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Arizona Republicans are still at it.
Arizona state Rep. Steve Yarbrough (R) has introduced a bill (SB 1062) that would create a blanket “license to discriminate” against LGBT people (and others) so long as there was religious motivation to do so. He hopes to avoid a situation like in neighbor state New Mexico where a wedding photographer was found guilty of discrimination for refusing to work a same-sex couple’s commitment ceremony.
The bill is, indeed, a blanket license. You can discriminate against anyone for anything, so long as you say God told you to do it; the bill allows those businesses sued for the practice to claim that denying them for doing so would "substantially burden" their religious freedoms. Yarbrough, who I suppose we have to mention here is among the state of Arizona's most pernicious human boils, has some rather curious beliefs as to why his bill would not apply to businesses that discriminate against women, or non-Christians, or minorities or the like; because that stuff is against other laws that people kinda are willing to abide by. Or something:
That’s because already existing laws allow the state to forbid discrimination if there is a “compelling governmental interest” in such regulation and if the regulation is the “least restrictive means” of furthering that governmental interest. And Yarbrough said he believes there are enough legal precedents against bias based on gender and religion to keep a business owner from using his or her own beliefs as an excuse to discriminate.
He also says that your religious freedom to discriminate against whatever class of people you like because you feel like it probably hinges on whether or not there's other businesses in town that don't discriminate against them. (Future Arizona yellow pages will presumably have little symbols next to each listing specifying which sorts of Americans will and won't be served by each business, so that you don't have to go wandering around town until you find one that lets you in. Or not.)
But Yarbrough said that he could foresee situations in which the case might be a closer call, as in examples as the photographer and the hotel.

“If he’s the only pharmacy in Bisbee, you may have a problem,” he said. But Yarbrough said the outcome would be different “if there are two more down the road and Target does this and there’s no issue, and he knows that you can go there.”

“And, of course, if he’s at all smart, is probably going to say, ‘And by the way, two blocks down the road is a Target and they  have a pharmacy,’” Yarbrough said.

Yes, no doubt the pharmacist who won't sell you birth control pills because they cannot stand the thought of abetting your horrible sins against their God will think nothing of saying "but here's the address of a place that will." Genius, this guy.

If we're going to have people arguing for discrimination, could they at least have the decency to not be stupid about it? Yarbrough apparently envisions a state where you can ban anyone you like from sitting at your lunch counter or drinking from your fountain, so long as there's a diner over there or another fountain over there that you can use. I believe—and this may be a faulty memory on the part of myself and every other non-comatose American—we have already had that discussion. At length.

This is an ongoing pattern, however, and Yarbrough's introduced this same bill before. It passed the legislature last year but was vetoed by Gov. Jan Brewer, not because Brewer didn't like the idea but because Brewer was in the middle of a budget spat and had declared a "moratorium" on all non-budget bills." It'll probably pass the legislature this time too. While we all fret and wonder about whats been in West Virginia's water supply of late, spare a thought for these poor bastards in the Arizona capitol buildings. I don't know what the Arizona House and Senate have been sucking on these past years, but them folks ain't right.

Originally posted to Hunter on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 12:56 PM PST.

Also republished by Baja Arizona Kossacks, LGBT Rights are Human Rights, and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Birth control for a same sex couple ? (9+ / 0-)

    "please love deeply...openly and genuinely." A. M. H.

    by indycam on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 01:00:16 PM PST

  •  Somehow, it seems to me that while the (9+ / 0-)

    Constitution provides for the free exercise of religion, I don't see anywhere in there where, by any stretch of the imagination, it permits discrimination based on individual religious values. Perhaps I'm wrong, but it seems to me this is clearly wrong.

    Morally speaking, something like this is appalling. I say that not only as a gay man, and an American, but also as a practicing Christian.

    Pope Francis: the Thumb of Christ in the eyes of the Pharisees.

    by commonmass on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 01:03:09 PM PST

    •  As I understand it (5+ / 0-)

      "Free exercise of religion" applies mainly to attendance or non-attendance at religious services and to profess or not profess a particular faith and make statements based on that faith. It does not in general seem to extend to how one treats other people.

      I would turn this one around: I (hypothetically) am a member of the Metropolitan Community Church and as such I cannot provide services to a person who expresses anti-gay beliefs. Not that MCC actually says that. But the only example I can think where a religious text provides rules for transacting business would be the Talmud (other than the portion of Deuteronomy that deals with "just weights and measures"). I believe the Talmud includes numerous rules regarding how to do business with non-Jews and with Jews who are not in strict compliance with the halakhah. I don't think "refusing" is part of the deal.

