Yes….. Gov. Brewer vetoed Arizona’s pathetically shallow ‘religious freedom to discriminate bill’
No, that does not mean Arizona deserves some sort of deference.
On This Week With George Stephanopoulos Sunday morning, National Review’s Rich Lowry defended Arizona’s SB 1062 — the just-vetoed bill that would have allowed business to refuse service to members of the LGBT community — from charges that it created Jim Crow-style laws against gay people.
“It’s different than the situation in Jim Crow south, when you had a state-sanctioned system of discrimination that was flatly unconstitutional,” Lowry said, “and you had a governmental interesting in ensuring that you could travel in South, which you couldn’t do if no hotel or no restaurant would serve you. In this case, the wedding industry is not bristling with hostility to gay people. You’re dealing with the occasional baker or florist who has a genuine conscientious objection. And if they do, you can find another baker or florist.”
The price one pays to live in a democracy is always having to say you’re sorry. In a system of government; of, for, and by, the people, the people are to blame. This is true of love and war.
No, The wedding industry is not full of ‘bristling bigot monsters’ but if someone suggests Arizona just might be, it is because through the act of legislation, Arizona earned it.
end of civics lesson….
While there was predictable outrage from many right-wing quarters this week over Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer’s veto of S.B. 1062 — a bill that would have legalized discrimination against LGBT people on the basis of protecting the “religious freedom” of people who did not wish to do business with them — the overwhelming reaction by most Arizonans, particularly its business people, was one of relief.
After all, the state is still recovering from the economic blowback wrought by another piece of far-right legislation - the infamous anti-immigrant S.B. 1070 legislation that put local law officers in the business of enforcing federal immigration law. The damage inflicted by the law itself, worsened by boycotts and other economic retaliation provoked by that legislation, remain fresh in the minds of the state’s business leaders, who pleaded with Brewer to boycott the law, as did the state’s entire congressional delegation and even a few of the legislators who had originally voted for the bill.
For now, the legislation appears to be dead in Arizona. But it is only one of several states in which the “religious freedom” legislation has made its presence felt, and in several states it may yet be approved.
A day after being reprimanded by Gov. Jan Brewer, a Republican, for failing to heed her call for action on the budget and the state’s child welfare agency, Arizona’s Republican-led House of Representatives promptly took up a new piece of social legislation on Thursday that would permit the surprise inspection of abortion clinics in the state.
The measure, which would also require the clinics to report “whenever an infant is born alive after a botched abortion,” was championed by the Center for Arizona Policy, the same powerful Evangelical Christian group that pushed a bill Ms. Brewer vetoed on Wednesday that would have made it easier for businesses to refuse service to gay men, lesbians and other people on religious grounds.
“When I addressed the Legislature earlier this year, I made my priorities for this session abundantly clear,” Ms. Brewer said Wednesday as she announced the veto. One, she said, was “passing a responsible budget that continues Arizona’s economic comeback.” Another was fixing the state’s beleaguered child-protection system.
The most remarkable thing about Arizona’s “License To Discriminate” bill is how quickly it became anathema, even among Republicans. Both 2008 GOP presidential candidate John McCain and 2012 GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney called upon Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer to veto this effort to protect businesses that want to discriminate against gay people. So did Arizona’s other senator, Jeff Flake. And former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. Indeed, three state senators who voted for this very bill urged Brewer to veto it before she finally did so on Wednesday, confessing that they “made a mistake” when they voted for it to become law.
The premise of the bill is that discrimination becomes acceptable so long as it is packaged inside a religious wrapper. As Arizona state Rep. Eddie Farnsworth (R) explained, lawmakers introduced it in response to instances where anti-gay business owners in other states were “punished for their religious beliefs” after they denied service to gay customers in violation of a state anti-discrimination law.
Yet, while LGBT Americans are the current target of this effort to repackage prejudice as “religious liberty,” they are hardly the first. To the contrary, as Wake Forest law Professor Michael Kent Curtis explained in a 2012 law review article, many segregationists justified racial bigotry on the very same grounds that religious conservatives now hope to justify anti-gay animus. In the words of one professor at a prominent Mississippi Baptist institution, “our Southern segregation way is the Christian way … . [God] was the original segregationist.”
