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Arizona’s Push For Legal Discrimination Against Gays

Arizona, on the cusp of a law allowing businesses to refuse to serve gays. We’ll dive in.

Jo Beaudry holds up a sign as she joins nearly 250 gay rights supporters protesting SB1062 at the Arizona Capitol, Friday, Feb. 21, 2014, in Phoenix. The protesters gathered demanding Gov. Jan Brewer veto legislation that would allow business owners to refuse to serve gays by citing their religious beliefs. (AP)

Jo Beaudry holds up a sign as she joins nearly 250 gay rights supporters protesting SB1062 at the Arizona Capitol, Friday, Feb. 21, 2014, in Phoenix. The protesters gathered demanding Gov. Jan Brewer veto legislation that would allow business owners to refuse to serve gays by citing their religious beliefs. (AP)

A bunch of states are now considering – and Arizona’s state legislature has now passed – law that would allow businesses, individuals, to discriminate against gay customers on religious grounds.  Deny them service.  Ohio, Mississippi, Idaho, South Dakota, Tennessee and Oklahoma have all seen similar legislation introduced.  But Arizona – where it all hinges now on Gov. Jan Brewer’s signature or veto – is out front.  Supporters say it’s about religious liberty.  Critics say its carte blanche for straight up discrimination.  This hour On Point:  gay rights, religious liberty and the law in Arizona.

– Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Fernanda Echavarri, reporter and producer for Arizona Public Media. (@Fer_Echavarri)

Tony Merevick, LGBT reporter for BuzzFeed. (@tonymerevick)

Jennifer Pizer, law and policy director at Lambda Legal.

Doug Napier, senior vice president and senior counsel with the Alliance Defending Freedom.

From Tom’s Reading List

Washington Post: Kansas, Arizona bills reflect national fight over gay rights vs. religious liberty — “Gay rights are colliding with religious rights in states like Arizona and Kansas as the national debate over gay marriage morphs into a fight over the dividing line between religious liberty and anti-gay discrimination. More broadly, the fight mirrors the national debate on whether the religious rights of business owners also extend to their for-profit companies. Next month, the U.S. Supreme Court will decide whether companies like Hobby Lobby must provide contraceptive services that their owners consider immoral.”

BuzzFeed: Sens. John McCain, Jeff Flake Hope Arizona Governor Vetoes Anti-LGBT Bill — “U.S. Sen. John McCain said Monday he hopes Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer vetoes legislation that opponents say would create a ‘license to discriminate’ against LGBT people in the state, following a similar statement made by U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake over the weekend. The measure, Senate Bill 1062, is currently pending Brewer’s signature after passing in the Arizona House last Thursday. The bill’s proponents say it would protect religious freedom in the state, but opponents say the law would open the door to widespread discrimination — particularly against the LGBT community.”

Mother Jones: Inside the Conservative Campaign to Launch ‘Jim Crow-Style’ Bills Against Gay Americans — “Republicans lawmakers and a network of conservative religious groups has been pushing similar bills in other states, essentially forging a national campaign that, critics say, would legalize discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Republicans in Idaho, Oregon, South Dakota, and Tennessee recently introduced provisions that mimic the Kansas legislation. And Arizona,Hawaii, Ohio, Oklahoma, and Mississippi have introduced broader ‘religious freedom’ bills with a unique provision that would also allow people to deny services or employment to LGBT Americans, legal experts say. “

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  • Unterthurn

    Hurtful behavior should not be made legal. It is so wrong and immoral to promote hate.

    • Alchemical Reaction

      But this isn’t hate. In many cases it is truly a matter of religion. An unstoppable force smashing into an immovable object.

  • Fiscally_Responsible

    My deeply held Biblical conviction that gay marriage and homosexual relations are an immoral detestable lifestyle choice are overridden by our society’s slide into the moral cesspool of endorsing/embracing gay marriage as a normal lifestyle alternative rather than than immoral lifestyle choice that it is. Opposing gay marriage is totally different that someone being prejudiced because of someone’s color or ethnicity since that is a physical trait one is born with whereas homosexual relations are a sinful lifestyle choice. Similar to someone who makes the choice to harm themselves by being addicted to drugs or gambling. It has nothing to do with hate, but everything to do with opposing something that is morally wrong and trying to prevent the slide of our society into a cesspool of moral excrement.

    But, as the Book of Jude warns us, “just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them, since they in the same way as these indulged in gross immorality and went after strange flesh, are exhibited as an example in undergoing the punishment of eternal fire.” In the end, all of those who support this detestable perversion will spend eternity in the lake of fire being punished for rejecting God’s clearly articulated moral code, and ultimately for refusing to repent of their sin and acknowledge the need for Jesus’ death on the cross as substitutionary punishment for their sin. They won’t be worried about a cake with two guys or two females placed upon it then.

    • gemli

      This view may have been prevalent years ago, but today it takes willful ignorance to think that being gay is a choice. Basing one’s views on what the bible says is sometimes tricky business, since biblical recommendations also include genocide, selling one’s daughters into sexual slavery, and killing your neighbor who works on the Sabbath. The bible represents the wisdom of brutal first-century tribal collectives who thought the earth was flat, so one does have to be careful when applying that kind of wisdom today.

      Your feelings may not arise from hate, but they do arise from feelings of disgust that cause you to castigate your fellow human beings. Seems like a distinction without a difference. If you really cared about their immortals souls you might not be so eager to send them into eternal punishment. This emotional response seems out of proportion to the perceived offense, as if it’s a personal affront. Some people who are the most intensely homophobic do tend to harbor certain feelings themselves, which may not at all be true in your case, but if it is, there is nothing to be ashamed of. Just remember to be safe, and never to take unnecessary health risks. Peace.

    • LinRP

      Says you. There are legions of us out there who don’t believe in your religion or even remotely share your point of view. Just because you believe means it’s true? What a narrow, hate-endorsing view your religion must advocate.

      Let me just ask YOU one thing….

      When did you DECIDE to be straight?

      You didn’t did you? That’s right, no one “decides” their orientation. That’s because “god” made us all who we are, as we are.

      (If in fact you are straight, because that post sure does stink of “thou doth protest too much.”)

      • John Shannon

        June 12, 1982..the day I saw Christine J. in a bikini and thought, “I want me some of that”

    • Ray in VT

      Ever talk to anyone who is gay? I don’t think that it is a choice. The gays and lesbians with whom I have spoken say that they have always felt that they were different, i.e. not straight, and that the attractions that they feel came about at the time when others of us started to be attracted to members of the opposite sex. It is just who they are. They have always been here, and they always will be. It’s just a natural variation that occurs in a certain percentage of humans, as well as in other species. It is just natural.

      That having been said, you are free to hold whatever bigoted opinion you feel that your faith calls you to hold. The law, however, has been long trending against those who wish to use their beliefs to discriminate against others. You’re on the wrong side of history. Shall we allow people to discriminate against other religious groups? Religion is a choice. Should you be allowed to hang up a “No Jews allowed” sign at your business? Opinion since the Civil Rights movement generally says no. So, cite your holy book all that you like, but this country is not governed by the Bible. The sky isn’t going to fall because two ladies get married. It doesn’t affect your life, unless you just can’t stand to see people living in a way that upsets you. Be careful, though. How many in this world would persecute you for your life choices, which being gay is not.

    • jimino

      If your view of eternity is correct, you are going to be really surprised about who will “spend eternity in the lake of fire being punished for rejecting God’s clearly articulated moral code,” But you still have time to repent, which process I suggest you begin immediately.

    • J__o__h__n

      You have the right to believe whatever archaic, supernatural, bigoted nonsense you like, but you do not have the right to exclude people if you offer a service to the public.

      • Ray in VT

        Not to most groups since the Civil Rights Movement at least.

    • TFRX

      whereas homosexual relations are a sinful lifestyle choice

      No more calls, please. We have a loser.

    • geraldfnord

      If my product’s Unique Sales Proposition were the claim ‘Buy this or you will be tortured beyond human comprehension forever.’, I think you would be right to suspect that I were selling goods so shoddy that they _required_ so extreme a sell, and you would be further justified in fearing that my own good intentions might cause me to torture you horribly for a mere sixty or seventy minutes or years if I thought it just might save you from worse later on.

  • georgepotts

    How would you know?

    • MrNutso

      Hire a gay person with good gaydar.

    • hennorama

      georgepotts — indeed, what are the practical logistics of the law? Does a brick-and-mortar business employ someone at the door, asking if those who wish to enter are gay? How does an online business differentiate?

      It will be interesting when Gov. Brewer vetoes the law, and becomes an instant hero to most, and an instant enemy to a few, confounding the previous opinions of many.

  • John Cedar

    The only thing dumber than refusing to sell gay wedding cakes, is the hypocritical sanctimoniousness blather from those who are selectively outraged by it. These same hypocritical folks have no problem when all the test scores from white firefighters are indiscriminately thrown out by a member of the SCOTUS. It is not discrimination they care about, it is attacking religion that is their goal.

    • Ray in VT

      Poor white, Christian America. So under siege. So under attack. How will whites and Christians survive such persecutions?

      • John Cedar

        When your position is indefensible, you turn to sarcasm. You should be sarcastic more often.

        • Ray in VT

          When comments are so patently moronic as to state things like “it is attacking religion that is their goal”, I find that sarcasm is the best approach, as such idiocy is best met with mockery. With your comments I find that I must restrain from resorting to sarcasm more often then I probably should.

          • Alchemical Reaction

            The fact is – you have an unstoppable force smashing into an immovable object. A house divided cannot stand. Arizona is right to be true to their religion. And the gays and allies are right to call it discrimination.

          • J__o__h__n

            I didn’t know Arizona had a religion.

          • Ray in VT

            I think that the tide over the past 10-20 years has certainly shown that one side is certainly not immovable. These aren’t really issues for most younger people. I think that in time this issue will cease to be, as the foes of gay rights fall away.

