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Participants in the 2009 Equality March in Washington DC wave a rainbow flag in front of the U.S. Capitol.
The fight for equality is still on in the states and at the federal level.

Gov. Jan Brewer may have—after enough time had passed to show that it was a tough call to make—vetoed the Arizona bill allowing businesses to discriminate against any customers they disliked for religious reasons, but that doesn't mean this fight is over. Bills expanding the right to discriminate in the name of religious freedom are popping up all over the place. Another dozen states are considering or have considered similar bills.

Mississippi may have just removed discriminatory provisions from a bill, but a Missouri discrimination bill was introduced just this week, even as the fight was raging in Arizona. A group in Oregon is trying to get a similar measure on November's ballot in an effort that would have been much easier to disguise as a simple religious freedom move if the legislative pushes in Arizona and Kansas hadn't drawn so much attention. Voters should now be much more aware of what the initiative is actually about.

It's great that these bills are being vetoed or withdrawn or changed in response to public outrage. But the fact that they've been introduced in so many states, and are still being pushed in some even now that the public knows what's going on, shows how important the right to discriminate is to the Republican Party as LGBT rights gain ground in so many other ways. And of course, in a majority of states it is still entirely legal to fire or refuse to hire someone on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity, with John Boehner refusing to allow a House vote on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. Marriage equality may be gaining ground more quickly than we could have dreamed, but there are so many other basic rights we still have to fight to protect.

Originally posted to Laura Clawson on Thu Feb 27, 2014 at 08:21 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Gays can still be refused service, fired (17+ / 0-)

    and otherwise discriminated against in many states, including AZ.

    I'm afraid folks are getting the impression that such discrimination has been turned back when in fact it's a fixture in most states.

    Dick Cheney 2/14/10: "I was a big supporter of waterboarding"

    by Bob Love on Thu Feb 27, 2014 at 08:40:48 AM PST

  •  and it's not about morality, it's about power (12+ / 0-)

    in the name of some "Faith" which is simply an ideological proxy for hating the Other in whatever form: POC, Poor, Happy, Sane....

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013 (@eState4Column5).

    by annieli on Thu Feb 27, 2014 at 08:41:43 AM PST

  •  OH is giving up on this for now: (9+ / 0-)

    I don't understand other than this is about American straight white men being free to oppress.

    They'll bring it back because they always do.

    nosotros no somos estúpidos

    by a2nite on Thu Feb 27, 2014 at 08:57:10 AM PST

    •  It's About Increasing RW Turnout for the Midterm (10+ / 0-)

      There were similar culture war bills all over the country in 2010 which helped them clobber us so badly.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Thu Feb 27, 2014 at 09:34:41 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  They pull the same thing some presidential years. (4+ / 0-)

        2004 voter turnout was all about liberal distaste for Bush versus conservative distaste for same-sex relationships, so far as I see it. That's the year a lot of the constitutional amendments banning recognition of anything - the same ones that have been getting successfully attacked since last year - got passed by voters.

      •  I've been trying to figure out (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        the reasoning for this, especially as gay marriage bans are getting overturned as unconstitutional. These things seem clearly unconstitutional and so a giant waste of money for the states. Why are they doing it? So, you think it all has to do with midterms? Can we mount a counter-campaign then, simply on the fact that they're raising these issues, wasting our money? I don't see any other other point of these bills.

        You're gonna need a bigger boat.

        by Debby on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 08:41:49 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Really disappointed in Bill Patmon (0+ / 0-)

      for signing on to that. He used to be a decent,  sensible Dem, represented the black community well. He'll probably lose his seat over it.

      Money is property, not speech. Overturn Citizens United.

      by Betty Pinson on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 09:10:05 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  last gasp of desperation (8+ / 0-)

    is what I think this is. In 20 years, after all of these have been long overturned and sneered at, we will look back and see this for what it is- a sea change in the attitudes of Americans.

    You don't see folks proposing bills making mixed marriages illegal any more, because it has become socially laughable.  We're watching the same process now, with marriage equality.

    They can propose whatever they like, but the bank of precedents piling up makes it so much noise and fury, signifying nothing.

