Money talks in Arizona


As a result of cases in other states in which photographers and florists and bakers were sued for declining to provide their services at the weddings of same-sex couples, the thoughtful legislators of Arizona decided that they needed to protect their own citizens who dislike gays from similar lawsuits and both the state house and senate passed laws that said that any business could deny service to anyone, not just gay people, for religious reasons if those beliefs are held ‘sincerely’. The bill is now awaiting the signature of Arizona governor Jan Brewer. If she does not veto it by Friday, it becomes law.

But things have started to change. Both the state’s Republican US senators have called upon the governor to veto the bill and some of the legislators who voted for the bill have now said that they regretted doing so and would like to reverse course and are urging the governor to veto the bill they voted for.

It would be nice to think that all this second-guessing is due to people realizing that being anti-gay is no longer acceptable. But that is likely not what happened. What has happened is that the business community is alarmed that such a law would result in people boycotting the state and harm its tourism industry and other business interests. Next year’s Super Bowl is also being held in Arizona and the thought that there could be a replay of the controversy over Russia’s anti-gay laws at the Sochi games in Phoenix could not have been pleasant to contemplate. It has even been suggested that the venue be shifted out of state if the law is signed.

The Arizona bill was outrageous from the start. But not outrageous enough for some people because there is now a report that a congressional lobbyist, alarmed by the prospect of Michael Sam being drafted by a team in the NFL, is drafting a bill that would ban gay players from the NFL. Such a bill, if actually brought up in congress, would be the Republican party’s worst nightmare. They could not vote for it without cementing the view that they are hateful bigots and they cannot vote against it without alienating the crazies whom they depend upon.

I predict the bill will be buried in committee and never see the light of day.

Comments

  1. raven says

    These bills just seem cuckoo.

    1. What is a religion and what is a sincerely held belief? The states don’t like to have to decide this. There is really no way to tell.

    2. It doesn’t matter that much anyway. Sincerely held religious beliefs aren’t a Get Out of Jail Free Card. Some religious groups, Sovereign Citizens don’t believe in paying taxes. They don’t pay taxes. Then they go to jail.

    Some religious groups use hallucinogenic drugs in their churches. In some cases, the courts have let them, in some cases they haven’t. I doubt if the Church of the Holy Coca Plant is going to get too far but some groups can use Ayahuasca, a South American drug.

    3. And it works both ways. Xians only make up 68% of the population and that is dropping rapidly. They are projected to go below 50% in a few decades. At some point, they are going to be the minority and subject to possible discrimination. What goes around, comes around.

    I’m an ex-xian Pagan. While I don’t have any plans or desire to discriminate against xians, under Arizona law, what would stop me?

  2. says

    Time will tell if the NFL has the decency (or is too beholden to money) to turn its back on Arizona. I really doubt that the NFL took away the 1993 Super Bowl because of Mecham’s racism.

    http://azcapitoltimes.com/news/2014/02/24/az-cardinals-super-bowl-committee-voice-concern-about-sb1062/

    When former Gov. Evan Mecham abolished Martin Luther King Jr. Day as an Arizona holiday in 1987, the NFL was in the midst of deciding what city should host Super Bowl XXVII in 1993.

    Though the NFL initially awarded the game to Arizona, the controversy over the MLK Day ban and the voters’ defeat of ballot initiatives to reinstate the holiday spurred the league to rescind Arizona’s host status. The Super Bowl was shipped off to Pasadena, Calif.

    Cardinals officials stated late Monday afternoon that they “do not support anything that has the potential to divide, exclude and discriminate. As a prominent and highly-visible member of this community, we strive to bring positive attention to the state. We are concerned with anything that creates a negative perception of Arizona and those of us who are fortunate enough to call it home.”

    Some people will only listen when you hit them in the wallet. Nothing else seems to get their attention.

  3. raven says

    As a result of cases in other states in which photographers and florists and bakers were sued for declining to provide their services at the weddings of same-sex couples,…

    1. Well really, if I was part of a gay couple, why in the hell would I want a fundie death cult xian providing wedding services to me.

    Not that I”m an anti-xian bigot or anything. Hmmm, well not much of one any way. I wouldn’t want my hard earned money going to them. I’d rather pay someone who is gay, atheist, or gay tolerant instead.

    I suspect if the politicians leave it alone, it will all work out. The Invisible Hand of the Free Market* will create companies that cater to same sex couples. It’s just capitalism.

    *TIHofTFM is overrated but does occasionally do something worthwhile.