          • geraldfnord

            Well, I’m all in favour of attacking excessive power-grabs by religion, and many religious seem actually to worship power, so it might seem to them that I were threatening their god….

          • Ray in VT

            We’ve got the American Jesus. See him on the interstate.

      • georgepotts

        What about the mosque that disallows gays? Will they be covered by the law?

        Will they let them in so that they can “honor kill” them?

        • J__o__h__n

          They can exclude and refuse to marry them but obviously aren’t allowed to kill them.

        • Ray in VT

          Yes, and the Catholics will have to perform gay marriages and the like.

          As far as I know, nothing in this legislation allows for killings gays and lesbians. That is something that some of our American pastors merely push for overseas.

          • geraldfnord

            So far…if they had a lot more power here, or maybe if they had a lot less, I think that they would….

          • Ray in VT

            Quite possibly. But given present realities, I’ll take issue with what I see as the greater issue.

    • jimino

      Even though you are an expert on hypocritical sanctimoniousness blather, I think you’re wrong about this.

    • HonestDebate1

      Bingo.

      • John Cedar

        Since there are no doubt, countless places for gays to purchase wedding cakes, the only sensible way to view this, is that the left is using it as an excuse to practice their own bigotry against religion.

  • gemli

    There’s a sense that gay marriage is becoming inevitable, and states are falling on the side of same-sex unions like dominoes. One reason for this shift in attitude is that the world is getting so much smaller. For a long time we’ve been sold the idea that gay people are abominations, or that they’re evil, or likely to be child molesters. But the emergence of instantaneous world-wide communication has shrunk the world, and exposed these parochial views as anti-gay propaganda. As we learn more about gay people we find out that they’re just like everybody else, shouldering the same burdens as the rest of us, but with the additional burden of being castigated and demeaned by the ignorant and fearful. The attitudes about gay marriage have changed because we’re becoming free to recognize how ordinary gay people are. They’re no longer comic caricatures or stereotypes, but real people. They’re our neighbors, our friends and our family. People are becoming more accepting of gays and lesbians because they’re tired of having to hate them. It takes so much energy to hate; there’s a sigh of relief to be heard in the changing attitudes.

    All of the sanctimony coming from the religious right is not preserving our freedom or defending holy scripture, it’s an excuse to preserve the ignorance and small-mindedness that people have become accustomed to. Religious scolds declare themselves to be agents of the divine, passing down God’s laws to keep the rabble in line. Without God, they’re just obnoxious jerks fomenting hatred and bullying the innocent. We’ve heard enough from them, but it seems we’ll hear a little more on this program.

  • eonL5

    I noticed Tom Ashbrook in the promo today asked if Arizona’s law would be “state sanctioned homophobia” — I would rephrase it as “state-sanctioned discrimination” to put the focus where it belongs. Doesn’t matter what the beliefs of the storeowners are, it matters that owners and employees of businesses don’t have permission to discriminate because they don’t like somebody. That’s all.

  • Ray in VT

    Ugh. Are some going to try to turn this into a platform for promoting the idea that white people and Christians are the ones really facing discrimination?

    • John Cedar

      I don’t believe Christianity is the only religion that does not sanction gay marriage. Why are you not tolerant enough to make reasonable accommodation for religious people?

      • Ray in VT

        I tolerant people’s bigoted beliefs. People can believe what they want. Legalized discrimination just has no place in modern America. Just as we pulled down the “whites only” signs, so it should be with attempts at legalized discrimination against other groups. Separate cannot be equal.

        • John Cedar

          That’s not true at all. You have no problem with discrimination. You only have a problem with discrimination toward groups you consider to be victims and undeserving of being discriminated against.

          This is not akin to not allowing blacks into a restaurant, it is like requiring restaurants to include ethnic meals on their menus.

          • Ray in VT

            You make some interesting assumptions about what I think or believe.

            So, allowing people the “liberty” to discriminate against a particular group by denying them service isn’t akin to not allowing blacks into restaurants? An interesting, if quackish, perspective.

          • John Cedar

            As far as I know, gays are allowed in all cake stores and can purchase anything the store offers for sale. They can even buy a wedding cake and change the figurine on top when they get it home, if they chose one of the very few stores that don’t offer what they are looking for.

          • Ray in VT

            They can also be refused service by not being a protected class in many states, and some would even seek to overtly enshrine such discrimination.

      • J__o__h__n

        They can believe whatever they want and preach whatever they want inside their church or mosque. Supernatural beliefs do not entitle one to discriminate against others.

        • John Cedar

          Yes they do.
          If you mentioned the commerce clause you would have a case.

          • J__o__h__n

            I assumed you would not recognize the commerce clause.

          • Ray in VT

            No they don’t for many categories of people. I would cite the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

          • John Cedar

            The act does not apply to most cases of discrimination. For instance, the wholesale discrimination against all unprotected classes is not covered nor is your complacency. Nor is discrimination that takes place outside of commerce or the government.

          • Ray in VT

            A supernatural belief does not entitle one to refuse public accomodation to various groups under the Act, so “Supernatural beliefs do not entitle one to discriminate against others.” “Yes they do.” is not supported in that context. Believe it if you want, but being a religiously motivated bigot does not give one a free pass.

    • HonestDebate1

      You can discriminate against whites and Christians all day long, no biggee.

      • Ray in VT

        Oh yeah, the minorities have taken over, and now Obama is getting his revenge. Funny, criminal justice statistics paint a pretty clear picture of who is getting discriminated against, and it isn’t white people. Just look at how bad white people have it in modern America. We haven’t elected a white guy as President since 2004. Nobody knows the trouble the white people have seen.

        • HonestDebate1

          I didn’t say any of that.

          • Ray in VT

            Not today. Tell me again about Obama’s revenge, the New Black Panther Party, how whitey has it so bad and whatever other delusion passes for fact in the TOP and talk radio. Perhaps, given today’s topic, we can merely talk about the meme of how gay rights a part of the “wussification” or feminization of ‘Merica. I’m sure that some of your favorite sources have plenty to say on that front.

          • HonestDebate1

            You sure are obsessed with race, it means nothing to me.

          • Ray in VT

            One must only look at your very long comment history, with its often prejudiced treatment of African Americans in particular, in order to come to a very different conclusion.

          • HonestDebate1

            I didn’t bring up race and religion. I just replied. The topic is gays.

          • Ray in VT

            Yup, and you don’t seem to mind state sanctioned discrimination against them.

          • J__o__h__n

            Religion is part of the topic as it is being offered as the justification for unequal treatment. I wonder if an atheist would be free to discriminate against gays.

          • Alchemical Reaction

            Ray, I support equal rights for EVERYBODY. I’m just sick of hearing about this issue in the media. I guess that means I wish things would move along faster than they are. And I suspect the longer these cases drag on, the less of an appetite non-gays will have for hearing about this stuff in the media. I’m just sharing my thoughts. Think about how quickly news stories are forgotten about, how short the attention spans are of the average person, and how quickly America moves on. Anyway, let’s just get this done quickly.

        • Ray from Harlem

          I couldn’t agree more, Ray. Thank you Jesus that I am not White. White people have it tough now and days…

          • Ray in VT

            I know. It’s so hard. I can barely motivate to get out of bed in the morning, but we soldier on.

          • HonestDebate1

            Who is complaining? Not me.

          • Ray in VT

            Except when you do about how bad whitey has it. Look at all that we have to fear. The massive explosion of black on white violence and the mobs of roaming black people committing crimes. All of the best sources in white nationalism say that it is so, so it must be so. The white girl bleed a lot.

          • HonestDebate1

            So obsessed with race, it’s sad.

          • Ray in VT

            Hey, I’m not the pushing white nationalist propaganda about how dangerous and criminally inclined black people are.

          • HonestDebate1

            I can see only a few reasons why an otherwise intelligent person would resort to such shallow, vacuous and illogical thinking as a couple of your comments indicate. Maybe it’s sheer belligerence to avoid honest debate. Maybe it’s a joke. More likely it’s a knee-jerk response without thinking.

            I never said, nor did I post anyone that said, blacks were dangerous or criminally inclined as you accuse below. I don’t peruse white nationalist sites and “White Girl Bleed A Lot” was not written by a racist. The numbers are the numbers and were given ONLY to counter the inverse argument that is pounded and pounded relentlessly. It is your side who is making the rash accusations about race and region. Namely that white southerners are racist stalking murderers.

            The numbers are the FBI numbers they are not white supremacist numbers. You cited numbers from NOAA, so have communist websites. I’m sure there are racist who cite them too. Does that mean you are citing communist propaganda?

            It’s completely illogical, but that does not stop you.

          • Ray in VT

            My comments are just my honest reaction to the racially prejudiced nature of a number of your comments over time. It seems to me that to repeat some of the claims that you have, without deeper investigation or the checking of sources, shows that it is you who is not thinking and merely engaging in knee-jerk attacks upon a minority group.

            A look at a number of your comments would certainly, I think, show that you attempt to paint African Americans as dangerous, and if not criminally inclined, then at least hyper prone to criminality. Plus we have gotten that lovely dose of how supposedly people excuse and apologize for their criminality or something.

            I guess that you just find the white nationalist stuff that comes to sources that you like, rather than actually going to their sites. I have my doubts about your claim about the author of White Girl Bleed a Lot. He certainly doesn’t seem to mind going onto racist radio shows in order to promote his little piece of fear mongering, anti-black propaganda.

            Please provide the FBI report that gives those numbers. I have repeatedly asked for such a source, and you do not provide it. I am sure that the racists behind the Color of Crime report, which is the oldest reference that I have seen for the numbers that you cited, claim many things about their “report”, but I am not willing to take their word for how they arrived at their conclusions, and I think that to rely upon such a number, lacking a non-racist source, is completely illogical, but that does not stop you. Perhaps there are some numbers from the Klan that you would also like to cite. I’m sure that they, like the New Century Foundation, are totally honest brokers on the matter of race.

