Arizona bill letting businesses deny service for religious reasons sparks heated debate

by
February 25, 2014

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer is facing pressure from both sides of a heated debate over religious rights, as she weighs whether to sign a bill that would legally protect businesses that deny services to customers for religious reasons.

The bill cleared the Arizona Legislature last week. Opponents are calling the measure “state-sanctioned discrimination” and raising such scenarios as gays being denied restaurant service or medical treatment when a business owner’s religion doesn’t condone homosexuality.

The bill updates existing Arizona law on the “exercise of religion” and protects businesses, corporations and people from lawsuits if they deny services based on a “sincere” religious belief.

Supporters argue the bill is about protecting religious freedom, not about allowing discrimination. And they frequently cite the case of a New Mexico photographer sued for refusing to take wedding pictures of a gay couple.

“This bill is about preventing discrimination against people who are clearly living out their faith,” said state GOP Sen. Steve Yarbrough, the bill sponsor.

  • gavinwca

    Brewer does not have the intestinal fortitude to stand up to the liberal homo-Fascist left wing Liberal establishment to sign this bill that has been so falsely demonized by the opposition.

  • Terry Tate

    Go Arizona! I am a Gay Texan and I stand with Arizona!

  • I Seigel

    I would assume no one here has any problem with Holder telling his AGs that they don’t have to defend gay marriage bans? After all, if the AGs feel that the laws offend their religious beliefs, then they don’t have to defend them, right?

    Would a fire department be obligated to put out a fire at the home of someone who they didn’t like, whether the house belongs to a gay family or a black family or some Buddhists?

    Would EMTs be obligated to come to the emergency aid of Latinos, or people who play “thug” music, or a single, pregnant woman?
    How does your freedom of religion and your freedom to discriminate work in the real world?

    If you’re a realtor, you don’t HAVE to sell a house to that black family, do you? If you’re a pharmacist, you don’t REALLY have fill that Amoxicillin prescription for that Jew, do you? If you’re a teacher, you don’t REALLY have to let that Catholic girl into your classroom, do you?

    Yes, Arizona will be just like Northern Ireland – Protestants on one side, Catholics on the other. Now THAT’S progress!!!

    • Terry Tate

      I Seigel, Total BS, no one will boycott the state! You and people like you do not have the clout you think you do.

      • I Seigel

        Really? So, you’re too young to remember the boycott that many companies organized against Arizona when they refused to recognize the Martin Luther King national holiday? And the reasons that AZ gave when they finally started to recognize it?

        Or is it just that you can’t or won’t read the news stories TODAY saying that the NFL won’t consider holding a Super Bowl in AZ if this bill passes.

        Or that Delta Airlines is just the first of many companies that have come out STRONGLY against this bill. Believe me please when I predict there will be many many more.

      • I Seigel

        Check the news, my friend. Jan couldn’t “man up” and sign the bill.

    • Graywolf12

      OK for a business to refuse to let me in because I carry a gun, but not OK for them to refuse service to a heterophobe. Looks like discrimination is OK for some but not others. Typical progressive do as we say not as we do.

  • James

    I am allowed to refuse to serve someone that does not wear shoes, or a shirt. I am allowed to refuse to serve someone that is loud and obnoxious, but I am not allowed to refuse to serve someone that offends my religion. If a woman in a bathing suit came into a store owner by someone of the Islamic faith, would you tell him he has to serve her if he refused. Would you make him serve someone that calls the Koran a book of lies? I think not so why should I have to serve someone that offends my religion? Why should I give up my right to freedom of religion just so some man can stick his penis up the ass of another man?

  • Graywolf12

    When did heterophobia become a religion?

    • Terry Tate

      Since the Gay stated trying to gain power in the US, never happen.

  • mariowen

    Jan Brewer, step up to the plate and don’t sell out to another special interest group who wants to destroy this country. We as Americans are stilled ruled by a Constitution and Bill of Rights that is SUPPOSED to protect us from an intrusive government. We have the right to our religious beliefs and not have that taken away from us because of some people who want to push their agendas over onto us. If we want to run our business by our principles and beliefs, then let us do it. That is what America is SUPPOSED to be about. I should not be forced into catering to those who want to force ME into their convoluted ideas. So man up, Jan Brewer, and be a real American – a rare commodity in these days of our country changing into communism. Remember We The People. That’s what we are supposed to be. FREE. Free to choose how to run our businesses and our lives as we see fit. Don’t change the rules for a few radicals.

    • Eugene Sevene

      mariowen I agree and could not have said it better. FREEDOM is going away fast enough.SIGN THE BILL stand up for freedom.

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