  4. doublereed says

    Some people will only listen when you hit them in the wallet. Nothing else seems to get their attention.

    It’s really more of a stabbing motion. Stab them right in the wallet.

    1. Well really, if I was part of a gay couple, why in the hell would I want a fundie death cult xian providing wedding services to me.

    Because they provide good services? This is part of America’s 50 year precedent of Public Accommodations Law.

  5. jamessweet says

    I also got a chuckle to learn that the business community (i.e. the very group that the AZ law is theoretically supposed to protect) was vehemently opposed to the “turn away the gay” law. It makes sense, of course. But it was still kinda funny.

  6. doublereed says

    I suspect if the politicians leave it alone, it will all work out. The Invisible Hand of the Free Market* will create companies that cater to same sex couples. It’s just capitalism.

    *TIHofTFM is overrated but does occasionally do something worthwhile.

    Realistically no. Gays are a pretty slim minority in the country, so unless the servicers advertised widely that they weren’t gay-friendly, there wouldn’t be that much loss of business.

    Also, you are assuming that people advertise that they are homophobic or gay. They don’t. You could book all your service, but then be rejected after everything has been set up because the caterers found out that it’s a gay wedding. On an individual level, this is very bad for all consumers.

    The invisible hand doesn’t have that much strength for this sort of thing.

  7. raven says

    Gays are a pretty slim minority in the country,…

    True. But we are the most urban country on the planet. Arizona is 87.5% urban.

    While gays are small in percentage, that number is large enough in an urban area to be worth going after.

    I steer my money for goods and services away from people that hate me and my kinds. No Hobby Lobby, no chick fil a, no religious charities, etc.. It’s not hard, most businesses are in business to make money and don’t care whose it is.

  8. Donnie says

    However, had the amendment proposed by one of the AZ-(D) representatives had been approved by the ZA-(R) and placed onto the bill then the Invisible Hand of the Market may have worked. The amendment stated that a business would be required to prominently display a sign that stated something to the effect, “We have strong religious beliefs against serving LGBT patrons. Please find another business to offer you services.”

    Of course, the Repubs rejected that amendment for they knew that if a business owner was required to stand behind his/her “sincerely held religious belief” in an open and transparent manner, it would be a death sentence for most business’.

  9. elpayaso says

    i hope it does get vetoed, but some small part of me was thiking that the opportunity to litigate the sincerity of their religious beliefs could be kind of fun….

  10. doublereed says

    That would certainly do it. It would also demonstrate just how segregation-esque it really is.

    But I don’t understand what “urban” has to do with it? You mean like the word of mouth would spread really quickly? I mean, Hobby Lobby and Chick-Fil-A became national scandals. Have you heard of Masterpiece Cakeshop?

  11. Randy Lee says

    Mano, you wrote, “It would be nice to think that all this second-guessing is due to people realizing that being anti-gay is no longer acceptable.”

    I don’t think you could find many people who don’t find the thought of a child playing in the potty to be repugnant. Most of us would react very compulsively in our attempts to protect the child from that environment. I think that even homosexuals would for the most part also find the thought of a child, especially a loved one, playing in the potty to be repugnant. But when it comes to their sexual inclinations and habits all repugnancy is forgotten as they engage in their hedonistic pleasures.

    There are many people, religious and non-religious like myself, who find the sexual practices of homosexuals to be extremely repugnant. Most of those percieve these practices as immoral and detrimental to society. That is why we believe that we have every right to dis-associate ourselves from such persons in every aspect of our life if we so desire. No federal law (Public Accommodations Act) can be shown to be a compelling exercise of state power in this instance. Our fundamental in-alienable right to associate or not to associate is higher than all those federal laws.
    Or do you dis-agree that each of us are endowed with that inalienable right?

  12. raven says

    But I don’t understand what “urban” has to do with it? You mean like the word of mouth would spread really quickly?

    It’s simple. Once again and I’m giving up. BTW, I certainly do think this law is horrible and pointless. I’m also saying I won’t spend money at places that hate me and my kinds. Why would I? It’s a gigantic world out there and I don’t have to.

    1. You said gays are a small minority and there aren’t enough that businesses won’t bother to seek out there business.

    2. True. But irrelevant. In an urban area of 2 millions, at say 4% of the population, that is still 80,000 people. What urban means is that small numbers in percent are concentrated in one spot. An Asian grocery isn’t going to do well in a small town in the midwest with 3 Asians. It will do well in any large city even if the Asian population as a percent is small.