          • HonestDebate1

            Whether people have it tough or not has nothing to do with skin color.

          • Ray in VT

            Sure. Some people don’t have it harder than others, especially not minorities. Spoken like a true white conservative.

          • HonestDebate1

            The nuance of a jackhammer.

          • Ray in VT

            Sometimes a jackhammer is needed when attempting to crack the thickest of skulls.

        • Coastghost

          Rayyyyyyyyyyy: read any comprehensive histories of Europe for the pre-1945 period, read specific histories for specific European locales of your choice for any century prior to the last one. Granted, white people just don’t have as much sentimental regard as formerly for incessant wars, revolutions, Napoleons and Cromwells, plagues, wars of religion, persecutions and pogroms, fratricide, imperial ambitions, indigenous slavery, et cetera. And of course white people had no legitimate ambitions to advance, no actual accomplishments to defend, et cetera.

          • Ray in VT

            I read plenty of history.

        • TFRX

          Ray, is your last sentence a direct reference to that great white spiritual, “Nobody know the trouble I’ve seen”?

          • Ray in VT

            Indeed it is.

          • HonestDebate1

            I like Ry Cooder’s version from the album “Jazz”.

    • georgepotts

      The criticism that you use for fundamentalist Christians you don’t use for strict Muslims. Be consistent.

      The difference is that gays don’t want to have weddings in Mosques, but they do want to have their marriages in nice Christian churches that believe that their lifestyle is sinful.

      There aren’t any other vendors that would know about the sexual choices of their customers.

      • J__o__h__n

        I hold Muslims to the same standard. I love how when the perpetrators are Muslim the right suddenly cares about women and gays.

      • Ray in VT

        I don’t see too many American Muslims screaming their heads off about how they need the right to discriminate against gays or the politicians at all levels who cater to them. If or when such conditions arise, then I will gladly also condemn them, but it is some portion of American Christians who are presently insisting upon and/or pushing for legalized discrimination against gays and lesbians.

        Again, as far as I know churches can perform what rites they choose, and I do not know of any legislation that would require churches to perform gay weddings. Also, I’m sure that there are gay Muslims, and there are likely some imams who are favorably inclined towards gay rights.

  • Ed75

    Arizonia?

    • HonestDebate1

      That’s funny!

  • HonestDebate1

    If someone does’t want my business I give it to someone else. I don’t make a Federal case out of it.

    • Ray in VT

      So, are you lining up behind Rand Paul and his principled stand against the Civil Rights Act?

      • HonestDebate1

        I don’t know about it, I am not a big Rand Paul fan.

        • Ray in VT

          Perhaps if you had faced systematic, generational and sanctioned legal discrimination just for having been born who you are, then you might have a somewhat different view as to whether or not discriminatory practices against you warrant a Federal case.

  • James

    This strikes me as a last ditch effort from a dying movement. The GOP either needs to stand on the principals of freedom of association and private property or get out of the way. Having one sent of rules for LBGT discrimination and one set of rules for racial discrimination isn’t helping anyone outside the bible belt.

    • HonestDebate1

      I would say religious freedoms are a principle of freedom. I would say telling a baker he must bake a cake for someone not to be a principle of freedom. No one was denied the freedom to buy a cake. There are cake makers everywhere. I know a gay one who won’t bake cakes for straights.

      • John Cedar

        No one is refusing to bake cakes for gays.
        The issue is gay wedding cakes.
        Two grooms or two brides on the cake.

        • HonestDebate1

          Good point but that distinction will be lost on most. I wonder if a anti-semite wanted swastika on his cake and the baker was a Jew what the reaction would be. Would people insist the baker comply?

          • John Cedar

            The left would.
            You should know better than to make analogies like that. Only Al Gore can get away with that type of hyperbole.

      • James

        But your taking religious freedom here and stretching it to it’s limits. The bible says it is a sin to be homosexual (well the old testament anyway) but it doesn’t say not to associate with them, that’s a personal choice. And now we’re back to should the government legislate tolerance or not.

        • HonestDebate1

          I don’t think it matters what the Bible says. People can choose what it means to them and act accordingly. That’s religious freedom to me.

          • Ray in VT

            People can believe what they want. Acting upon those beliefs is not always allowed in society.

          • HonestDebate1

            Sure, when there is damage. Who was damaged here? Why on earth would gay couple want to support a homophobe’s business?

          • Ray in VT

            One might ask the people who have been discriminated against.

      • Ray in VT

        So you are endorsing the sort of “liberty” and “freedom” to discriminate that existed prior to the Civil Rights Movement? It seems that on this issue you are, once again, far behind the curve.

        • HonestDebate1

          I see no analogy to the civil rights movement.

          • Ray in VT

            Yes, legalized discrimination against one group is nothing like legalized discrimination against another group.

          • HonestDebate1

            It’s legal to discriminate, it’s done every day.

          • Ray in VT

            Thank you for your usual idiotic tangent into this area. You only seem to be really concerned with people getting discriminated against when it is white people who are supposedly getting discriminated against.

          • J__o__h__n

            You aren’t exactly a supporter of that either. You think that by declaring yourself to be colorblind that all racial problems are magically gone. You also claim to not be anti-gay but you appear to have a reason to oppose any efforts to improve gay rights.

          • HonestDebate1

            “You aren’t exactly a supporter of that either.”

            That’s a hideous lie.

            “You think…”

            Please don’t tell me what I think.

          • J__o__h__n

            Which actual provisions of civil rights for racial minorities and gays do you support?

          • HonestDebate1

            The Civil Rights Act of 1964 didn’t say anything about sexual orientation. I support the Civil Rights Act from top to bottom unequivocally, jerk. Why do you guys always go there? Is implying, or sometimes outright claiming, racism all you have. It’s highly insulting.

          • J__o__h__n

            You dodged half the question.

          • HonestDebate1

            I disagree with the premise. If you are not talking about the Civil Rights Act of 1964 then what’s a provision? If you are, the act is irrelevant as it does not have squat to say about sexual orientation.

          • Ray in VT

            Because it was still okay to discriminate against gays then. A Civil Rights Act for gays and lesbians would never get out of the current House.

            You support the Civil Rights Act from top to bottom unequivocally? How do you square that with statements regarding how the liberty is needed to deny services when it is desirable? Such is not allowed in the Civil Rights Act.

  • georgepotts

    How do you know that a gay person is a customer? They don’t look different from us. Their money is green.

    If someone comes into your store that offends you, you do not have to serve them. Why is a law needed?

    Should NAACP be required to hire white racists? Should doctors be required to perform an abortion if they don’t do abortions? Should churches be required to perform gay marriages? Should a Jewish store keeper be forced to serve a swastika wearing white supremacist?

    Should a mosque be disallowed from stoning gays or honor kill a female who has sex out of marriage?

    • geraldfnord

      ¶1: Some people ‘just know’; it is their perceptions that are in play.

      ¶2: If someone offends you by cursing or generally acting crazy, you don’ t have to serve them. I you work for an incoporated entity and they offend you by agressively retaing dark skin, you do have to serve them.

      ¶3: The NAACP can credibly claim that white racists will likely not do a proper job for them;

  • Alchemical Reaction

    Am getting so fed up with hearing about gay rights so much in the media. Yes, they deserve equal rights. Yes, if they are married in one state that marriage should be recognized in all states. However, if a state holds a vote and decides they don’t want to legalize gays getting married in their state, well, the voters have spoken. Can we please move on to something more interesting? As I said, this issue is old and tired from my point of view.

  • georgepotts

    As Obama’s spiritual leader says, “God damn America.”

    • J__o__h__n

      What a current reference. This is even older than the birth certificate foolishness.

      • John Cedar

        Didn’t camp Hillery start the birther movement before the Rev Wright controversy?

        • brettearle

          She used the term, “As Far As I Know”–to be equivocal about the Senator’s background.

          And photos of the Senator, with traditional African dress, were distributed, I believe, by Clinton’s campaign–but were then retracted.

          But for you to try to foist the blame, for the Birther Movement, onto the Democrats–for a malicious campaign of Disinformation, engineered by some of the worst political bigots on the Right, spearheaded by that Cretin, known as Gregory Corsi–is especially close to scraping the barrel.

          • John Cedar

            Plausible deniability, has to have some element of plausibility.

    • Ray in VT

      There are certainly issues that we could be damned for, such as for allowing certain segments of our population to not have the full protections of and equality before the law that we have placed near the center of our beliefs about what our society is about.

      • brettearle

        Ray, if you study this guy’s MO, he’s utterly incorrigible.

        He’s a waste of time.

        [Although, you likely know that already.]

        • Ray in VT

          Yup.

    • geraldfnord

      I disagree vehemently with Mr Wright because he believes in a god, but I will note that his ‘God damn America’ was a conditional statement denoting what he thought the god in control of the Universe would do if we didn’t act as he (Wright or that god) wished, and as such he was acting exactly as the prophets if ancient Judea and Israel did: the nation obeys God’s laws or will be destroyed.

  • georgepotts

    You should do a show on Mitochondrial disease. #FreeJustina

  • andrewgarrett

    I’m stereotyping a bit, but in general gay people don’t have kids, which means they pay more tax than they get back in services. They spend money on their homes and neighborhoods instead of their kids. If you like home values and you like more tax payers, then you want gay people in your town, and better yet, as your next door neighbors.

    • John Cedar

      And they have the best landscaped yards.
      But on average it is 20 times riskier to share needles with them.

    • TFRX

      The “generally don’t have kids” thing is probably due to certain things beyond their control, and I imagine that will change in a long arc.

      Wondering what the statistics are like.

    • BHA_in_Vermont

      True, though I expect that will change a bit now that it is more “acceptable” to be homoexual and for gay couples to adopt and lesbian couples to have babies through in vitro fertilization.

  • brettearle

    The issue is Apartheid, is it not?

    This is absolutely outrageous…..

    It is the resurrection of Strom, Wallace, and Governor Faubus–all rolled into one ugly Trinity.