God Of The Segregationists
Theodore Bilbo was one of Mississippi’s great demagogues. After two non-consecutive terms as governor, Bilbo won a U.S. Senate seat campaigning against “farmer murderers, corrupters of Southern womanhood, [skunks] who steal Gideon Bibles from hotel rooms” and a host of other, equally colorful foes. In a year where just 47 Mississippi voters cast a ballot for a communist candidate, Bilbo railed against a looming communist takeover of the state — and offered himself up as the solution to this red onslaught.
Bilbo was also a virulent racist. “I call on every red-blooded white man to use any means to keep the n[*]ggers away from the polls,” Bilbo proclaimed during his successful reelection campaign in 1946. He was a proud member of the Ku Klux Klan, telling Meet the Press that same year that “[n]o man can leave the Klan. He takes an oath not to do that. Once a Ku Klux, always a Ku Klux.” During a filibuster of an anti-lynching bill, Bilbo claimed that the bill
will open the floodgates of hell in the South. Raping, mobbing, lynching, race riots, and crime will be increased a thousandfold; and upon your garments and the garments of those who are responsible for the passage of the measure will be the blood of the raped and outraged daughters of Dixie, as well as the blood of the perpetrators of these crimes that the red-blooded Anglo-Saxon White Southern men will not tolerate.
A Peoria same-sex couple claims a cake business owner in Laveen gave them the cold shoulder after she found out about their lifestyle.
Rebecca, who did not want us to use her last name, said she was absolutely shocked.
“She contacted [a] mutual friend and said ‘Is this a same-sex relationship?’ They answered ‘yes,’ and she just stopped talking to us,” said Rebecca, referring to the mutual friend who introduced the couple to the woman.
“She’s never really had that ‘oh, you’re gay.’ She doesn’t look like that stereotypical lesbian so-to-speak,” said Molly Pearce, Rebecca’s partner.
Sweet Tooth by Charity is a small operation out of Laveen that typically only bakes cakes for family and friends, more of a word-of-mouth type of business.
Read the rest here: Valley Business Turns Away Peoria Same-Sex Couple
Last Thursday, a bill to make this kind of discrimination legal in Arizona was sent to Jan Brewer for her signature. She has until next Friday to sign it or not. Her comment on it last Friday:
“I think anybody that owns a business can choose who they work with or who they don’t work with,” Brewer told CNN in Washington on Friday. “But I don’t know that it needs to be statutory. In my life and in my businesses, if I don’t want to do business or if I don’t want to deal with a particular company or person or whatever, I’m not interested. That’s America. That’s freedom.”
I’m no constitutional scholar, but I believe she’s wrong about the legality of discrimination by a business.
It looks like the business involved, Sweet Tooth by Charity, intends to use as a defense the claim that it is not actually a business. I did a search for any public listings, and only found that there probably was a Facebook page that was taken down. Maybe they’ll get in trouble for running a business without a license and without paying taxes.
(Hat tip to Stanley Sea for the subtitle.)
More about the potential for Brewer to veto the bill:
— Stephen Lemons (@stephenlemons) February 23, 2014
PHOENIX - The Arizona Senate on Wednesday passed a bill backed by Republicans that expands the rights of people to assert their religious beliefs in refusing service to gays and others, a measure Democrats say will open the doors for discrimination and hurt the state economy.
Democrats and civil rights groups opposed the bill that was pushed by social conservatives, saying it would allow discriminatory actions by businesses.
But sponsor Sen. Steve Yarbrough of Chandler said his push for Senate Bill 1062 was prompted by a New Mexico case in which the state Supreme Court allowed a gay couple to sue a photographer who refused to take pictures of their wedding. He says he’s protecting religious rights.
How long before it’s a “Turn dreaded Muslims/Atheists/Jews/Other-Non-Christian-Minority Away” bill…
Warren Jeffs, self-described “prophet” of the Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints (FLDS), sits behind bars in a state prison in the east Texas city of Palestine.
But even though he’s serving a 120-year sentence for sexually abusing minors, Jeffs, critics say, still manages to run an isolated community of more than 6,000 people that straddles the Utah-Arizona border.
It’s a place unlike any other in America because, dissidents charge, it operates under a veritable theocratic form of government.
Hildale, Utah, and Colorado City, Ariz., known collectively as the Short Creek community, are home to a radical polygamist splinter group of the Mormon church. Members of the FLDS live in what is widely considered to be their stronghold in the desert.
For years, little was known about the secretive religious group. Members shunned publicity and planned their community on a border so they could move from one state to another if trouble arose.
But now Short Creek finds itself targeted by a national spotlight - and what’s being uncovered isn’t pretty.