Skip to main content

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer speaks after signing an expansion of the state's Medicaid program into law, at the Arizona State Capitol in Phoenix June 17, 2013. Brewer signed a law on Monday to expand Medicaid, embracing a key part of Democratic President B
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer
The Arizona legislature has passed a bill that would give businesses a free pass to discriminate against LGBT customers—or any other customers they claim it would be against their religion to serve:
“A for-profit corporation or business could trample on the rights of others by claiming that a legal requirement is religiously offensive,” Tracey Stewart of the Arizona Anti-Defamation League said in a statement in January.

Though the bill is aimed at ensuring Arizona businesses are allowed to refuse to serve gays and lesbians, it is written in such a manner that essentially any religiously justified discrimination could be permissible.

Please read below the fold for more on this story.

John Aravosis explains that SB 1062 weakens the existing Religious Freedom Restoration Act in two key ways. First, it broadens who can claim protection from discrimination claims to include businesses, not just individuals and religious institutions. Second, the government no longer needs to be a party to the discrimination dispute. Instead, the government would be barred from acting to enforce any anti-discrimination law as long as the business breaking the anti-discrimination law claimed it was for religious reasons. According to the Anti-Defamation League, the new bill is written so broadly that:

  • An employer could raise SB 1062 as defense to an employee’s equal pay claim under A.R.S. §23-341 arguing that his or her religious beliefs require that men be paid more than women.
  • The legislation could be used as defense to paying statutorily accrued interest on liens or other amount owed to individuals or private entities based on a religious objection to paying interest.
  • A secular corporation with religious owners could refuse to hire someone from a different religion, so as to avoid paying a salary that might be used for a purpose that is offensive to the owners’ religious views.
But of course, the main goal is to prevent businesses from getting in trouble for refusing to serve LGBT people. Republicans even voted down a Democratic effort to require businesses to post signs saying that they would discriminate on religious grounds. Because they should be able to do it privately and secretly, without the general public realizing that they're going into a bigoted business.

If Brewer signs this bill into law, Arizona becomes the state we boycott because of its anti-immigrant laws and its anti-gay laws. That's quite a distinction for a state to achieve.

Originally posted to Laura Clawson on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 08:53 AM PST.

Also republished by Baja Arizona Kossacks and Daily Kos.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site