    It turns back the ignorant hands of time to an antediluvian saga of ugly bias, contemptible segregation, decaying bigotry.

    Brewer should be recalled, if not tarred and feathered.

    States’ Rights, my derriere….

    • Ray in VT

      I would agree, except for the recall statement. I don’t care much for such measures in general.

      • brettearle

        But Ray…Are these not extraordinary circumstances?

        This is absolutely outrageous.

        How can the Feds let her get away with this?

        It’s a malignant mark on the country, otherwise.

        Why wouldn’t it be?

        From that standpoint, a Recall, I think, is in order.

        She needs to be SHAMED. But, more importantly, it calls into question, significantly, her competence to Govern.

        In any case, we’ve always known how obnoxious she is.

        • Ray in VT

          While I agree that her actions are, to me, deplorable, I think that things like recall should be limited to corruption and illegal moves and such. It is just where I stand on the matter, although I understand your position.

          • brettearle

            Got it.

          • Ray in VT

            We don’t have to agree all of the time, right?

          • brettearle

            Ray,

            I take pride in my flexibility–unless it has to do with radical or blind ignorance.

            [I may have gone overboard a few times.]

            I hope that I have demonstrated this, from the history of my comments.

            In any case, maybe I don’t have to say this–because I’ve praised you before.

            So you therefore know where I stand with the quality of your work, here:

            If you were to leave, I’d complain to Sam Fleming.

            And….I am NOT sucking up.

            Credit is, where Credit’s due.
            You are clearly one of the standouts on the Thread.

          • Ray in VT

            As always, I thank you for your kind words. I think that your comments are very useful to the community here as well.

          • brettearle

            Thanks much….

            By the way, not that this is essential to Life as we know it……but I printed out the references, that you gave me, a few weeks ago, regarding the relationship of Big business Ideology/Ethic to anti-Global Warming sentiment.

            I just haven’t looked at the articles, as yet….

          • Ray in VT

            I think that there are some interesting connections there.

        • HonestDebate1

          You seem certain she will not veto it.

        • 1Brett1

          Republican majority members (state Sens, Adam Driggs, Steve Pierce, and Bob Worsley) of Arizona’s legislature, who initially voted for the bill, have supposedly reversed their decisions and have sent word to Jan Brewer asking her to veto the bill (their reasoning seems not borne out of any genuine change of heart but more pertains to fear of a backlash). They wrote, “”While our sincere intent in voting for this bill was to create a shield for all citizens’ religious liberties, the bill has instead been mischaracterized by its opponents as a sword for religious intolerance. These allegations are causing our state immeasurable harm…”

          It’ll be interesting to see if she does veto the bill.

          • brettearle

            Thanks, Brett.

            Appreciate it.

    • georgepotts

      How do you know your customer’s sexual orientation? I assume they are not having sex in your store.

      • brettearle

        What is your insipid point?

        And, it is Insipid.

        • georgepotts

          The law is unnecessary. You can already refuse service to anyone for any reason.

          It is getting passed as a reaction to the legalization of gay marriage and the concern that churches may be forced to perform gay marriages.

          • J__o__h__n

            That isn’t the reason or a real threat. That is just propaganda.

          • Ray in VT

            “You can already refuse service to anyone for any reason”. Really? Various laws certainly say otherwise.

    • georgepotts

      Should Mosques be forced to have gay marriages?

      • Ray in VT

        Who is pushing for that?

      • MOFYC

        Mosques aren’t businesses.

        • DeJay79

          that’s debatable… but its true that they don’t pay taxes.

          And I am talking about all forms of religious buildings and organizations not just Mosques.

          • Ray in VT

            Vermont exempted religious institutions. That seems like a good policy to me.

  • MOFYC

    I thought we eliminated Jim Crow 50 years ago. Why are we bringing it back?

    • Ray in VT

      Because hating this group of people is still acceptable in some quarters.

    • georgepotts

      How do you know your customer is gay?

  • georgepotts

    Are gay people going to be forced to wear a star to identify that they are gay? How will people know that their customer is gay?

    • MrNutso

      Hire a gay person with good gaydar.

      • StilllHere

        How do you know the person you hire is gay?

        • geraldfnord

          `It’s gays all the way down.’, as the biathletic actress said to the closeted bishop.

  • MOFYC

    So does this legislation allow business owners to refuse service to Christians?

    • georgepotts

      How do you know?

      • MOFYC

        I don’t. That’s why it’s phrase in the form of a question.

  • gemli

    I wonder if i could open a store that refuses to sell to Christian fundamentalists. After all, religious views are a lifestyle choice while being gay is not.

    • georgepotts

      How can you tell the difference between a gay person and a Christian fundamentalist? They look the same to me.

      You could refuse service to someone with hazel eyes. or was too pretty or too fat.

      You can’t ride on this horse because you will kill him.

      • J__o__h__n

        Like the Reverend Ted Haggard?

      • gemli

        @georgepotts:disqus,
        I’d ask them how old the earth is.

        • Ray in VT

          Why? Are gays more likely to give you a science based response?

  • MOFYC

    At what point did selling fruit or shoes for profit become a form of “religious expression”? I always thought it was an expression of commerce.

    • J__o__h__n

      Short of turning water into wine, I would think that food commerce would be secular.

      • MOFYC

        And even that wouldn’t be affected so long as you gave the wine away for free.

  • MOFYC

    I don’t understand why we’re fighting Islamists in Afghanistan and elsewhere at the same time we’re pushing the Islamist social agenda here at home.

    • John Shannon

      You should have stopped after the first three words

  • Hartford Public School Parent

    On the one hand it’s appalling to imagine people being turned away because they are gay. On the other hand, what if a neo-Nazi couple requested a Jewish photographer to shoot a wedding or celebration featuring swastikas and other Nazi paraphernalia? Should a law force him to do this? If not, how to sculpt a law that addresses a situation you favor while excluding one you do not?

    • georgepotts

      The swastika wearer will not sue the Jewish photographer, but I guarantee you that a church will be sued to perform a wedding.

      • J__o__h__n

        Gay marriage has been an issue for over a decade. How many churches have been sued?

      • geraldfnord

        Nonsense: most gay people I’ve met seemed too time- or money-constrained to bother with that. In any event, those who don’t won’t make it to the news, so the news (and Fox) don’t constitute a useful statistical universe for estimating likelihood.

  • georgepotts

    The law will provide protection for churches and other religious institutions from having to perform weddings.

    Other than that, how do you know your customer is gay? They don’t wear a sign around their neck.

    • J__o__h__n

      The Constitution already allows religious institutions to refuse to perform weddings.

      • georgepotts

        That is why the law is unnecessary. You can already refuse to serve anyone for any reason.

        • J__o__h__n

          No you can’t.

          • georgepotts

            Yes you can.

          • Ray in VT

            The Civil Rights Act of 1964 says otherwise.

          • Kathy

            No, I’m afraid everyone can eat at the lunch counter now.

      • d clark

        Remember, the Constitution means what the judges say it means. They could surely decide religion is illegitimate unless the church performs gay weddings. Why are the LGBTers so emphatic that the Christian cake shop owner make them a wedding cake. They will not rest until the church is destroyed. Not a value judgment, just an observation.

    • d clark

      When two men come into your cake shop and ask for a wedding cake, I think that is your clue!

    • Kathy

      Churches are not required to perform weddings. That’s not a question, it’s a lie told by the religious far right.

    • BHA_in_Vermont

      I would think that were I gay, I wouldn’t be attending a church that was openly against gays so it wouldn’t be a huge problem.

      The issue in Vermont was with Justices of the Peace. If they are anti gay, can they be forced to perform a ceremony for a gay or lesbian couple.

  • geraldfnord

    The Church of the Creator believe the ‘marriage’ of an human being (my wife) and a ‘serpent person’ (me) to be an abomination, and in any real sense impossible; should the businesses of which their members are employees be allowed to discrimnate against us? Now, if a member operates as an individual, that’s one thing, but if one or more seek the very real protections the State gives in incorporation, I’d say that it were expectable that the State ciuld establish ground-rules as to how this new entity can legally operate…and I will mote that the usually dead-letter language in incorporation ‘for the public good’ doesn’t single-out or exclude any paryicular group….

    • georgepotts

      At least you aren’t talking to a Mosque.

  • Matt MC

    Raise your hand if you’re sick of the George Potts troll…

    • georgepotts

      Answer my question.

      How do I know who to deny service to?

      This law is unnecessary. I can refuse service to anyone for any reason.

    • georgepotts

      So, if you disagree with the homosexual lifestyle, you still have to allow them to have a wedding in your hotel.

      But, if you disagree with someone who doesn’t agree with your liberal agenda, you can try to have him banned from your government sponsored, liberal agenda radio show.

      • J__o__h__n

        You haven’t been banned. You continue to bless us with your wisdom.

      • Ray in VT

        Who has tried to have you banned?

      • jefe68

        Abusive comments will get you banned, or so it would seem. So far you seem to be getting away with a lot BS.

      • Matt MC

        I don’t want you to be banned. I just find you boring and mainly useless. If you could keep your posts to a non repetitive minimum, I would appreciate it.

      • Human2013

        I just read an article that found that most trolls are sadistic psychopaths, sound familiar?

        • Ray in VT

          I thought that most of them lived in caves and turned to stone in sunlight.

    • georgepotts

      You are trying to refuse service to someone you disagree with. Sounds like the people you are criticizing.

      • Ray in VT

        This is not the place to come to get serviced.

    • brettearle

      He’ll go away, with his tail between his legs.

      It’s inevitable.

    • tbphkm33

      Everyone, you can flag troll comments and action will be taken – slide your mouse of the top right hand corner of the comment, then click on the “Flag as inappropriate” button.

    • Charles

      I hate to resort to triteness, but don’t feed the troll.
      Dude clearly has nothing constructive to add here, so if you can restrain yourself from being provoked, he’ll be gone sooner than later.

