maineiac14 February 20, 2014 at 7:42 pm

Unfortunately I'm not sure it is unconstitutional except possibly it is overbroad. There is nothing in the Constitution that protects the LGBT community nor is there anything in the Equal Rights act that does it and with the right wing holding majority power on the Supreme Court who knows what they will say. If this law passes I hope everyone who has any sense of morality and ethics will write to the NFL and let them know they canno permit the SuperBowl to be held in Arizona period, nor in any state that so discriminates.

ionisis February 21, 2014 at 1:35 am

Could one not argue that the reasons given for the LGBT community not to be allowed into places is against the 1st amendment?The statements about the LGBT both written and oral are defamatory against the reputation of the community

James_M_Martin February 20, 2014 at 8:26 pm

Where have you been keithff? Have you ever heard of the Nullification movement? This group of so-called Americans believes it has the right to nulify, or ignore, any United States law that they disagree with or which they, not the U. S. Supreme Court, decide to be constitutional or unconstitutional. Suspect you are essentially right, though. This one won't pass the "public accommodation" muster. Poor Greg Holder. What a full plate he's go, and no wonder he wants to leave the Obama administration in 2014!

SeanLiberty13 February 20, 2014 at 6:56 pm

"We’re the bad people. Why? Because I dare to wear my religion on my sleeve?”

No, because you illegally demand others adhere to your religious beliefs violating their first amendment rights. Your religion applies to you and nobody else. Not customers. Not employees. Not neighbors. REAL Americans share where as AINO's (Americans In Name Only) segregate, discriminate, and are arrogant greedy TRASH with grotesque, unhealthy, inhuman superiority and control complexes unbecoming of a civilized human being.

Brian Stroup February 20, 2014 at 7:41 pm

So if I have a flight that requires me to change planes in Phoenix, as many do these days, and the gate attendant is a christianist, my husband and I could be prevented from boarding our plane because we have hyphenated our last name! What would they do in that case, deport us?

SeanLiberty13 February 20, 2014 at 8:10 pm

Jim Crow Part 2

janetchristian February 20, 2014 at 10:01 pm

this is the stupidest thing I have ever heard. I don't believe in sex before marriage and many religious people don't. will the state of AZ tell all the people who live together and not married, cheaters, and others who have sex outside the bonds of marriage they can be discriminated against or is it just gays? Will the Baptist discriminate against catholic and visa versa. this is going to bite them in the butt.

1sand0s February 20, 2014 at 10:35 pm

if someone from the Westboro Baptist Church came into your place of business and wanted you to make posters that stated "Homosexuality is a Sin", shouldnt you have the right to refuse their business?

if you are against this bill, you are answering this question NO. you are saying as a business owner, you dont have a right exercise your first amendment right to disagree with someone's belief system and lifestyle.. i think we can all agree that if you refused Westboro in the example above, you wouldnt be discriminating against Christians, but only disagreeing with their belief that Homosexuality is a sin. and thus wont promote that message.

the whole reason this legislation exists is because a photography company refused to photograph a same-sex wedding, was sued, and lost the case. thus it was said in a court of law, that as business owners you dont have a right to express your first amendment right to disagree with someone. and sorry, thats ALL THE BUSINESS OWNERS DID.

and if you are really that butthurt about it.. organize a protest against the photography company and boycott their business. POLICE IT YOURSELF AS A CONSUMER.

MiddleGrounds February 21, 2014 at 4:43 am

First off, the WBC is a known hate group, flat out. They hate on anyone and everyone.

Second off, WHAT? Let me see if I can explain your dribble:

– if you are against this bill, you are answering this question NO. you are saying as a business owner, you dont have a right exercise your first amendment right to disagree with someone's belief system and lifestyle. —

If I am a business owner, then I am OPEN TO THE PUBLIC, however, they do NOT HAVE ANY RIGHT to do anything to cause LOSS OF REVENUE to my business. If I was a business owner, and say I didn't like, say, people with blue eyes. I would still serve them because, guess what, you guessed it, REVENUE.

Now say that it was for the WBC. While I would dislike doing such, I would probably still do it, because, guess what, you guessed it, REVENUE.

– the whole reason this legislation exists is because a photography company refused to photograph a same-sex wedding, was sued, and lost the case. thus it was said in a court of law, that as business owners you dont have a right to express your first amendment right to disagree with someone. and sorry, thats ALL THE BUSINESS OWNERS DID. —

Because you know why, YOU ARE A PUBLIC BUSINESS. They can express their first amendment rights (which they did), however they also have to deal with the consequences of it. Sure, they may have disagreed with it, but seriously, photography and you don't want to deal with a MULTITUDE of people? You're in the wrong business.

– and if you are really that butthurt about it.. organize a protest against the photography company and boycott their business. POLICE IT YOURSELF AS A CONSUMER. —

Uhm, pretty sure social media has word about it, and they did police it themselves. They took them to court and won.

Alex_Parrish February 20, 2014 at 11:15 pm

1sandos — Sorry, you have missed the point of equality. By doing business with a gay couple you are no more validating their choices than if you do business with someone who kicks his dog, abuses his children or is a Southern Baptist or a Muslim. All those people must be treated equally. If you don't want to socialize with them, that is fine — but they are entitled to the same business services as the rest of the world. There is a reason for enforcement of this equality. While it's easy to say, "just take your business elsewhere," minorities are more-than-likely to find that at a certain point there is no where else to go if discrimination is allowed. That is the way the laws work. It is the job of the courts to see to it that minorities are not abused (or left without services) by popular choice. It might not be pleasant for some, but it is just.

Mahnahvu February 21, 2014 at 2:05 am

Totally unnecessary legislation. Arizona is not New Mexico. Photographers in Arizona can show gay couples the door to their heart's content and be perfectly within the law. Instead of protecting homophobic business owners all this bill does is send a message that it is open season on gays.

AZEagletarian February 21, 2014 at 3:53 am

True. The REAL reason for this legislation is to further the Christian Dominionism movement. The New Mexico court decision was only a pretext.

AZEagletarian February 21, 2014 at 3:51 am

Please join with Arizona activists and sign this petition calling on Governor Brewer to VETO SB1062. http://www.credomobilize.com/petitions/tell-gov-b

btlcenter February 21, 2014 at 10:56 am

OH WAIT – my religion beliefs are that it's wrong to TAX us – so does that mean I don't have to pay taxes???

tigres0118 February 24, 2014 at 2:37 am

There is an imaginary line for "Separation of Church and State" It may not be specifically written in the constitution but here are words specifically in the Bible. Arizona and its businesses should be ashamed of themselves.

"Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone." Colossians 4: 5-6 

"But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping your conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander." 1 Peter 3: 15-16 

dkessler4 February 24, 2014 at 1:57 pm

Steven Yarborough is the Arizona senator who introduced SB 1062. He is a republican who is up for reelection this year. Rep. Steve Yarbrough, Dist. 17, is the primary author of the SB 1062. Reps. Nancy Barto, Dist. 15, up for election 2014, and Bob Worsley, Dist. 25, up for election 2014, both co-sponsored the bill. Please place a note on your calendar to donate to the opposing candidates before the November elections. Any help would be appreciated by the people of Arizona to remove these intolerant legislators from office. We can take out the bullys when we all work together.

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