    •  I believe you (inadvertently) omitted (7+ / 0-)

      part of your first thought. When you write that you don't see anywhere in the Constitution that permits discrimination based on individual religious values, I believe you are speaking of discrimination within the public sphere. We are all free to discriminate within the sphere of our private associations and need no more Constitutional justification for same than that provided within the 10th Amendment. What's more, for the most part we do all discriminate in our private lives against people we don't like or choose to know, said discrimination based on many criteria--some just and some unjust.

      Where people like Steve Yarbrough continually err is in conflating the public and private realms and treating things like businesses open to the public as if they were equivalent to the living rooms of private citizens.

      My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right.
      --Carl Schurz, remarks in the Senate, February 29, 1872

      by leftist vegetarian patriot on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 02:52:38 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Excellent point... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        leftist vegetarian patriot

        This has always been a point in which I struggle with.  I do not think that a public restaurant should be able to discriminate against any race, gender sexual orientation, political beliefs or whatever because it is open to the public.  Likewise with housing or medical services or schools but I am somewhat on the fence with some services.  

        If I were a photographer and someone asked me to do a gay wedding I would be like "Sure, what time shall I arrive" BUT if someone asked me to do a wedding for a KKK group, I would probably like to pass.  Since the KKK used to be considered a religious organization, would I be discriminating?  Can boycotting be considered discrimination?

        I don't know if I want the government telling me that I can be sued if I refuse to do a KKK wedding or some equally detestable person or group like say if Ann Coulter and Sean Hannity were to get married.  

        I realize this may be a strawman argument and as I said, I am somewhat on the fence about it but I just don't want someone to force me to provides some services for a group in which I detest and I am not sure we should legally require those same groups to do things for us.  Could you imagine being a massage therapist and being court ordered to give Rush Limbaugh a massage?

        I am not supporting this Arizona asshole on this at all.  It just makes me question exactly what I do believe.  At this point, I am not quite sure.  (I know one thing that  I wouldn't want those bigoted bastards taking pictures at my wedding anyhow but that still doesn't excuse their bigotry).

        "Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not YET sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favour..."

        by Buckeye Nut Schell on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 07:52:44 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I totally get where you are coming from (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Buckeye Nut Schell

          I'd FEEL exactly the same way. But ultimately, if a business has established a public presence through any sort of public advertisement (whether by radio commercial or phone book listing or even a sign in the window), then I think that business has moved out of the private and into the public realm, no matter how personal it feels to the owner.

          In the highly theoretical case of a home-based business that gained new clientele only through word of mouth (non-public advertising), I think I'd feel differently.

          My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right.
          --Carl Schurz, remarks in the Senate, February 29, 1872

          by leftist vegetarian patriot on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 06:26:16 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Is it really religion? (0+ / 0-)

      I would like to see a modern day Clarence Darrow take on such a case. If someone wants to claim a religious exemption to antidiscrimination laws, they should have to prove they're being true to their religion.

      An example would be cross-examination like this:

      When talk turns to school prayer, do you recite Matthew 6:5,6? "When thou prayest, be not like the hypocrite who prays in the streets and in the synagogue to be seen of men; but go to thy closet to pray, and for that prayer which is in secret, God shall reward thee openly.

      If the Parable of the Good Samaritan teaches us that prejudice is wrong only when Samaritans are the victims, is Jesus Christ for All Time?

      To the people who heard Jesus with their own ears, "needle's eyes" referred to openings in the city walls which camels could pass through with difficulty. When Jesus said, "It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven," his hearers thought he was referring, figuratively, to these openings.

      Do you think that because you're unfamiliar with the figurative meaning, it's easier for you to focus on the literal meaning, that of needles being a sewing implement?

      Freedom's just another word for not enough to eat. --Paul Krugman's characterization of conservative attitudes.

      by Judge Moonbox on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 06:58:11 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The only pharmacy in Bisbee ? (4+ / 0-)

         See how these SOBs hate Baja ?

    The free market is not the solution, the free market is the problem.

    by Azazello on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 01:06:00 PM PST

  •  US Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) Quoted (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass, rb608, Matt Z

    former Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-CT) as basically saying the same thing.  This was in her quest to get Liebermann re-elected so that he could destroy the possibility  of single payer health insurance as the deciding vote.  Listen particularly starting at :50 (Rape victim can just go to the next hospital next door).

    “And, of course, if he’s at all smart, is probably going to say, ‘And by the way, two blocks down the road is a Target and they  have a pharmacy,’” Yarbrough said.

    "I think that gay marriage is something that should be between a man and a woman.” - Arnold Schwarzenegger 2003

    by kerplunk on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 01:13:06 PM PST

  •  Yarborough has some very interesting ideas (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Old Sailor, trumpeter, rb608, Matt Z, Hastur

    on what "freedom of religion" means. I'm pretty sure those ideas don't comport with any recent Supreme Court rulings.