    3. In point of fact, there are businesses in any large city that cater to gays. Gay bars mostly. Gay vacation spots and so on. Maybe there are more. It’s not something I’m concerned about.

  13. doublereed says

    @12

    Homosexuals aren’t pedophiles.

    There’s no “Public Accommodations Act.” There is the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Americans with Disabilities Act. Those are the only Federal Laws. The rest are State laws.

    And no, you don’t have that right. You do not have the right to discriminate. This has already been settled in the courts multiple times.

  14. raven says

    Crazy bigot.

    There are many people, religious and non-religious like myself, who find the sexual practices of homosexuals to be extremely repugnant. Most of those percieve these practices as immoral and detrimental to society. That is why we believe that we have every right to dis-associate ourselves from such persons in every aspect of our life if we so desire.

    I feel the same way about fundie xian bigots and haters, extremely repugnant, immoral, and hugely detrimental to society. That’s you I’m talking about Randy Lee. I do hope you don’t live near me. I do hope you don’t live around other humans for that matter.

    BTW, there are no gay sexual practices that aren’t also a heterosexual practice.

    Huffpo:

    Anal Sex More Popular Than Possibly Expected Among Heterosexual Couples: Center for Disease Control and Prevention Report First Posted: 01/ 6/2012 3:29 pm Updated: 01/ 6/2012 4:02 pm

    Though its practice is frequently assumed to be confined to the gay male population, anal intercourse appears to be more popular than possibly expected among heterosexual couples under 45, according to a Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report.

    The report, titled “Sexual Behavior, Sexual Attraction and Sexual Identity in the United States,” which reportedly polled thousands of people between the ages of 15 and 44 from 2006 through 2008,

    found that 44 percent of straight men and 36 percent of straight women admitted to having had anal sex at least once in their lives.

    I do hope Randy Lee polls everyone around him about their sex habits and rejects anyone who practices the gay ones he doesn’ like. After that, he can go live somewhere with no other people. It’s a win-win situation.

  15. raven says

    The normalization of oral sex. – Slate
    www. slate. com/articles/health_and…/oral_is_normal.html‎

    by Will Saletan – in 333 Google+ circlesMay 28, 2008 – The raw numbers indicate that 50 percent of teenagers aged 15 to 19 have had vaginal sex.

    Fifty-five percent have had heterosexual oral sex

    When Randy Lee finishes polling the people around him and rejecting the ones who practice.sex acts that he thinks are “extremely repugnant….immoral and detrimental to society”, he isn’t going to have too many friends or family members left.

    It’s going to be close to zero. And that is a win-win. Some people need to voluntarily stay away from other humans for the benefit of our society and Mr. Lee has graciously nominated himself.

  16. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    There are many people, religious and non-religious like myself, who find the sexual practices of homosexuals to be extremely repugnant. Most of those percieve these practices as immoral and detrimental to society. That is why we believe that we have every right to dis-associate ourselves from such persons in every aspect of our life if we so desire. No federal law (Public Accommodations Act) can be shown to be a compelling exercise of state power in this instance. Our fundamental in-alienable right to associate or not to associate is higher than all those federal laws.

    Would you argue that people who think race mixing is “immoral” should be allowed to not provide services to interracial couples? Really. This is a serious question.

    Also, I do honestly think that you are vile and are the true threat to society, and part of me would love to ensure that people of your false and hateful religious beliefs are completely shunned in society. What do you think about that?

    Finally, you are an evil, hateful bigot. Your god is not real. Gay people harm no one else. You would use the force of law to inflict harm on what they do in their bedroom because you find it “icky” and because you believe your false god commands you to go and inflict harm on them. You are a despicable human being, and your god is an abomination. If your god existed, it would be necessary to destroy it. Thankfully it does not.

    And goddamnit, no, this is not “I don’t believe because I want to sin”. I want everyone to do some sins, like have a happy sex life, because I care about the happiness, safety, freedom, well-being, self-determination of people, and the other values of humanism. You on the other hand seem to only care about appeasing the arbitrary dictates of a fictional unelected celestial tyrant-for-life. Who’s the moral one here?

  17. richardrobinson says

    For the record, Randy Lee claims in his comment to be non-religious. So he’s really just failed to engage in any effort to understand his fellow human-beings. Which, I think, makes his idiocy worse.

    I recall reading that only about 33% of gay male couples engage in penetrative anal sex (I have no source and may be completely wrong), so presumably that leaves 66% of gay people he should have no problem interacting with. I agree that he should endeavor to determine more carefully who he will discriminate against.