  • skelly74

    It’s easy money to bet Mike Sam will not be drafted to play professional football for the Arizona Cardinals.

    • georgepotts

      Not if he keeps running a 4.9 40 yard dash.

      • TFRX

        Yeah, if only he were straight he’da run faster?

        You’ve made exactly one non-asswipe statement on this board today. I’ll give you a dollar to shut up and refrain from posting.

        Think of it as leaving on your (comparable) high note.

        • georgepotts

          He actually ran a 4.9 40 yard dash in the NFL combines. He said he was disappointed with his performance.

          The NFL looks at how well a player plays. I hope that Sams or any other gay player gets to play in the NFL.

          The NFL won’t draft a player who cannot play in the NFL.

          • TFRX

            Uh, yeah. That’s why I called it the one statement you’ve made today that has something connected to reality.

            Quit now, while you’re making (the most you have yet) sense.

          • brettearle

            T…

            His MO is to come at ya, regardless of what you say.

            He’s an Ideological Frankenstein.

            The only way to deal with someone like him is to Boycott him.

            It’s the only way that he’ll be able to purge himself–so that he can finally join the International Community.

            He’s needs to sign his own non-Proliferation Treaty.

        • georgepotts

          Do you think that gay players don’t run fast? That is kind of discriminatory.

          • TFRX

            “Just when I think you’ve said the stupidest thing ever, you keep talking.” (h/t Hank Hill)

            Someone wanna buy Trollboy a sarcasm detector?

        • brettearle

          Another well-spoken contributor, like yourself, agrees with me: This guy’s incorrigible.

          He’s a waste of time. He’s a citadel of Ignorance.

          He’s not capable of interactive dialogue –much less meaningful discussion.

          [But like I noted, to the contributor mentioned above, you probably already know that.]

    • skelly74

      Sam will definitely be considered a “value pick” at some point in the draft. This is historic. Arizona is on the verge of losing professionals in all fields if they are not welcomed in the local economy.

      I doubt the bigots will get the upper hand over the sacred bottom line.

      Maybe Sam will announce he will not play for Arizona, if drafted. He seems to play his hand quick.

  • dt03044

    I watched the Colbert Report one night last week and he did a segment mocking Putin’s stance on gays in Russia. Afterward I switched the channel to CNN only to see that Arizona was considering a measure allowing businesses to refuse service to gays in that state. I had to chuckle at the irony.

    • Ray in VT

      The segments with totally straight producer Buddy Cole?

      • TFRX

        “You mean, biathletes?”

        “They are now!”

        • BHA_in_Vermont

          Oh, man. I NEVER knew people who do biathlon were “bi”. I think they should pass a law that you can not participate in the biathlon if you are not bisexual. ;-)

  • georgepotts

    I hope Doug brought some armor.

  • James

    Honestly though, I would love to see what would happen if someone openly says “we don’t serve your kind here” to a Gay couple.

    • BHA_in_Vermont

      I would not be at all surprised if it happened. Especially if there is a law that specifically says you can do so. There are plenty of people who would be plenty happy if segregation was still legal.

      • James

        And (I would hope) plenty of people who would walk out of the restaurant and never come back if they witness such behavior.

        • BHA_in_Vermont

          Me too :-)
          There better be a lot of people in the area who follow a restaurant owner’s religious beliefs if they hang a “no gays” sign in the window or the business will be gone.

  • Roy-in-Boise

    What if an Orthodox or Roman Catholic individual sees all other Christians as Heretics, could they too refuse service to them under religious freedom?

    • georgepotts

      Why not?

      • Roy-in-Boise

        Indeed. Chaos comes in many forms.

  • AC

    what is the core system of a ‘religion’? i’m thinking it should be redefined so as not to be taken advantage of; if you pray to a ‘creator’ then disprove of the ‘creations’, i don’t think you should be allowed to call yourself a religion – you are a club at best.

    • DeJay79

      I love the way you put that!

    • 1Brett1

      This is my favorite comment of today’s forum.

  • Coastghost

    Stoic moralists of 2nd cent. CE Rome were more damning of homosexual excesses than evangelical Christians of our era have ever thought of being, by the way. Juvenal was no card-carrying Stoic, but he breathed the air of his era rather fiercely. (Feminists don’t come out too well in his Sixth Satire, either.)

    • geraldfnord

      Weren’t his ‘excesses’ relations between adult men of the same class, as opposed to an ‘active’ citizen and a ‘passive’ slave boy (or beardless youth)?

      • Coastghost

        I don’t discern the specificity you cite when he slurs “Socratic reprobates” and “gloomy-visage debauchees” or his rebuke of generals primping themselves in front of the mirrors they carry with them into battle. “Great unanimity reigns amongst effeminates”, he also lets pass in his Second Satire.

  • DeJay79

    this is just dumb. Businesses like money, money comes from customers. No company or business cares about the sexual orientation of the person giving them money.

    Only the people who work for a company or business have opinions about others and may care about such things and if they refuse to serve a customer then said business should evaluate that persons future employment and the profits that will be lost because of that employee.

    • BHA_in_Vermont

      Apparently some do. SOMEONE must have been pushing for this stupidity.

  • TFRX

    Considering, for one instance, how long it took so many of NPR’s hosts and reporters to connect the words “voter” and “suppresion” together, I’m pleasantly surprised that the idea and inherent meaning of legally allowing religious-based discrimination are actually being said here by our host, rather than some softpedaling.

    • J__o__h__n

      Sometimes NPR (not On Point) really enhanced interrogations the language.

  • Atomicrob

    These discriminatory bills are payback for the forward movement of marriage equality. When you think about a law that specifically gives one group preference over another, it’s quite stunning. If Governor Brewer signs the bill, I would like to see a powerful response to boycott Arizona goods and services. I will be looking for leadership from GLADD and HRC to organize it.

  • BHA_in_Vermont

    1) How can this stand against the Constitution?? I would think the Supreme Court, even the current makeup, would shut this down with little debate.
    2) I guess these businesses aren’t interested in doing business. When you are in business it is to make money from customers. How does someone’s sexual orientation affect their patronization of a business?
    3) Can I open a business in Arizona and refuse to serve:
    - Homosexuals
    - Transgendered people
    - Transvestites
    - Black people. I don’t use African American because not all people of African descent who may come to my business are U.S. citizens. We get “African United Kingdom”, “African Jamacian”, “African Haitian”. etc, etc, etc visitors
    - White people
    - Native Americans
    - Asians
    - Christians
    - Jews
    - Catholics
    - Islamists
    - Buddhists
    - Vegetarians
    - Vegans
    - Meat eaters
    - People who have type A- blood
    - People who wear Birkenstocks
    - People who do not wear Birkenstocks
    - Cat owners
    - Dog owners
    - People who have both dogs and cats

    I can’t believe this even got through the legislature

    • J__o__h__n

      Thomas, Alito, and Scalia would support it. Roberts probably wouldn’t. Kennedy wouldn’t.

  • Jeff

    Doesn’t this bill simply allow business owners to choose who they do business with? Isn’t your property, your own property?

    BTW, it’s the same thing as a boycott…just the business doing it with customers instead of customers with a business. If there is an offensive business practice then by all means boycott that business…but don’t take away the business’s right to make that choice…it’s in the 1st Amendment, freedom of association.

    • creaker

      “whites only” – 50 years ago, we decided that wasn’t ok. Now we’re just arguing over where the line should be drawn.

      • Jeff

        The line is drawn through private vs public…you have the right to boycott a business just like a business has a right to boycott you. Just like I would boycott a business that had a “whites only” policy or even a “no gays” policy…that doesn’t mean that a business cannot make a stupid choice in who to serve. So many people are blind and cannot see the difference between government intervention and personal choice/feelings.

        • Ray in VT

          So, is that a vote in favor of allowing the sorts of discrimination that the Civil Rights Movement largely got rid of in favor of “letting the market decide”?

    • lobstahbisque

      Ew.

    • TFRX

      Why did I know you’d ask that?

    • Crozet_barista

      I thought that businesses only care about one thing, the bottom line. Denying doing business with some section of the society will do nothing but hurting one own’s business. Just go ahead and there is no need for legislation to act on this narrow-minded attitude.

      • Jeff

        Exactly, let the markets work this out, the government should have no say one way or the other when a business makes a stupid choice.

        • Ray in VT

          That worked really well in ending segregation and Jim Crow.

          • Jeff

            Government should have laws to prevent discrimination in government, private businesses should be boycotted…which they were, Jim Crow had to do with government policies which I agree we needed the civil rights laws to fix…however the private businesses should be allowed to make stupid choices and we should be allowed to boycott their stupid choices.

          • Ray in VT

            The vast majority of America disagrees with you. I am not in favor of businesses being allowed to hang up no coloreds allowed signs, or any other such thing. It seems like we pretty well settled that 50 years ago.

          • jefe68

            Man are you wrong on so many levels.

            Look up Brown v. Board of Education, 347 U.S. 483 (1954).

            While you’re at it look up Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and the Fair Housing Act of 1968.

          • Jeff

            I said “should” I realize what the law is but I’m saying it’s a double standard that an individual can refuse to cut the governor’s hair based on political beliefs while if they did the same thing based on religious beliefs it would be a problem.

        • TFRX

          More white guys wonders why there aren’t more gay (black, Latino, LGBT) libertarians.

          • Jeff

            Aw, cute…what really need is another law isn’t it?

    • AliceOtter33

      Ron Swanson is one of televisions most brilliantly conceived tongue-in-cheek character. He is lovable precisely because his Libertarian pronouncements are constantly juxtaposed with his acts of true compassion and wisdom directed at people he should, by definition, despise simply for their sappy liberal worldview. In other words, he acts like a member of a civilized and democratic society.

      • Jeff

        You pretty much described every libertarian…since they all act like a member of a civilized and democratic society. People who don’t know about libertarians don’t realize that.

