SB 1062

Feb 26 2014

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer came under intense pressure this week to veto a bill to protect religious freedom. It was inspired by cases of business people being sued for refusing to provide services for same-sex weddings that violated their religious beliefs. To be clear: they said they were fine with serving gay customers, they just didn’t want to be forced to participate in gay marriages. There’s been a media frenzy over the Arizona bill, depicting it as an attempt to legalize anti-gay discrimination. Activists conjured up an image of bigoted business owners slamming their doors in the faces of thousands of gay customers, in a new rainbow version of Jim Crow. It was so ugly, several Republicans who supported the bill changed their minds and asked the Governor to veto it.

What nobody seemed to do was actually read the bill. So the Christian Post asked some legal experts to do just that. They say it’s actually a minor change to the state’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act that’s already been on the books for 15 years. Contrary to media reports, in some ways, it would actually make discrimination harder. It does expand the types of businesses that can cite religious grounds for refusal to provide service. But it also requires them to prove they hold a sincere, legitimate religious belief that would suffer a serious burden. And if not, then why would a business turn away any customers in this economy? In fact, there already is a federal law, also called the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, that limits how Washington can violate people’s religious beliefs. There’s never been a single court case under it involving a business owner who refused service to gay customers. And it’s been around for 21 years. Ever since it passed unanimously in a Democratic House and 97 to 3 in a Democratic Senate, and was signed by Bill Clinton. So on close examination, this seems to be a lot of outrage over very little. But then, we’ve kind of made it a habit lately to pass bills first, then read them later.

Comments 1-5 of 30

  • Tim Mosteller

    03/04/2014 01:55 AM

    I saw your show the other night on the explanation on SB 1062. It was great. I need to show this to my friends and would also like to find a copy of SB 1062. Thanking you ahead of time for your help. Tim.

  • Dennis Kroger

    03/03/2014 04:01 PM

    What everyone seems to missing here is that this law should not be necessary. Religion should have nothing to do with it. If I run a private business I should be able to deny service to whomever I want for whatever reason I want. If I don't like your hair-style or the color of your pants or I just don't like the expression on your face when you enter my store I should be able to tell you to leave. If I don't want to put a figurine of a gay couple on a cake then I should be able to say something like 'Please take your business elsewhere' and be done with it. You can in turn bad-mouth my business and refuse to come back. That's freedom and the way it should work. If I don't like you and you don't like me then we go our separate ways. So long as I am not trying to build a consortium of businesses that discriminate against a particular group I should be able to deal or not deal with whomever I want. If I loose business because of it then that is my problem.
    Religious freedom should not be the issue in this case.

  • Charles James Brown

    03/03/2014 11:23 AM

    Dear Governor:
    Does anyone else see that similar military tactics were employed by Adolf Hitler during a world distracted and indecisive as it is today? He took full advantage of this when he "annexed" Austria and then went on to wreak unimaginable horrors before the decent peoples of this earth awoke from their stupor!
    Putin like Hitler has taken every advantage of the naiveté of Obama and the "keystone cops" entourage he surrounds himself with plus the absolute folly of a "RESET" policy with Russia!
    As a veteran of the Vietnam conflict I and many others are appalled that we have allowed this "Neville Chamberlain" of a president to decimate our armed forces and beguile the young citizens of this country into a false sense of security.
    I feel Barack Obama is the greatest threat to my country in my lifetime!
    It will take people like minded as yourself, Honorable Gov. Huckabee, to seek office and try to undo the domestic and foreign damage done to this country.
    We will, in spite of him, survive his tenure but it will take years to remedy the damages done. I will not be here to see the recovery but it must be with the firm commitment of every citizen to be registered to vote and then get off their duffs and do it! We must return to the system of checks and balances our founding fathers envisioned when they set forth their tenets for freedoms and responsibilities in our constitution. The one thing they never imagined would be an attack on our liberties by a domestic enemy from within that would hold the highest position in the land... Barack Obama! Most very sincerely, Charles J. Brown Hiram, Georgia 30134-5195

  • Henry Jacobs

    03/03/2014 04:04 AM

    The definition of religious freedom: My freedom from YOUR religion!

  • Shawn Yealick

    03/03/2014 12:15 AM

    How is a person's freedom of religion hindered by someone else being gay? We're taught to be accepting (nonjudgmental), forgiving, to live humbly not righteously, and love one another. How are religious groups accomplishing this today by infusing levels (laws) of discrimination against their fellow man? I wonder if the same people trying to legalize discrimination (not accepting those whom are different) would have a leg to stand on in front of God when he asks them why they didn't love and accept his children. Be careful. Religions are groups of sinning, impressionable, imperfect human beings without all knowing answers to many questions. God is the only one whom you can find salvation and he loves us all EQUALLY!

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