    Also. Soap.

  18. Mano Singham says

    @Randy Lee,

    I always wonder why people think that gay people are some kind of raging sex machines who do nothing else but have sex. In reality, their lives are just like the rest of us, almost entirely concerned about the everyday matters of life like work, health, money, etc.. Why does what they do in the privacy of their homes bother you?

    Many heterosexual couples may also be doing things you find repugnant but would you have businesses not serve them too?

    The child-potty example is odd too and actually works against your argument. Almost all children at some point do play with their potty. Does that mean that children should not be served too?

    No one is telling you what you should find repugnant or not. That is up to each person. What is being said is that people should not be denied services by businesses that are public accommodations simply because of feelings of repugnance.

  19. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    For the record, Randy Lee claims in his comment to be non-religious.

    I admit, I missed that. Still, I suspect he’s lying. He might be one of the rare few “true” bigots (read: doesn’t have religion as an excuse), but it doesn’t go to the point that most anti-gay bigots are that way because of the religious parts of our culture.

  20. Frank says

    Randy Lee actually brings up something (else) that has been bothering me about this bill: it privileges religious bigotry over non-reiligous bigotry, and thus, privileges religion over non-religion. Even if a court were to agree that one has a right to bring his bigotry into commerce, how could it determine that that right is only valid if it were motivated by religion?

    To be clear, if I were an Arizonan, I would be against this bill primarily because it discriminates against LGBT people, but the “sincere religious belief” language seems to open it up to a very clear challenge. Do I misunderstand Establishment Clause law, or do the Arizona legislators?

  21. Frank says

    Mano,

    I think I’m a bit more optimistic on this. The politicians didn’t decide that being anti-gay was no longer acceptable. The businesses did. It’s usually unfortunate that businesses own politicians, but in this case, it worked out.

    The business community in Arizona realized this to the point that they got Sen Flake (of all people) to join them in opposing this bill. I think other politicians will soon learn their lesson.

    Ten years ago, Ohio Republicans got out the vote by putting an anti-same sex marriage amendment on the ballot. In 2016, (if it’s not decided already) I could see Ohio Democrats doing the same with a repeal amendment. Public sentiment is changing so fast.

  22. says

    Politicians are naturally spineless creatures.

    Those are the relatively harmless ones. It’s the ones with the courage of their convictions that scare me.

  23. Randy Lee says

    Take for instance the small child who quickly learns the repugnant nature of human waste after a few times having their diaper changed.
    And take for instance both the baby and the caretaker who quickly realize that human waste is smelly and nasty, to put it mildly.
    And take for instance small children who are so adept to quickly learn that playing in the potty isn’t appropriate as it is very smelly and nasty.
    And take for instance how young children quickly recognize the necessity to wipe their bottoms so as to remove any smell or filth from leftover human waste.
    And take for instance how young children have the ability to recognize how repugnant other children are who fail to engage in good hygeine practices who have body odors..
    And take for instance how the majority of adults find all these aforementioned events or practices repugnant.
    And take for instance how many adults also find the sexual practices of homosexuals to be equally repugnant and filthy as are the aforementioned examples.
    But if children can recognize most of these things, I don’t understand why homosexuals and homosexual sympathizers fail to see them.

    And finally take for example the fact that it is a universally recognized natural right that no other person has the right to force another to associate with those they choose to reject.
    And since no other single individual has any rightful authority to force others to associate, it is therefore impossible that a mob of such persons could ever be lawfully vested with any rightful authority either. Might of majorities doesn’t make right.
    But if you persist in desiring to force others to associate with those whom they choose to reject, would you personally initiate the force necessary to implement the law compelling those people to do so? If so, from whence do you recieve your authority to initiate violence against another human?

    Now if I suspected that someone was playing in the potty on a regular basis, I would have second thoughts about wanting them to prepare my food, or give me a massage, or for instance. They might wash well after playing, but it would still bother me, knowing that they were of the mindset to engage in such unclean practices. I would have second thoughts about even shaking their hands.. Human waste is a known carrier of disease.

    It has nothing to do with bigotry or prejudice. I must assume that if people will engage in unclean sexual practices then it is also likely that they may not take their hygeine seriously. Why should I be forced to employ a person who raised these legitimate concerns in me, or work along side them? And if I suspected that heterosexuals were engaged in anal sex or playing in the potty regularly I would feel the same way about them.