        • AliceOtter33

          Except in their worship of free-market orthodoxy. So it is surprising to use the analogy of boycotting. Boycotting does not get to go both ways and still be constitutional.

          • Jeff

            Yes, boycotting does get to go both ways…as shown by a hair dresser refusing to do the governor’s hair…or should the hair dresser be forced to serve someone they disagree with politically?

    • OMA_OPINES

      Absolutely. Boycott businesses that you disagree with – infant formula, weaponry, or bakeries.

    • tbphkm33

      NO – because society and government enables you to stay in business. We The People build the infrastructure that supports your business. As long as you tap into roads, water, sewer, electricity, etc., you have a responsibility to serve everyone.

      If you want to go out in the desert of Arizona and build a business only accessible via air or hiking across the desert, not tapping into any services of society – yes, go ahead and discriminate all you want. Of course, you will not be in business long.

      • Jeff

        Ah, okay so let’s extend your logic to everything else in life…do we give up our 4th and 5th Amendment rights when we travel on public roads? Of course not…that alone knocks your straw man argument directly to the ground. My point remains…we have the freedom to assemble and associate ingrained into the 1st Amendment.

        • Ray in VT

          One would think that if such a position held any legal water then it would have been used to overturn what would clearly be the unconstitutional elements of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

          • Jeff

            The beauty of what you say is that it would only take another 1 or 2 Supreme Court Justices to agree with my viewpoint and a similar case appears at the SCOTUS and that part of the Civil Rights Act could very easily be overturned…it’s all based on the opinion of 9 people.

          • Ray in VT

            It is always wise to think about how thin could be the thread that ensuring the Civil Rights of minorities. It would just take 5 people to think that maybe separate is equal to turn the clock back to the 1950s.

          • Jeff

            Once again you seem confused…why wouldn’t every news organization simply out any business which does not properly conform with the PC code? If anything the media coverage about this AZ legislation should make you realize the media is powerful and should be the tool used (rather than government) to enforce your viewpoint on others. BTW, separate but equal once again pertained to public schools and public accommodations which everyone agrees that the Civil Rights Act is fully well within its power to control. Governments should never discriminate (equal under the law) but private people discriminate over any issue they please every single day…remember that hair dresser that refused to do the AZ governor’s hair…I support their right to refuse service, do you?

          • Ray in VT

            I think that your assessment of my condition is off base. The only thing that confuses me is how people can support a position such as how the government should not act to end some of the sorts of discrimination that the Civil Rights Act did, as they insist upon how the market and other forces will correct the issue, despite the fact that it has proven repeatedly to not be the case.
            I think that people should be able to refuse service under some circumstances, but I think that singling out a class of people for what they are, and sanctifying that discriminatory practice in the law, is wrong. For instance, no shirt, no shoes, no service is, I think, quite acceptable, as would be basing service upon one’s conduct, and one could argue that that would be the case with the hairdresser, however, I think that singling out a class of people based upon religion, race, gender or sexual orientation is wrong. People can always find a way to get around rules that protect classes of people, and they always will. One just needs to not be dumb enough to tell someone that they don’t serve gays, Jews, Hispanics or whatever.

  • ian berry

    Sounds like a good time to open a flower shop in Arizona. Let the market decide. Why would you want an anti-gay marriage business making your LGBT wedding flowers anyways?

  • TFRX

    Jeezus Cripes, the amount of “poor widdle repressed Christianists” is amazing.

    Please, Buzzfeed guest, tell us how many Tea Party smallnoninstrusivejobsarejob1 governments are behind these bills.

  • georgepotts

    So, a victory would be for Brewer to veto the bill so that the courts can’t rule on the implications of the law.

    If the law is passed allowing for discrimination against gays, it will provide a vehicle to go to the courts and force the opposite of the law to come into law.

    Is that what I just heard?

  • geraldfnord

    …and now I must leave these precincts for the relative calm and courtesy of some YouTube comments section, or /b/.

  • creaker

    This isn’t just about businesses – this is someone at the DMV saying you look gay and they won’t renew your license. Maybe even police and firefighters and ER folks saying they their religious beliefs prevent them from serving certain people?

  • Beyond_The_Political_Spectrum

    It’s funny how the supporters of this bill assert that it’s about “modifying religious freedoms?” But when reasonable gun ownership measures such as expanded background checks are introduced, it’s not considered a “modification,” but a “freedom infringement.” Isn’t it funny how someone else’s “freedom” seems to curtail another person’s liberties and freedom to live free from hurt?

  • OnpointListener

    LGBT groups are not a “protected class” under Constitutional or Federal statutory law. Unless Arizona already has a statute preventing discrimination against LGBT people, then IT IS ALREADY LEGAL TO REFUSE SERVICE to anyone for any reason provided the party being refused is not in a protected class (i.e. refusal based on race, sex, etc.)

    • BHA_in_Vermont

      You should say “race, gender, etc” because this whole stupid law is related to sex and what gender a person is attracted to for same.

    • jefe68

      Yes, they are protected under civil rights laws:

      Maynard v. Hill, 125 U.S. 190, 205, 211 (1888): Marriage is “the most important relation in life” and “the foundation of the family and society, without which there would be neither civilization nor progress.”

      Meyer v. Nebraska, 262 U.S. 390, 399 (1923): The right “to marry, establish a home and bring up children” is a central part of liberty protected by the Due Process Clause.

      Skinner v. Oklahoma ex rel. Williamson, 316 U.S. 535, 541 (1942): Marriage “one of the basic civil rights of man,” “fundamental to the very existence and survival of the race.”

      Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S. 479, 486 (1965): “We deal with a right of privacy older than the Bill of Rights—older than our political parties, older than our school system. Marriage is a coming together for better
      or for worse, hopefully enduring, and intimate to the degree of being sacred. It is an association that promotes a way of life, not causes; a harmony in living, not political faiths; a bilateral loyalty, not commercial or social
      projects. Yet it is an association for as noble a purpose as any involved in our prior decisions.”

      Loving v. Virginia, 388 U.S. 1, 12 (1967): “The freedom to marry has long been recognized as one of the vital personal rights essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men.”

      Boddie v. Connecticut, 401 U.S. 371, 376, 383 (1971):
      “[M]arriage involves interests of basic importance to our society” and is “a fundamental human relationship.”

      Cleveland Board of Education v. LaFleur, 414 U.S. 632, 639-40 (1974): “This Court has long recognized that freedom of personal choice in matters of marriage and family life is one of the liberties protected by the Due
      Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.”

      Moore v. City of East Cleveland, 431 U.S. 494, 499 (1977)
      (plurality): “[W]hen the government intrudes on choices concerning family living arrangements, this Court must examine carefully the importance of the governmental
      interests advanced and the extent to which they are served by the challenged regulation.”

      Carey v. Population Services International, 431 U.S. 678, 684-85 (1977): “[I]t is clear that among the decisions that an individual may make without unjustified government interference are personal decisions relating to marriage, procreation, contraception, family relationships, and child rearing and education.”

    • OnpointListener

      Found out by reading an article in NY Times today that there are three localities in AZ that outlaw discrimination based upon sexual orientation. Wonder if the baker was sued in one of those localities. Yes, BHA, I should have written gender to be more clear.

  • StilllHere

    I love the liberals here showing so much openness to the ideas of those they disagree with. Really, leadership by example.

    • J__o__h__n

      You can believe whatever you want. You can’t use those beliefs to discriminate.

      • jefe68

        That’s why some of the right wing is considered to be regressive, they can’t seem to see beyond their bigotry.

    • hellokitty0580

      Its not about liberal or conservative. Some concepts, some things are JUST PLAIN OLD WRONG. Discrimination based on religion, race, sex, ethnicity, age, etc. is wrong. It’s JUST WRONG. Frankly, I think there are liberals and conservative that can get behind that idea.

      • TFRX

        Yeah, but you’d have to get more of the old conservatives back until that happened.

        Y’know, the ones who’d come out against some of this when they weren’t keeping an eye on Tea Party trying to ward off being primaries.

      • warryer

        Can you explain why this is wrong? What is your foundation?

        • Ray in VT

          The foundation would seem to be that all should have the same rights and liberties. Why is it wrong? That is the conclusion of the modern world. It is the rather general judgement at present, although some certainly disagree.

          • hellokitty0580

            Thank you Ray in VT! The foundation is an intrinsic moral one, one that is based on equity for all people regardless of their differences. This is important because as we have seen, when one group tries to control another group it does NOT promote the welfare of society overall. And as Ray in VT said, this is the conclusion of modern society. It’s easy to be the group on top and say, “What’s so wrong with discrimination?” It’s a little different when you’re the group being discriminated against.

    • Ray in VT

      I tolerate the beliefs of the bigots. I just don’t think that they should be able to legally discriminate against people in ways that are inconsistent with the arc of civil rights in this country.

    • AliceOtter33

      This isn’t about moral relativism. This is about rule of law.

      • StilllHere

        I’m talking about the liberal invectives on this board.

        • Ray in VT

          We’re just calling the prejudiced what they are. Call a spade a spade my father always told me.

  • georgepotts

    Will the IRS investigate anyone who doesn’t allow for a gay wedding to be performed?

  • Tracy S

    This info from a reader at http://www.azcentral.com/opinions/articles/20140223religion-freedom-law-rue-kupec.html: >> “This Bill, SB 1062 violates existing Arizona Law HB 2582 (2011) which prohibits Courts from incorporating the tenet of ANY religion in deciding cases. Therefore, the Courts are PROHIBITED from allowing a person to refuse service to someone as a result of their religion Again, seems the lawyers of this piece are supporting a law that VIOLATES existing Arizona Law HB2582 … where’d they get their law degree? KMart?”

  • hellokitty0580

    At one point, slavery and discrimination was considered appropriate according to the bible. Modern society decided that was wrong.

    All this is are bigots hiding behind the Bible. Pure and simple. It’s disgusting and offensive to true Christians who practice love and tolerance for all.

