Let’s Talk About Arizona’s (Now)-Failed Pro-Discrimination Bill

Posted: March 1, 2014 in homosexuality, politics, religion
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

While the world watched in the past month as Uganda passed a “Jail the Gays” law, another quagmire was brewing closer to home for United States-ians. The Great Desert State of Arizona had a legislature that passed a bill that would have made it legal for any business to discriminate based on perceived or actual sexual orientation of a customer (okay, Arizona is actually nicknamed “The Grand Canyon State” and, alternatively, “The Copper State”). And, while World Net Daily has remained mum on Uganda, it was very vocal about Arizona:

So, very very briefly, the bill was passed by the legislature, and during the entire process and after passage, it was condemned as a step backwards in civil rights, literally making it condoned and protected, by law, to discriminate based on someone’s sexual orientation. Business leaders and political leaders reacted, as did protestors. Vehemently.

Protests Against Arizona SB1062

Protests Against Arizona SB1062

Mayors across the state urged Gov. Brewer to veto the bill saying, among other things, it would be bad for business. As referenced above, the NFL threatened to pull the Super Bowl out of Arizona. Apple, U-Haul, and other businesses said in no uncertain hints that they were against the bill and would consider re-locating if it was signed into law. Meanwhile, the state’s two federal Senators said she should veto it (including the entire John McCain family), and three of the Republicans who passed the bill in the legislature within days turned and told Gov. Brewer that they thought she should veto it. As did Mitt Romney and even Newt Gingrich. The Governor, who – make no mistake – is not a friend of the homosexual community or its allies and is very, very conservative, nonetheless, after several days, veto the bill. Probably because of this:

Arizona Gov. Brewer Afraid of Arizona Boycott (©The Miami Herald)

Arizona Gov. Brewer Afraid of Arizona Boycott (©The Miami Herald)

And so now we have finger-pointing. But real quick before that, here’s a Time article on the subject in case you want another source on the issue. And, as a consequence, similar bills that were pending in the legislatures of several other states, including Georgia and Mississippi, have been put on hold as a direct result of Gov. Brewer’s veto.

In a Tale of Two Headlines, World Net Daily is decidedly the latter, spinning this as anti-religious-freedom. Of course, setting up the false dichotomy of there can either be religious freedom or LGBT equality.

Tale of Two Headlines - Spin on Gov. Brewer's Veto of SB1062 that Would Legalize Discrimination

Tale of Two Headlines – Spin on Gov. Brewer’s Veto of SB1062 that Would Legalize Discrimination

The idea on the conservative, religious “right” is, as I said above, a false-dichotomy: They think that if they have to “accept” same-sex rights, if they cannot discriminate based on an actual or perceived sexual orientation because their Big Sky God (may his beard ever be a-flowing) supposedly thinks that The Gay is bad based on a book written 1500-4000 years ago (roughly speaking), then their own freedoms are being trampled upon. And Good Christian bakers may soon be forced to make penis cakes (no, I’m not joking, some actually think this).

In response to some of these WND stories, we have a plethora of comments, the kind you’d expect from an über-right-wing source:

  • “Joseph Miller”: “These republicans that are urging the veto of the religious freedom act are COWARDS and traitors to all REAL Americans. Pitting a mans freedom against losing the Super Bowl. Pathetic and abismal. Publish these republicans names so we know who to throw out if office!”
  • “sophia”: “Super bowl is more important than religious freedom and freedom to control one’s private business? Super bowl can go elsewhere if they wish, I’d rather fight for freedom from government more. They’s already usurped too much!”
  • “ratamacue76”: “This isn’t about equality, this is about intentionally targeting businesses due to the owner’s beliefs in order for forced affirmation of a same-gender fetish while simultaneously violating the first amendment rights of the business owners to create legal precedent.”
  • “skipgainer”: “What about the civil rights of these business owners to serve who they wish to serve. This is the flip side of civil rights that nobody wants to address. When you force someone to do something they do not want to do you are stripping them of their civil rights, that is the real truth!”
  • “Rachael N. Jacobs”: “Jan Brewer just sold her soul to satan. She failed to protect God’s people from the evil LBGT slaughter of Christian and conservative businesses, and violated the Freedom of Association section of the First Amendment. Shame on you, Jan, for caving to political ungodliness! May God have no mercy on your soul.”
  • “bewaretheprophetwhoseeksprofit”: “God will not be mocked. He will denounce those who denounce Him.”

You get the idea. Now, in fairness, I’ll repeat what I said before on this blog: I think that if you know a business, such as a cake-making bakery, is owned by anti-gay bigots, and you want a wedding cake for your same-sex nuptials, you probably shouldn’t go there anyway. As a public business and public accommodation, it is bound by public accommodation laws, but still, why go there if you think they might spit in the buttercream?

But let’s change the scenario. Replace “cake-making bakery” with “Christian hospital, which is the only hospital within a 3-hour drive.” And replace “want a wedding cake for your same-sex nuptials” with “need an emergency appendectomy.” Shouldn’t that hospital be required to accommodate you regardless of their “sincerely held religious beliefs?”

Or, let’s do what I’ve done before on this blog and just replace “gay” or “same-sex” with “black” or “inter-racial.” Suddenly, it becomes much more distasteful to admit that, yes, we want to discriminate against someone just because they’re black, or we don’t believe in inter-racial marriage, therefore we won’t bake you a cake, or let you visit your spouse’s bedside in the hospital.

I think that’s enough said. There are sure to be more posts on this on WND, especially as the weekend commentators start going at it, but I don’t plan to address it again on this blog unless there’s something really really crazy that’s said.


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