    ... all that oration sounds like capitulation now.

    by Darwinita on Thu Feb 27, 2014 at 09:34:04 AM PST

  •  If these people are so religious, they should be (9+ / 0-)

    required to follow ALL the other tenets stated in the Bible, instead of picking and choosing just the ones they like, and that fit in with their prejudices and hatreds. I think you'd see their false opinions change pretty damned quick.


    "When does the greed stop, we ask the other side? That's the question and that's the issue." - Senator Ted Kennedy

    by Fordmandalay on Thu Feb 27, 2014 at 09:49:46 AM PST

  •  I just found out Oregon is still debating a (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BachFan, bananapouch1, Matt Z, commonmass

    similar bill. Ugh.

    "Wars of nations are fought to change maps. But wars of poverty are fought to map change." Muhammad Ali

    by blueoregon on Thu Feb 27, 2014 at 10:21:19 AM PST

    •  Ballot initiative? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blueoregon, commonmass

      In case gay marriage gets enacted that way?

      •  Don't know. KINK FM interviewed (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        a spokesman this morning from Basic Rights Oregon and he didn't specify the initiative. They just talked about how there was something floating around that was similar to AZ bill.

        "Wars of nations are fought to change maps. But wars of poverty are fought to map change." Muhammad Ali

        by blueoregon on Thu Feb 27, 2014 at 03:04:04 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Mapes, Oregonian: Is Arizona's anti-gay rights (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Joe Jackson

      bill a model for Oregon ballot measure?

      Just how closely does a proposed Oregon ballot initiative that would allow individuals and businesses to skip serving same-sex weddings resemble the nationally watched Arizona bill that raised many of the same issues?

      Leaders of the gay-marriage campaign in Oregon said in a fundraising email Thursday that their opponents are pushing an "Arizona-style bill onto the ballot" that would have some of the same discriminatory impacts.


      Backers of the Oregon campaign to allow a religious exemption to serving same-sex weddings and commitment ceremonies say they've written a much narrower measure that would not open the door to discrimination.

      "This initiative is entirely different from Arizona's legislation," said Shawn Lindsay, a former legislator from Hillsboro who is now general counsel for Friends of Religious Freedom.

      I can't help it. I love the state of Texas. It's a harmless perversion. - Molly Ivins

      by rsmpdx on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 11:15:42 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  In Mississippi it's dead for now. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Matt Z, commonmass, eru

    It was killed in committee. In Kansas the Senate leadership is blocking debate on their license-to-discriminate bill.

  •  New anti-gay bill in Arizona (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass, TexasTom, BluejayRN

    Brewer may have vetoed the "religious freedom" bill, but another one is in the House that would allow clerics not to perform same-sex marriages.  Trouble is, it would give the same privilege to anyone who performs marriages, including justices of the peace:

  •  I can understand why (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    conservatives like the Koch brothers write and support bills that are, for instance, anti-union or anti-regulation. Makes greedy sense.

    But do the Kochs really care if I have an abortion or what sex my partner is? Evidently they do, but why?

  •  its amazing to me (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass, GreenMother, Krush

    that brewer is being hailed as a heroine for vetoing sb 1062 when she is still the rw nasty gov she always was.

    ariz is still the intolerant state old white people go to retire and hate everything not conservative while they wait to die, and that can't happen soon enough imo.

    ps - i am an old white person.

    save america defeat all republicans and conservatives

    •  Because even a stopped clock is right (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      GreenMother, Krush, eru

      twice a day.

      By the way, I think she only vetoed it because the largest employers in the state and the Chamber of Commerce thought it was bad for business and they pressured her hard to veto it.

      I highly doubt she did it out of some love for our civil rights.

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

      by commonmass on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 08:54:15 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I know she is no heroine (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      She just didn't want to fight this particular battle, so she backed down. Commonmass is right.

      "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

      by GreenMother on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 09:00:29 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  No, she sure didn't like it when top executives (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        of large corporations were writing op-ed pieces about how they wouldn't do business in Arizona if this passed. There were several such articles and statements.

        That would sure scare me into vetoing that kind of bill if I were a Republican governor.

