Arizona Lawmakers: Bigotry is Alive and Well

A person, a member of the Church of Scientology, owns a business in the State of Arizona.  Given the powers granted through reaching , oh, let’s say level VI, maybe VII, of Operating Thetan, this business owner can spot a Suppressive Person a mile away.   Knowing just how terrible this SP can be and what damage he or she can do to one’s business, the OT denies him service at his store or restaurant.    Sound a little absurd?  Well it is, or, at least it should, but it stands the chance of becoming a reality if the legislators in the State of Arizona have their way.

Let’s be serious here.  What this is about is an attempt to discriminate against the gay community.  Conservative religious groups, operating under the assumption that their religious beliefs have come under attack, are trying to legislate bigotry.  The bill’s biggest proponent is the Center for Arizona Policy, a group best known for its opposition to abortion and same-sex marriage.   Smart cookies that they are, they realize that the gay and lesbian population is not considered a protected class under the Civil Rights Acts, which covers people of race, religion, national origin and gender.  So what do they do?  They go after the one group of Americans that are still vulnerable to such outlandish laws as this one.

As ridiculous as my Thetan versus Suppressive Person example may sound, it really isn’t outside the realm of possibility.   The bill in question, SB 1062, expands what already exists in Arizona’s Religious Freedom Amendment, which states, in part:  government shall not substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability.  All well and good, except when you realize that just about anybody can make the claim of being burdened – proving that it’s based on one’s religious beliefs is, and should be, an even tougher burden.

Where does it stop and, even more puzzling, how does one even go about this form of discrimination?  Is the State of Arizona going to require identification cards, declaring one’s sexual orientation?  Maybe these zealots are so in tune with their beliefs, and their God, for that matter, that they can detect those who burden them, just by looking at them.   Maybe these God-fearing business owners should post a sign in the window – “No Queers Allowed” – so that there isn’t any doubt about who can come in and who can’t.  Of course, an obviously pregnant woman without a wedding ring should be reason enough to slam the door in her face.  Just look at her, she’s a sinner, for sure. It gets stupider and stupider, until all reason and rationale goes right out the window.

The bill passed the with a vote of 33-27 and Governor Jan Brewer has said that she won’t review it until Monday, at the earliest.  She vetoed a similar bill just last year, but her most recent comments about this new piece of legislation have me a little concerned.  Apparently, despite outrage from the business community, she holds to the theory that any business owner should be able to deny anyone anything, and that religious beliefs are reason enough to do so.  I hope that her own beliefs, especially the one that tells her that everyone’s God is loving, will trump the machinations of another special interest group, hell-bent on stomping on the rights of other Americans.  To do otherwise is to declare that Arizona is ready to turn the clock back to a time when it was perfectly alright to deny people a seat on a bus or at a counter or to cast a ballot.  I hope she does the right thing here because I’m sick and tired of hearing from people who forgot what this Country is supposed to be about.  Their rights and their beliefs are no bigger or better than any of ours are.


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27 Responses to Arizona Lawmakers: Bigotry is Alive and Well

  1. R to the E to the B to the E to the C to the C to the A says:

    I would be more than stunned if this was to get passed into law. Governor Brewer doesn’t want her image tarnished any more than it is. Businesses would be ostracized if they followed along.

    • I agree with you Rebecca – she’ll probably veto it, even if it is for the wrong reasons.

      • Rebecca says:

        Do you remember when Arizona voted down the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday? It wasn’t for lack of wanting to celebrate Dr. King or getting a day off. The ballot measure itself was a mess. It wasn’t yes or no. There were several choices and none of them could ever get past 50%.

        I think this is knee-jerk stupidity by the legislatures. This probably coincides with AZ having some of the lowest education ratings in the country. (I’ve lived here off and on since 1989)

        • I don’t doubt that this is just more reactionary law-making which, of course, never goes well. Those types of bills are usually badly written, with questionable intentions and often wriiten and funded by some lobbying group. Just a really bad mix that usually winds up being overturned on Constitutional grounds.

          • R to the E to the B to the E to the C to the C to the A says:

            I forgot about the leeches. Why is lobbying still legal?

          • R to the E to the B to the E to the C to the C to the A says:

            And yes, these do end up being overturned, at a waste of time and tax payer money.

  2. MelTheHound says:

    Good writeup, Empress.. Beyond that, I’m staying out of this one.

  3. JLS says:

    Boggles the mind doesn’t it?

    • It really does. I’m stunned that a law like this is even seriously proposed, never mind considered and passed by a governing body. What kind of mindset does that take?

      • FLG (Mr. Benji's Butler) says:

        In looking into Jan Brewer and the Arizona Legislature I discovered something shocking. Gov. Brewer has not matriculated to the point of even having earned a Bachelor’s Degree. Several members of the Arizona Legislators have only earned GEDs with no further education.
        I am not an elitist who believes that those in public office should have Ivy League educations; quite the opposite. I think we might be better off with educated people possessing common sense rather than Harvard Club memberships.
        However, it appears that the Arizona Legislature’s main required qualification is what church they attend as opposed to which University they attended.
        They are the least educated Legislature in the nation.

        • I’ve often said that becoming an elected official, at almost any level, is the one job for which you need no skills, no qualifications and no education. Governor Brewer is just one of many who prove my theory. Good, smart pople avoid it because it requires selling a part of yourself.

  4. Kaereste says:

    You know, I had empathy for AZ when they took a stand against being flooded by illegals, many of them a heavy burden on the state’s finances, and some quite violent.
    That was a simple $ issue.

    This is just ugly and backwards.

  5. FLG (Mr. Benji's Butler) says:

    Very well stated Empress! I humbly offer my loudest applause.

    I want you and your readers to know that Arizona’s is only one of at least a dozen “template” laws being proposed in various States across the nation. The other States this law has been introduced in, with minor variations, thus far have been withdrawn. I anticipate they will rear their ugly heads again before this is over.
    In each State a different front group is claiming authorship, but that is impossible. In reading the different variations, I can assure you that there is one primary author. Thus far I and others have been unable to determine with absolute certainty whose door to nail the complaint on. When we do our hammer is ready. That door should be nailed shut. I am speaking metaphorically, of course.
    The gay community will continue to act, but we will use the courts as our weapon. That is what one does in a civilized society.

    • R to the E to the B to the E to the C to the C to the A says:

      Could the author possibly be from northeast Kansas?

    • FLG, I’m happy to hear that you read it – I know this type of legislation must feel like the worst possible affront, not just to you but to all of us who find it repugnant. I’ll be shaking my head for a long time.

      • FLG (Mr. Benji's Butler) says:

        We are very proud and appreciate our straight allies that have taken the time and effort to stand up and be counted.

      • FLG (Mr. Benji's Butler) says:

        Good Evening Empress:
        In my original comment, I referred to this as a “template” law. It has now made its way into the State of Georgia and was to be given a hearing.
        Indiana, where it has been delayed two years, now made it legal for state contractors to discriminate against LGBT employees. They tacked the bill onto an unrelated property tax bill. This was done by Indiana Rep. Eric Turner.

    • The NRA drafted most of the Stand Your Ground laws, then convinced lawmakers what a good idea it was. We have governments which sell out to the highest bidder.

  6. R to the E to the B to the E to the C to the C to the A says:

    Ok, all the big employers are threatening to leave AZ and the sports teams have weighed in against this. SB 1062 is unofficially dead at this point.

    • From what I just watched on NBC Nightly News, it does like like the Governor will veto it. Lawmakers are claiming that it was never their intention to discriminate – oh, okay.

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