  • Crozet_barista

    Arizona joins the leages of nations that brand citizens first, followed by locking them up in camps and then exterminating them. Sieg Heil!

  • creaker

    There’s a lot more than homosexuality tied up in religious beliefs – how far does it go? Should I have to serve anyone I know is going to hell?

  • nj_v2

    Sad that these bigots hide behind “religion” to try to justify their neurotic, misguided attempts at repression.

    The same people who persecuted Galileo and stoned “witches.”

    All too often, it looks like the species seems incapable of evolving.

    • myblusky

      It doesn’t seem like the entire species evolves at the same speed – which is unfortunate.

  • d clark

    Churches should not be allowed to deny gay weddings. If they do, they should lose tax exempt status.

    • georgepotts

      There we go. You are wrong and this idea is what everyone is afraid of.

      If you want to be brave, have a gay wedding in a mosque.

      • OMA_OPINES

        That is not ‘brave”. It is arrogant and mean-spirited. And I certainly hope that the leaders of the mosque would have the right to refuse.

    • Ray in VT

      Is that sarcasm?

      I think that houses of worship should get to choose who gets married in their establishments, unless, of course, they’re trying to marry off kids or some such thing.

  • Joachim110

    Time to boycott anything coming out of this revolting state. Religious practice has nothing to do with being a citizen and respect your neighbor. The country is not founded on religion, it guarantees freedom to practice religion but it does give freedom to discriminate.

  • Kathy

    Doug Napier is lying.

    • d clark

      LAMBDA is lying

      • Kathy

        Read the bill. It is not limited to gay weddings, it’s not limited to creative efforts. It allows anyone to discriminate freely and cite religion.

  • cmonjak

    agree with hello kitty, is the next step “no blacks” signs???
    “ignorance and prejudice in fear walk hand in hand…”

  • Neil

    Wonder how the bill supporters would feel if a practicing Satanist purchased all the gun shops in Arizona and then denied selling arms to Christians…..

    • TFRX

      Satanist?

      Even a Buddhist or a Hindu would flip their lids.

    • warryer

      Somebody would open up a gun store and reap all the profits that satanist is missing out on.

  • TFRX

    Strange Orwellian name (Alliance Defending Freedom)? Check.

    Amazing breath control? Check.

    Claiming a Founding Fathers reference before the other side does? Check.

    What a surprise.

  • myblusky

    This just opens up a whole can of ugly worms that should have stayed in the can.

    Come on humans – you can do better than this.

  • http://tombstone001.blogspot.com/ tombstone001

    Oh come on Doug, we need to start stoning them to death, throwing em of the bridges, Muslims are having so much more fun.

  • Bob Singler

    If the NFL threatens to cancel its plans for a Superbowl in AZ, this bill will be vetoed by the governor.

  • TFRX

    Tom, if you did half the interrupting of the right-wing guests you did the left-wing guests, you’d have a much better show.

  • Emily311

    Would it be OK for an Islamic business refuse to serve women not dressed properly? What about a Catholic business that won’t serve single mothers? This is offensive to LGBT people, religious people, and everybody else.

  • http://tombstone001.blogspot.com/ tombstone001

    Discrimination proves evolution, if every body is made by god, then it is a mistake of god, not someone’s own fault.

  • Joachim110

    How about if intelligent people in this country deny service to those right-wing nuts in this country?

  • Scott B

    Let’s not forget that the Constitutional guarantee of freedom of religion is also freedom *from* religion. There are over 300 recognized religions in this country, many of which are far from being congruent with each other. Are business owners going to hand out questionnaires, asking customers what religion they are, before they can buy a donut and coffee, let alone what sexual orientation they are? Or would it be easier to spot what religion someone is by making them wear something easily identifiable, say, a pink triangle, upside-down cross, hihab, or maybe a Star of David? We’ve seen this, over 70 years ago.

  • AliceOtter33

    If for no other reason, the governor could veto this bill for being a bad bill. Anyone can see that the language is, by any standard, too broad to be implemented in any practical way.

    The terms are simply impossible to define without being discriminatory.

    How does one determine that one’s customer is gay? Can’t customers lie about their personal values or gender identities or sexual orientation or politics?

    What is considered a religious belief?

    How does one demonstrate that they are religious enough to be burdened by being forced to do business with certain customers?

  • Lisa

    The legislation proposed in Arizona may be appropriate in a theocracy. We do not live in a theocracy. The framers of the Constitution wrote the U.S. Constitution to ensure that does not happen.

    • hennorama

      Lisa — here’s an excerpt from an latimes.com article on this topic, from Feb. 22, 2014:

      “How does government balance all of this?

      “On the one hand, the Constitution provides free exercise of religion,” [University of Arizona law professor Toni] Massaro said. “Government has to do that, but if it goes too far in providing rights, it starts establishing religion and giving religious actors rights that lead to religious favoritism. It has to navigate between those.”

      She added that there’s no question given the cases before the [U.S.] Supreme Court — about whether businesses must provide health coverage for contraception as part of Obamacare — that questions are being raised about the proper balance between religious autonomy and an individual’s right to services.

      “The Civil Rights Act of 1875 required American business to serve regardless of race,” she said. “What’s the difference between that 19th century — which we’ve ended — and this debate? For some people, it’s resurrecting the old debate about whether there should be limits on a commercial actor’s right to not serve.”

      See:
      http://www.latimes.com/nation/nationnow/la-na-nn-arizona-gays-sb-1062-20140222,0,2958198.story#ixzz2uLyDxiFF

  • Jack Jamison

    The trouble I have, coming from a bi-racial, Roman Catholic background, (black/white), and in an interracial relationship is that this bill could lead to a regression to what was 50+ years ago. While I don’t believe that the Gay Rights Movement is comparable to the Civil Rights Movement, my wife would disagree, this could/would encourage the Right, Tea-Partiers, Christians and blatant racists/bigots who “don’t agree” with interracial marriage or someone’s beliefs or way of life to not serve people based on whatever their religion, pastor, priest, etc., states.

    While the Founder’s may have allowed for “freedom of religion,” we must keep in mind that the reason most of the “Founder’s” and others left Europe was because they were discriminated based on their religious beliefs and practices. We must also keep in mind that the “Founders” also wanted to separate Church and State.

    I say Arizona should pass the law. Then let’s see how their economy weathers the storm.

  • hellokitty0580

    Yes, businesses express their “values” because they are “people”. We can’t forget that.

  • georgepotts

    If someone comes into an emergency room for an abortion, a doctor must perform the abortion or lose their license.

    • AC

      my sister was in a severe head on collision while pregnant and taken to a catholic hospital. she went into sepsis because the dead child inside her would not ‘naturally’ expel, my sister herself was near comatose. my mother called them animals and called an ambulance to a reg hospital where they saved her life.
      so i suppose, if you feel that strongly against it, you shouldn’t be weak and work in reg hospitals, or not work at all then…they lack real faith by sucumbing to greed of a paycheck.

      • hennorama

        AC — sorry to hear about your family’s nightmarish experience.

        It reminded me of the case that seems to have prompted Ireland to change its anti-abortion law:

        “An Indian dentist who was denied an emergency abortion at an Irish hospital last autumn died due to medical misadventure, her inquest has found.

        “A jury sitting in Galway reached a unanimous verdict in the case of Savita Halappanavar, 31, who died from sepsis after suffering a miscarriage.”

        See:
        http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/apr/19/savita-halappanavar-medical-misadventure-inquest

    • OMA_OPINES

      This is totally untrue.

  • creaker

    I expect if this goes through I expect the next would be turning women away for the way they dress or that they don’t have a man making that purchase for her.

    • 1Brett1

      Or denying service to a pregnant woman who isn’t wearing a wedding ring…

  • TFRX

    Napier says “you can create an awfully slippery slope” on this.

    Indeed.

  • CleverBev

    Brewer has no intention of signing this bill. She is pretending to mull it over so that she can be viewed as someone who has been moved by reasoned discussion and debate and is, therefore, not as scary as she actually is. She knows that her image needs some refurbishing, so it’s easy for her to pretend to listen to impassioned discussions and to reflect on the economic consequences. Then, she can “surprise” everyone with her reasonableness. I could be wrong, but I’d be surprised if I am.

    • 1Brett1

      I’d say yours is a reasonable assessment.

  • Coastghost

    Tom Ashbrook: you might also dare to ask whether “homophobia” is about “homophobia”.

  • Mark Giese

    What about E-Harmony? They discriminate based on sexual-orientation.

  • Futureboy68

    I’ll claim ignorance so someone please tell me in which religion co-existing in peace and harmony isn’t the over-riding philosophy? If this were the 60′s, these jackasses would be opposing “co-existing” with African-Americans. Their idiocy is laughable. And their fear of virtually everything that isn’t them is pathetic.
    “Persecuted and thrown to the curb”!? Ha!
    Where’s Monty Python when we need them?
    Pulled pork with some “celebrated memories” for dessert, anyone?

  • creaker

    We’ve already decided the government can force businesses to accept certain customers they may not want to serve. We’re just arguing over who falls into that.

  • georgepotts

    Christian Mingle discriminates based on sexual orientation. As well as Grindr.

  • SjMills

    Religious Freedom? Homophobia? Certainly the latter. This is religious bigots circling their wagons. It’s shameful and their god should smite them.

  • Pia Vastatrix

    This reminds me of the “We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone” signs that still lingered on the walls of some businesses in the 1960 and 70s after integration.

  • amazonjn

    In Mississippi, I grew up with people with deeply-held religious beliefs (and quoted the Bible to substantiate them) that race-mixing was against God’s law. As a result, they fought on religious grounds to be able to rent their apartments to same-race couples only. To force them to rent to interracial couples was to force them to lose their investment because of the flight of other tenants.
    Now all races are born again as evangelicals to do the same to sexual minorities. God is what is inside their minds and when they get all gooey inside thinking about sex all the time causes this mess.
    Grow up!