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

        by commonmass on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 09:03:22 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's a victory for a battle, not a war. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          But still. I am glad for it. I see this issue as intrinsically tied into the conscience clause against women's reproductive rights.

          It all comes from the same boiling bit of hatred.

          And legally, because of it's religious roots, shouldn't have a leg to stand on in the greater scheme of things.

          "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

          by GreenMother on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 09:07:46 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Oh, you're right on this: (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            I see this issue as intrinsically tied into the conscience clause against women's reproductive rights.
            Oh, you betcha. The anti-LGBT civil rights bills and the legislative push to roll back women's reproductive rights, that all come from the same people, the same faction in society.

            They say it's about religion, but it's really about control and power. Because these old white men are losing their hegemony and they don't like it one bit.

            Not only that, I also think it's about social control. All this is subsequently tied in with the war on organized labor. This is all about turning the clock back to the 19th Century, pretending the 20th didn't happen. Greed and power baby, that's what's driving all of this.

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

            by commonmass on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 09:13:22 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  If Women are denied the vote, if Gay people are (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              frightened back into the closet, if Minorities are frightened into silence or legislated-gerrymandered into silence, then we can go back to the bad old days.

              Company towns, Company Men and the rest of you better toe the line otherwise....

              These silly religionists don't understand that what they propose is simply another mark of their beast. Just because it's a cross doesn't make it okay.

              "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

              by GreenMother on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 09:19:25 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

  •  Barack Obama once said that a president (0+ / 0-)

    should be able to focus on more than one thing at a time. So should the LGBT civil rights movement. Marriage is important, and we're winning it, but so is ENDA.

    I am lucky to live in a state with marriage equality and with strong state and local non-discrimination laws. I can't be fired or lose my housing because I am gay. Millions of LGBT Americans do not enjoy those protections.

    Let's put pressure on our congresscritters.

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

    by commonmass on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 08:51:52 AM PST

  •  The Traditional Gay Family ... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass, eru

    has a place in America's future.

    Who told the Greeks they were any good at making yogurt?

    by glb3 on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 08:52:08 AM PST

    •  Well, you know, marriage is a very conservative (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      institution. Republicans should applaud the idea of gay people settling down and raising families. Except for the fact that they think we're so icky.

      Then their heads really explode when they see that gay and lesbian people are actually GOOD at being (and staying) married, and even more so when they see that they're also good at raising children together. Last I heard, better, in fact, than straight people.

      There we go again, embarrassing the straights with our fabulousness!

      No wonder they hate us. ;)

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

      by commonmass on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 08:59:57 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  There are a few scary bills in Ga (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    two pertaining to so called faith and  regarding reserving the right to refuse... Yellowdog is right..Please add Ga to the pack of wolves and there is an even scarier stand your ground type legislation being pushed through there.

    We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

    by Vetwife on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 08:53:01 AM PST

  •  Most republicans are LGBT friendly (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    There are pockets within the republican stronghold that are so adamantly against anything "gay", they get most of the press time in America.  The majority of republicans are FAR more about gaining wealth and controlling power in America than they are about the gay lifestyle or even gay marriage.  Talk to the day-to-day republican.  Ask them what they think about gays getting "married".  Unless they're in the fundamental christian mold (which many aren't), they'll tell you they don't give a tinker's damn what anyone does in their own bedroom.  They care about their own bottom line and about their own prosperity.  Everything else to them is simply "scatter", as I once heard one of my conservative republican friends say.  

    With enough pressure, the LGBT community will win out in most states.  Sure, there will always be the South Carolinas and the Alabamas.  But overall?  This is a battle that will be won.  But, make no mistake.  It will take continued effort.  

    •  In my experience they haven't been so much (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      "friendly" as like you say, they just don't care one way or the other, which frankly is just fine with me. I'm not some huge supporter of straight marriage either, I don't care what you do. Some gay and lesbian people actually object to marriage on ideological grounds (too "heteronormative", "destroys gay culture"). I don't care as long as they don't actively work to undermine my right to get married if I choose.

      However, your anecdotal evidence (I like the term "scatter") would tend to suggest that one reason we are winning this battle is because lots of people just don't see why this should be a big deal and say "let them have marriage if they want it". When attitudes like this begin to prevail, in combination with those voters and activists for whom LGBT civil rights is a passionate concern, we win.