  •  Actually, in many cases those pharmacists (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Old Sailor, cocinero

    who refuse to fill a birth control prescription will actually confiscate or even tear it up right in front of your face thus forcing you to go back to your doctor to get another one.  Which may mean another copay which can get expensive fast.

    You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

    by Throw The Bums Out on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 02:31:38 PM PST

    •  Oh come on. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      This is something you've witnessed yourself?

      •  Well then I guess you think NOW are just (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cocinero, Old Sailor

        a bunch of liars then because they have been seeing it since 2005.  Not to mention lead study author Tracey Wilkinson, M.D., a pediatrician at the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles.  Wow, look at all those people lying to make those noble Christian pharmacists look bad.

        You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

        by Throw The Bums Out on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 06:03:41 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Really? (0+ / 0-)

          On a website you read

          Some pharmacists not only refuse to fill the prescription, but also confiscate their prescription slip, which prevents women from obtaining birth control from any other pharmacist.
          and for you that is quite enough to proclaim "in many cases those pharmacists who refuse to fill a birth control prescription will actually confiscate or even tear it up right in front of your face thus forcing you to go back to your doctor to get another one."?

          You know, it may have happened somewhere at some time, but this is how myths get perpetuated. It is a pretty ridiculous scenario, a pharmacist tearing up a prescription right in front of the patient, so we're supposed to be a bit skeptical. It hurts the cause when we make wild-ass, unsupported claims.

    •  How could that not be cause for yanking their damn (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      pharmacist license?  It's not like these people aren't well-educated... that ain't an easy degree to get. But what the hell gives them the right to pull that shit?

      How long do you think a fundy librarian would have job if they ripped up the card of anyone checking out a Harry Potter book?  How 'bout grocery clerks who refuse to scan pork or cut up your debit card if you try and buy beer or smokes?

      That just pisses me off to no end.

      Signature (this will be attached to your comments)

      by here4tehbeer on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 05:58:42 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Don't be too pissed off. (0+ / 0-)

        There's no evidence this is happening to anybody in real life. It is either an isolated case or two or a complete myth. Pharmacists don't tear up prescriptions, unless they wish to face sanctions.

  •  The conceit that there is a (4+ / 0-)

    "right to discriminate" has been a standby of libertarians for years, although the Libertarian Party may have removed it from their platform for public relations reasons.

    Don't meow, or I'll take your picture.

    by Old Sailor on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 02:42:49 PM PST

  •  It would be interesting to see (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bisbonian, Hastur

    the results were such a ... travesty to pass.  If written carefully, it would allow all religions to discriminate, giving the same options as have been highlighted in Oklahoma of late.  If not, it would last only long enough to get into court, and have a judge deem it unconstitutional.

    Personally, I would find it ... amusing to see what some non-christianists could do with the weight of such a thing behind them, even if just for demonstrative purposes.

    I am not religious, and did NOT say I enjoyed sects.

    by trumpeter on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 03:02:05 PM PST

    •  They already do (0+ / 0-)

      NYTimes December 26,2013 New Continental Rail Company

      Rail cars financed by Islamic banks can't carry pork, tobacco or alcohol. If they financed passenger cars I suppose they would also require segregation by sex and none of them, which ever them might be, they don't like.

    •  What if? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Hastur, trumpeter

      So what if I am a pharmacist and I recognize the  pastor from the local baptist church and refuse to serve him because I disagreed with his theology.

      Or I a wedding planner and refuse to serve a couple because they had premarital sex.

      Or I am a baker who will not serve divorced couples who can' prove the divorce was cause by adultery not of their own making

      Or what if I am a firefighter, and find myself at burning church, and I know this church is known for the moneychangers who try to drum up business, the number of people who are constantly on their blackberries and not listening to the sermon, and figure that the fire is just the will of the almighty, who pretty much only hates moneychangers and hypocrites, so I prevent the fire from being fought even though the people inside might be saved.  Am I to be damned simply because the laws force me to save the sinners?

  •  I wonder if they are giving fries with this.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Old Sailor


    While we are wondering, JOBS JOBS JOBS!

    If you hate government, don't run for office in that government.

    by Bensdad on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 05:39:14 PM PST

  •  As the climate changes and places (0+ / 0-)

    like the desert of Arizona become less and less habitable, you are going to see more and more of this sort of irrational behavior. When it is 120 degrees in the shade, the human brain can get hot enough that craziness ensues.

    •  Except that some of the people who live here are (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Azazello, sfbob

      liberal Progressives who lean left.

      It can't be the heat. It was only 74° today. It's not the water either.

