God says I can tell you to get out of my store

Now Arizona is doing it.

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.




  1. Rabidtreeweasel says

    Guys! I’m starting my own branch of Pastafarianism where it’s required for me to kick all bigoted Christian’s in the shins. They can’t tell me that’s physical assault, because I sincerely believe it’s really for their own good, because Jeebus told me so.

  2. Alverant says

    “A person does not lose their First Amendment freedoms when they start a business”
    And they are free to believe what they want, but when they open their businesses to the public they lose any “right” to use their religion as mean to screen their clients.

    Notice how bills like these focus on issues that’s a big deal to conservative christians, LGBT rights and women’s health, and not the concerns of other faiths. How would Yarbrough feel if his law was used by a muslim cab drive to refuse service to someone with a seeing eye dog or a bottle of alcohol? How about a hindu checkout clerk refusing any customer with beef in their cart? Or a waitress refusing to serve someone who’s divorced because her religion doesn’t recognize divorce?

  3. Randomfactor says

    I wish there were a single legislator willing, when these proposal are made, to propose an amendment adding “or race” to the criteria Christians* are allowed to discriminate by.

    (I presume Muslim clerks couldn’t refuse to serve Christians…)

  4. Trebuchet says

    I went to the trouble of looking up the actual bill, which you can see here:

    As I expected, it’s actually much broader than just discriminating against gays — it would appear to allow pretty much anyone to discriminate against anyone. As #2 says, it wold allow Muslim business owners to discriminate against Jews or Christians, etc. The intent is obvious, but the law of unintended consequences applies.

    Of course, I’m probably mis-interpreting the intent. The real intent is just to get more votes from right-wing Christians.

  5. says

    I have read The Bible and nowhere does it say anything about discriminating against gays. In point of fact Jesus said absolutely nothing about them at all. Paul said two men should not lie not lie like man and woman but nothing about denying them entry to ones place of business. So these sincerely held beliefs are actually nothing to do with Christianity. But even if they were the problem would not be with the belief it self but the enforcing of it. so as long as they did not do that then there would not be a problem

    You can refuse anyone [ other than the police ] the right to enter your home. That is because it is a private space that is yours and no one elses. But a shop or store is a public space and as such no one can be denied access without legitimate reason. Over here in the United Kingdom that would be illegal. A place of business cannot refuse anyone on grounds of race or gender or orientation. The law does not grant the religious exemption from this. And nor should it either as a good law makes no distinction between one demographic and another

  6. Alverant says

    Actually Treb, that’s almost a good thing. You see if the law passes someone finds an excuse (aka a religious reason) to discriminate against the bill’s sponsor. Better yet, have a muslim use it against him or one of his big sugar daddies. Then you’ll see it repealed or amended to make it unconstitutional. It reminds me of a law passed in Louisiana a few years back that allowed public funds to be used for religious schools. A muslim school applied for funding like the christian schools and the bill’s sponsor went nuts. She’s quoted as saying, “I thought ‘religious’ meant ‘christian’!” and set about trying to undo her own law. After all you can’t have those heathens enjoying the same privileges as you.

  7. johnthedrunkard says

    And what happens when a Catholic refuses to serve a divorced customer?

    And Jesus DID forbid divorce. Even though homosexuality was so important to Christianity that Jesus plumb forgot to ever mention it..

  8. Wylann says

    I sincerely believe these assholes should go fuck themselves.

    I really, really hope one of the American Indian casinos decides that they have sincerely held religious beliefs that make it ok to discriminate against…oh, I don’t care really, as long as it irritates the repugs in Az.

  9. Wylann says

    Meanwhile, in Az, there are already restaurants putting up signs saying “We reserve the right to refuse service to Az legislators.”

  10. Saikat Biswas says

    We cannot discriminate against those who discriminate against others out of religious belief. Isn’t that dandy?

  11. Colin Daniels says

    “…But a shop or store is a public space”
    Actually this is incorrect. In the UK shops are considered to be private property and owners are not obliged to serve anyone. They can refuse entry to anyone and they don’t even have to give a reason.

  12. kevinalexander says

    Since I converted to Aztecticism or whatever it’s called (I can’t read the holy scriptures, they’re in some foreign language) I claim the right to capture people I don’t like and cut their hearts out to make the sun come up.
    They don’t have any rights that interfere with my sincerely held religious faith.

  13. theoreticalgrrrl says

    @surreptitious57 Exactly, Jesus never mentions homosexuality. He hung out with the social outcasts and sinners, the only people who got his wrath were the hypocritical religious leaders and the moneychangers, who sound a lot like today’s Republican party.


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