"Free exercise of religion is a fundamental right that applies in this state even if laws, rules or other government actions are facially neutral."I wrote on February 13th a list of somewhat hyperbolic hypotheticals.
"State Action shall not substantially burden a person's exercise of religion even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability."
"A person whose religious exercise is burdened in violation of this section may assert that violation as a claim or defense in a judicial proceeding."
Can I, if my sincerely held religious belief felt that women should never, ever speak, refuse service to any woman who dared open her mouth? Keep quiet, slattern!This was about Kansas. Looks like Arizona has snuck up on us and gone ahead and done it. Whatever ugly thing your "sincerely held religious belief" requires you to believe in without any type of critical thought, Arizona will protect it if Governor Brewer signs the bill.
Can I, if my sincerely held religious belief held that "race-mixing" was evil, could I refuse service to interracial heterosexual couples, even as far as refusing to sign their marriage certificates?
Can I, if my sincerely held religious belief held that marriages must produce children, refuse service to customers who I know are married and I know deliberately aren't having children? Can I snatch the food right off the table if I own a restaurant? Force my clerks to refuse to check them out at the checkout line?
If my sincerely held religious belief holds that all men must be bearded, can I refuse service to a non-bearded man, even as a police officer? Sorry you got shot brah, you weren't wearing a proper beard. It's my religion. I sincerely hold the belief and the law absolves me of any wrong when my religious beliefs are sincerely held because I said they are. Sucks to be you. Enjoy meeting Jesus.
My sincerely held belief really is not about that eating-of-shellfish life. I shouldn't be punished for burning down a Red Lobster. It's my sincerely held religious belief. I sincerely held it. So I sincerely burned down that Red Lobster as an abomination to my Lord.
Are you an Acts 17:26 Christian? Live in Arizona? Own a business? You're now free to interpret that verse the way it was during the Jim Crow era. Go right ahead. Put up that "Whites Only" sign! Arizona said you're allowed!
Are you a 2 Corinthians 6:14-17 Christian? Are you also a hiring manager? Were you hamstrung by the rules? You're free to ensure no one who submits a resume and who isn't a Christian is hired!
and of course 1 Peter 3:1 requires all wives to be submissive so if you don't feel the woman in the couple is being properly submissive to her husband, feel free to kick them right out of your restaurant and if they won't leave? Have them arrested.
I really do hope there are no district attorneys who hold to Deuteronomy 22:28-29 otherwise women who get raped? Gotta marry your rapist. After you pay her daddy, of course.
Now the above four, I'm interpreting them both hyperbolically and literally. But here's the thing, Acts 17:26 WAS used to justify segregation. You can even find it in the ruling that got the Lovings exiled from the state of Virginia. You can still find it in churches that are expressly white supremacist. A literal reading of 2 Corinthians 6:14-17 does require Christians to shun non-Christians. And we all know about the submit to ones husband. And I'm aware the law also does allow some "governmental influence" so, no, no one is going to get away with stoning anyone, or raping anyone (and forcing the victim to marry her rapist), or stuff like that.
But bigots will use this to refuse service to gay people because their "faith" requires them to hate gay people. I know they pretend to wiggle out of it with that "love the sinner, hate the sin" bullshit but I've heard that my entire life and I've never, ever, ever believed it. You really just don't like the person. Since the age of 15 whenever I've heard the phrase I assume the person is lying. For one thing, it's a judgement, and I'm pretty sure it's in the rule book of Christianity that only one trinitarian entity gets to make judgments.
Now folks are fighting back. Moral Marches are starting in Arizona. They have a facebook page and a planned march. I don't live in Arizona, but I can act as a megaphone. Click the link. If you can be there, click the link, sign up, and be there. You can also fill Jan Brewer's voicemail and email box and get her not to sign it. If she does, she's effectively returned Jim Crow to the United States.