      Your theory wouldn't explain Raul Grijalva who co-chairs the Progressive caucus in the House.  It wouldn't explain Ed Pastor or his voting record to the left of most Democrats in the House. Come to think of it, it wouldn't explain how 5 of the state's 9 representatives in the House are Democrats. Are you saying that the rest of the nation must get hotter to match the same proportion of Democratic representation, 56% instead of the pitiful 46% scraped together in the last election?

      Forget all that though. The real stumper is how to explain the sheriff of Pinal county who walked the border talking tough with McCain in a 2010 campaign ad who was subsequently outed by his boyfriend. Who just happened to be an immigrant who came across that border undocumented. Before the soap opera of Sheriff Paul Babeu was over, his online Manhunt profile complete with partially clad selfies was presented for inspection to viewers of the evening news across the state.

      And in the November 2012, voters went to the polls and reelected him.

      Weird? Different? Or just like everyone else? Considering the state's population, 35th in 1960, 14th today, and still growing, most of the people who are here came from there. One thing I notice about Americans is that they tend to know an awful lot about other people, but very little about themselves.

      There is no existence without doubt.

      by Mark Lippman on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 06:53:41 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Oh Please (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bisbonian, rb608, Matt Z, Hastur, apimomfan2

    These people are fucking nuts!

  •  Commerce and religion don't mix... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cocinero, Hastur, sfbob, Old Sailor

    ...freedom of religion is a personal right, not an economic one. The Constitution mandates that no law be passed the abridges the freedom of religion. Once your religion or its beliefs involves making profit, they aren't really much of a religion anymore. A corporation can't be religious. Its members can be, without question, but the corporation cannot. And who signs the checks for healthcare? The corporation? Does the charter take communion? Is the charter baptized? Is that the next step?

    it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses

    by Addison on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 05:54:25 PM PST

  •  I believe what this yahoo wants to reinstate (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Matt Z, Hastur, apimomfan2, Old Sailor

    are Jim Crow laws.  What a douchebag.

    "Well, I'm sure I'd feel much worse if I weren't under such heavy sedation..."--David St. Hubbins

    by Old Left Good Left on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 05:58:23 PM PST

  •  Please pass this law (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hastur, apimomfan2, sfbob

    then we can go to AZ and beat them for working on Sundays, for cuttign their hair, for touching women who are on their periods, for eating pork, for letting women walk around with their arms exposed,  etc., etc. And all anyone would have to do is to use the law as a defense. Why, we could create our very own religious police and beat people for any reason that we can quote a Bible verse for. Or a verse from the Koran. Or from any other religion..

    Are these people that dense?

    "Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government" T. Jefferson

    by azureblue on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 06:10:11 PM PST

  •  I'm so god-damned (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Matt Z

    sick of the Arizona republicans I wish they would pass a bill to liberate themselves from the rest of the country.

    "The people who were trying to make this world worse are not taking the day off. Why should I?”---Bob Marley

    by lyvwyr101 on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 06:16:20 PM PST

  •  that flag (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Matt Z, cocinero, Hastur, apimomfan2

    sure looks like a gay pride flag.

  •  I'm sure they are going to treat all religions (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hastur, apimomfan2, sfbob, Old Sailor

    equally... Islam especially... right?

    The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy;the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness

    by CTMET on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 06:42:01 PM PST

  •  Same old shit (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    over and over and over again.

    Common Sense is not Common

    by RustyBrown on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 06:43:15 PM PST

  •  Yarbrough is a corrupt piece of work... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Old Sailor

    Before the last redistricting he was my state senator. To give you an idea of his moral compass, give this a read: He's lining his pockets with taxpayer money.

    Here in AZ, you can get a tax credit by donating to support tuition scholarships to private schools. To make it easier, institutions can be formed to collect the donations and, after skimming off a fee and expenses, pass the funds through to the designated school. Steve Yarbrough runs a School Tuition Organization or STO as they are called here. All the while chairing a key committee responsible for the regulation and oversight of STOs. But hey, the AZ leg has no ethics rules so all is good, right?

    I wish I could say my current state reps were better but of them, Eddie Farnsworth, is a principle in one of the states largest charter school organizations. Guess what committees he's on.

    A frustrated liberal/progressive living in a red district. I feel like a fish out of water.

    by gaardvark on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 08:32:58 PM PST

  •  Wouldn't that be (0+ / 0-)

    religion-based discrimination?

  •  God told me not to hire.. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Old Sailor

    ...his followers.  He said his followers have no need of earthly wealth and that a lot of them are stupid bigots.  

    So I guess Arizona is just giving me permission to follow my faith.  

    Wonder how that case would play out in the courts.  

  •  As a Christian… (0+ / 0-)

    …I can think of a number of reasons to discriminate against Republicans: supporting capital punishment, failing to protect the environment, denying aid to the poor…

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