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

      by commonmass on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 09:08:32 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  As I've said before, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    They're not so much withdrawing the bills as taking them back into their dark lairs to refine them, with the hope of sneaking the 'new, improved' versions past the unwitting masses.

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

    by trumpeter on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 08:58:22 AM PST

  •  You are right, Brewer felt the heat from (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    around the country. No one wants to start a business in New Gilead.

    But it won't fix what's already broken there either. This is a victory, but only one in a long list of issues that need to be tackled.

    "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

    by GreenMother on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 08:58:32 AM PST

  •  It doesn't matter anyway. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Neither Arizona, nor the federal government have prohibitions on discriminating against homosexuals.  The only effect the law would have had would have been with regard to local governments that adopted anti discrimination provisions.

  •  It's so odd... (0+ / 0-)

    ...that they've chosen Oregon to introduce one of these silly bills. We are one of the most un-churched states in the nation and have little tolerance for even minor tweaks in our abortion laws let alone hate-the-gays measures these days. Gay marriage will probably be resoundingly approved in November as well as marijuana legalization. Why are they wasting time here? They must have more money than God....

  •  A California republican also intro'd a hate bill (0+ / 0-)

    Asm. Shannon Grove, a republican from Bakersfield Ca, introduced just last week introduced AB 2237 which technically provides an "exception" to the Unruh Civil Rights Act  "to protect the free exercise of religion".

    The Unruh Civil Rights Act provides that all persons within the state are free and equal, regardless of their sex, race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, or sexual orientation, and are entitled to the full and equal accommodations, advantages, facilities, privileges, or services in all business establishments of every kind whatsoever.

    So this "exception" to the Unruh Act under AB 2237 essentially allows any business to refuse service to ANYONE of any race, any gender, any person with any disability, any sexual orientation. All protected classes in California would no longer be protected in the name of religious rights.


    So its not just an anti-gay bill, its a total discrimination bill, allowing discrimination for any religious purpose. Religion under the law is still a very vague term. All you need is a "sincere and meaningful belief" in a religion or belief for courts to honor that religion.

    California of all places. Geez.

    Why we'd be better off governed by sloths reason #8: evidence suggests that even the youngest of sloths understand compassion, a trait that escapes many human politicians. Follow me on Twitter @SacSloth

    by SacSloth on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 09:49:53 AM PST

  •  Constitutional amendment - LGBT protection (0+ / 0-)

    Why aren't progressives striking while the iron is hot? Start the discussion about amending the constitution to provide explicit non-discrimination to LGBT citizens. I know it won't pass but the best defense is a strong offense. Take the spotlight away from the haters and move it to the real victims of discriminatory practices.

  •  Hawai'i too (0+ / 0-)

    Of all places, the Republicans in the Hawai'i State Legislature aided by the Democratic loser of a leadership fight who has gone postal ("If I can't be Speaker of the House then I'm gonna destroy it")

    Yep, Democrat Marcus Oshiro and TeaPartier Bob McDerMott introduced HB1624  "Hawaii Religious Freedom Restoration Act":

    Here's a video clip of Oshiro and his pals arguing that Christians are being discriminated against because they have to allow gays in their businesses:

    Marcus Oshiro (D) is all bent out of shape that he lost the 2012 leadership fight and is doing whatever he can to bring grief and disruption to the winning side.  That includes joining with the handful of Republicans in the Legislature to introduce gay discrimination bills and to oppose marriage equality.

    Sadly Oshiro used to have a bright future in front of him, having been on the right side of the Superferry fight.  But his bitterness and anger over losing the Speakership has unhinged him.

    He's self-destructing over this gay discrimination bill.

  •  Well, after the debacle in AZ, The Utah Repubs. (0+ / 0-)

    decided to shelve, for now, a similar bill, guess they were upset at being out Utah-ed by Arizona, but then seen the handwriting on the wall.

    "Three things cannot be long hidden: The Sun, The Moon, and The Truth." Buddha

    by Grandson named me Papa on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 08:24:47 PM PST

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