PHOENIX — State senators voted Wednesday to let businesses refuse to serve gays based on owners’ “sincerely held” religious beliefs.
Fuck sincerely held religious beliefs. Many of them are awful; anti-human, inhumane, hate-based, discriminatory, a pretext for treating a particular set of people badly. Sincerity doesn’t make them any less so.
The 17-13 vote along party lines, with Republicans in the majority, came after supporters defeated an attempt to extend existing employment laws that bar discrimination based on religion and race to also include sexual orientation. Sen. Steve Yarbrough, R-Chandler, said that’s a separate issue from what he is trying to do.
But Sen. Steve Gallardo, D-Phoenix, said that’s precisely the issue.
“The bill opens the door for discrimination against gays and lesbians,” he said.
Yarbrough, however, said foes of SB 1062 are twisting what his legislation says.
“This bill is not about discrimination,” he said. “It’s about preventing discrimination against people who are clearly living out their faith.”
What lying bullshit. Allowing businesses to refuse to serve people because of what they are (not because they’re behaving aggressively or drunkenly or harassingly but because of what they are) is indeed discrimination, whether the people doing it are “living out their faith” or not.
The push follows a decision by the New Mexico Supreme Court which said a gay couple could sue a photographer who refused on religious grounds to take pictures of their nuptials. Yarbrough’s legislation would preclude such a ruling here.
Next up: laws to let businesses refuse to serve atheists. And liberals, and people from New York and San Francisco, and vegans, and people who wear sandals.
Yarbrough said foes are missing the point of why the Founding Fathers crafted religious protections in the First Amendment.
“One’s faith, at least in America, extended to the workplace, to the public square and to all aspects of our lives,” he said. And Yarbrough said SB 1062 is “aimed at preventing the rising attempts at discriminating against folks because they are sincere and serious about the free exercise of their religious faith.”
No, not because they are sincere and serious about the free exercise of their religious faith, but because they want to discriminate against other people.
“A person does not lose their First Amendment freedoms when they start a business,” she said. “In America, people are free to live and work according to their faith.”
Within the law. There’s a federal law against discrimination in the provision of goods and services. Lyndon Johnson signed it in 1964.
I guess we need a new Civil Rights Act.