  24. richardrobinson says

    Do you know how I can tell you don’t have kids, Randy Lee? If you did, you’d know you have to teach them not to play with their own feces. Being a parent, I’ve handled my child’s feces on several occasions, both in a diaper and directly. And after each instance, I washed my hands with soap and warm water and that was that. It washes right off.

    Really, your obsession with feces. Thou doth protest too much.

    Your own sensitivities aside, it’s absolutely none of your business what consenting adults do in privacy. For you to try and moralize about it, and to even try to sell it as rational, is the height of hubris.

  25. Randy Lee says

    Richard, I am aware that kids have to be taught the repugnance of feces, but they learn much more readily than those who seek to justify sexual practices that require contact with feces as a routine part of their sex life.

    What consenting adults do in private is of interest to me when their conduct has an increased likelihood of spreading disease to either myself or other third persons. And in that context persons such as I can dis-associate if the need is percieved.

    It is a universally recognized natural right that no other person has the right to force another to associate with those they choose to reject.
    And since no other single individual has any rightful authority to force others to associate, it is therefore impossible that a mob of such persons could ever be lawfully vested with any rightful authority either. Might of majorities doesn’t make right.
    But if you persist in desiring to force others to associate with those whom they choose to reject, would you personally initiate the force necessary to implement the law compelling those people to do so? If so, from whence do you recieve your authority to initiate violence against another human?

  26. doublereed says

    So I guess Randy Lee somehow figured out a way to simply not respond to a single person that replied to him. Not only did he ignore that heterosexuals have plenty of oh-so-hot anal sex (which you can do in perfectly hygienic ways). But also he keeps trying to justify the right to discriminate as “right to association” which it has never been considered in like 200 years of american law. And hilariously enough, he doesn’t consider blatant discrimination to be prejudice or bigotry.

    So I guess we’re just supposed to do the same thing and ignore him? I mean he just seems to ranting incoherently as far as I can tell. Poor guy. Maybe he just needs fucked in the ass a little.

  27. doublereed says

    And for the record, I’m not insinuating that our adorable buddy Randy Lee is a homosexual because he’s a homophobe. I just think he desperately wants to fuck someone in the ass or get fucked in the ass. It’s like racists who love watching interracial porn. It’s quite sad to have all that repressiveness going on. There’s plenty of gay, straight, femdom, or lesbian anal porn if that’s what he’s into.

    Maybe one day he’ll find peace. One day.

  28. richardrobinson says

    His obsession is transparently a post-hoc justification of his hate, which I agree with EnlightenmentLiberal is likely religiously based, even if he isn’t religious himself.

    He gives the game away when he blindly asserts:

    1) “[kids] learn much more readily than those who seek to justify sexual practices that require contact with feces as a routine part of their sex life.” (As though gay people were never children themselves.)

    2) “I must assume that if people will engage in unclean sexual practices then it is also likely that they may not take their hygeine seriously.” (Or, being reasonably averse to touching poo, unlike our fecophobic moron, they would practice appropriate hygiene after their interaction, like any rational human being.)

    He ought, then, to never interact with any medical professional, farmer, or plumber, since obviously their hygiene is also suspect.

    I hope Randy Lee gets cholera.

  29. doublereed says

    His obsession is transparently a post-hoc justification of his hate, which I agree with EnlightenmentLiberal is likely religiously based, even if he isn’t religious himself.

    But this is a lot less likely to aggravate him compared to accusing him of secretly fetishizing anal sex. And considering his lack of willingness to respond to our points, we must have our priorities. It is far more worthwhile for us to mock him mercilessly. That is our priority.

    I mean just look at the cute widdle bigot! D’aaawwww! Don’t you just want to take him home with you?

  30. dano says

    I do not want to be forced to sell my services to those that are in direct conflict with my religious views, period!

    For a photographer this can be done by placing a logo or phrase on the back of every photo that says something like “God is the answer to all your prayers” or “Man + Woman = Family”. This gets a little tricky for bakers but you could place your website name on all cakes and on your website state what was mentioned above. Florists could do something similar with a sticker on the flower base.

    It will be interesting to see what happens with this bill come Friday.

  31. Chiroptera says

    dano, #32: I do not want to be forced to sell my services to those that are in direct conflict with my religious views, period!

    Huh. There’s a lot of things that I don’t want to be forced to do. But no one has ever suggested to me that I can use that as an excuse to choose which laws apply to me.

  32. Matt G says

    This could backfire in many ways. Some establishments would surely advertise that they are gay-friendly, attracting the business of those who are gay AND their supporters. Some establishments would gain a reputation for bigotry and lose business.

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