  • hellokitty0580

    You know, the only bit of solace I can take from this is that while it’s sad this blatant homophobia indicates American society is taking a step backwards, we will eventually get it right because we’ve made great strides in terms of racial and gender equality in this country. Additionally, it is very self-satisfying to know that historically I am on the right side of this argument and that people like Doug Napier are bigoted morons and history will show them as such. This is Doug Napier’s legacy. A bigot.

    • HonestDebate1

      A step back? From where? When was there less homophobia?

      I don’t think it’s a matter of homophobia anyway.

  • Jeff

    Here’s a big question…should a business owner be allowed to kick out any and all people who want to use the “N” word?

  • J__o__h__n

    The Alliance Defending Freedom should have a more accurate name like the Heterosexual Citizens Council.

    • TFRX

      Hey, some of us have already nicknamed them the Uptown Bigots, after the famous nicknamed earned by the folks you’re thinking of.

      • Ray in VT

        Come on now. That would be like suggesting that white nationalist groups are connected to CPAC.

  • gemli

    After hearing Napier’s comments, I’m glad this story is getting airplay. It demonstrates the desperation of religious groups who feel that their retrograde worldview is being threatened. It is so odious that airing it out can only hasten the demise of religious extremism.

  • Ray in VT

    I find it interesting that Mr. Napier continues to largely cite the justification of discrimination against gays and lesbians from some 20 years ago. Perhaps he is unaware of how much the cultural landscape has changed during that time. There was certainly a time when segregation and racist practices were legal, and things changed.

    Oh, and now they’re really the ones looking out for civil rights, just as long as some get to discriminate against others.

    • BHA_in_Vermont

      Generalization:
      People who hold a specific religious belief are blind to other views. Mr. Napier likely doesn’t see beyond the walls of his tunnel.

      There was a Pew (I think) poll a few years ago regarding different religions that was given to people following those faiths and those who were not religious.
      - More atheists than Catholics knew Mother Teresa was Catholic.
      - Atheists knew more about a given religion than people who follow other religions. The Mormons came in second on knowing about other religions.

  • J__o__h__n

    What if the lunch counters considered sandwich making a vehicle of personal expression?

  • AC

    what is the legal definition of ‘religion’? what if i worship a button or something, does that count?
    i know this sounds bad, but since i’m agnostic, i’m suddenly very curious how ‘religion’ is defined…

    • BHA_in_Vermont

      No, you have to worship a single supreme being, no multiple gods. I don’t think a button would count ;-)

      • AC

        but buttons are so symbolic, not to mention helpful and gentle. are you sure?

    • RolloMartins

      I think it just comes down to proving one’s sincerity (US v. Ballard). Scientology comes to mind. It’s weird, but there are a lot of people who sincerely believe in it.

  • http://www.gimmesound.com Peter Van Ness

    My wife and I were not married in a church. Would this law allow a Catholic wedding cake maker to refuse to make a cake for our ceremony because in the eyes of a Catholic, we would not be married and, hence, living in sin?

  • Scott B

    Napier is a prime example of Orwells’s “doublethink”, holding two opposing ideas at the same time. He can’t seem to wrap his head around that there is no difference between a lunch counter and a catering job, when both are refusing to do business with someone, be it race or religion.

  • dt03044

    I need clarity on this. Could a restaurant owner refuse to serve a gay couple if they were there to have dinner celebrating an anniversary?

  • ShauShaw

    People should not be able to discriminate and hide behind their “religous beliefs.”

    • warryer

      And why shouldn’t they? On what grounds can you say this?

      • Joachim110

        Because this country has people of different faith or no faith which is called a country and it does not give a particular group a right over the other, called freedom for all. And your freedom ends where you infringe my or anybody elses freedom.

        • warryer

          Why does my freedom end there? Who says so?

          What about my freedom to choose not to submit to something that goes against my beliefs?

          • Joachim110

            Your beliefs are not superior to mine, in fact they have no bearing if you try to shape a society governed by your beliefs. We have a constitution that gives equal rights and while you and me have equal right in our pursuit of happiness, you do not have a right to stipulate your religious belief as a law over me or anybody else. Again, read the treaty of Tripoli written in the 1700′s , which stated that this nation is by no means founded on the christian religion.

          • warryer

            The Declaration of Independence states:

            “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights…”

            My beliefs are superior to yours if mine turn out to be True.

          • Ray in VT

            Good luck proving as fact a religious belief.

          • warryer

            That’s the beauty of reality. Truth is always proven True.

          • Ray in VT

            Funny, for a long time people considered it to be a truth that the world was flat. Truth and fact as quite different, and I try to deal in fact, as truth is very often a matter of belief. One might consider it to be True that one can sell one’s child. The fact is that such transactions are illegal.

          • warryer

            That doesn’t make any sense. You are swapping out the meanings of words.

            If it is a fact it is true. If it is true it is a fact. There is no subjectivity about it.

            Since you want to talk about Right vs. Wrong… If it wasn’t illegal to sell one’s child would you be for or against it? On what grounds do you hold this position?

          • Ray in VT

            I’m sort of looking at Indiana’s Jones’ distinction, and I am distinguishing between something that is true and something that is True or a Truth. It may be a Christian Truth that there is a God, but please prove that it is true.

            I would like to believe that had I lived in a time when such things were legal that I would not have accepted it, but it is pretty impossible to accurately say. Once it was legal to sell people, and it was accepted. That ended here in America some time back. If you want to build a case, though, for why it should be legal to traffic people, then please fire away.

          • warryer

            It is not impossible to say. You either would agree to sell people or not. And so far you have only given me the reason that you would decide based on the law of the land.

            Do you see how fallible the law of man is at determining right and wrong?

          • Ray in VT

            Versus the unerring word of an ancient text? Tell me, do you wear a shirt of more than two fabrics? Is so, then I think that I have to stone you to death. That is the Truth.

            I’ll take our national laws, which allow me to believe or disbelieve in any faith and which do not force me to live by a religious law to which I do not ascribe.

            The reason that it is wrong is because that is what is the determination of the modern world. Societies make judgements and values all of the time, and they change. I find that there are few absolutes in history.

            If you want me to accept your Truth, then please back it up with facts, not beliefs. I left religion because it could not provide facts.

          • warryer

            The Laws of the Old Testament are impossible for man the sinner to uphold. That is why Jesus came down to die in our stead. So that by God’s grace we are absolved of our sins and only by his grace not our “good” works. This is the good news.

            If you are intersted in learning more i would point you to Ravi Zacharias. He is a well versed Christian apologist. He has some good podcasts that you can listen to.

            http://www.rzim.org/

          • Ray in VT

            I have long listened to what the various religions have to say. I have found nothing that inspires me to believe in the Truths that they offer, but I thank you for your suggestion of resources.

          • hennorama

            warryer — in another post, you wrote “I believe that homosexuality is a psychological disorder.”

            Your belief does not make your belief a fact. Your belief is TRUE for you, but not for others. It may also not be true for you at some point in the future if your BELIEF changes.

            Facts do not change in the ways beliefs, which are used to determine TRUTH, do.

            Remember, it’s not “We hold these FACTS to be self-evident …”

          • Joachim110

            And how would you judge that my mine are not true? You statement shows exactly that you do not believe that “all men” are created equal and that is bluntly discrimination.

          • warryer

            Have you ever tried taking two three pronged plugs and plugging them together? It doesn’t work does it?

            I believe that homosexuality is a psychological disorder.So yes, all men are created equal.

            I do not judge what is true that is not my place. I defer that judgment to the Word of God. Reality proves time and time again what is true.

          • J__o__h__n

            Who has three prongs?

          • Ray in VT

            I did see a story about a guy with two prongs.

          • Ray in VT

            You may believe that, but the APA has concluded otherwise. Despite the “plumbing” lessons that some may want to give, it seems pretty apparent that people find a way to make it work.

          • Joachim110

            I am not gay but then it is not my business to judge the lifestyle of others. The unfortunate fact is that religious groups in this country always try to engage in the business of others. You have the right to live your religion in your church or in your house and for the matter of fact i do not believe in a Word of God so your facts are wrong because they do not apply to me or to to anybody else.

          • warryer

            But you do live in this reality. Reality always proves Truth to be true.

          • Sharon

            A Constitution squarely based on Christian principles, which enabled our strength and rise as a nation – until now . . .

          • Ray in VT

            Like the Christian principles of representative government, due process, habeus corpus, religious liberty, a free press and so forth?

          • Joachim110

            But then the Christian principle which I understand was declared by Jesus the overriding one, to love your neighbor seems to have been abandoned in the process and replaced by hate. I do not believe in Christianity and I would strongly reject that the constitution is based on christian principles. Contrary the constitution clearly read this extract of the treaty of tripoli:

            “As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquillity, of Musselmen; and as the said States never have entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mehomitan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.”

          • warryer

            We are taught to love our neighbor and hate the sin.

          • Joachim110

            But you advocate the contrary and by hating your neighbor for their lifestyle you default on the first part of your statement which makes it a sin.

          • warryer

            You assume that i hate the person. And you know what they say about assumptions.

            I hate the sin not the sinner.

          • John Shannon

            The U.S. Constitution was not based on Christian principles, that is a common mistake many people make.

          • Ray in VT

            So you should have the freedom to infringe upon the freedom of others? How well does that work when others would use such a freedom to infringe upon your freedoms? You are free to believe what you want, but not to act. That is something that has long been a part of our law and society.

      • hellokitty0580

        Because it does a disservice to those religious beliefs.

        • warryer

          Disservice by who’s definition?

          My religious beliefs state I am doing the right thing.

          • hellokitty0580

            People also once believed that the world was flat and they were proved wrong.

          • warryer

            So prove me wrong that my beliefs are false.

          • hellokitty0580

            Sir, you and I both know that would be an absolute waste of my time.

          • warryer

            I disagree. Why is finding out the Truth a waste of time?

          • HonestDebate1

            True, there was a scientific consensus. 97% agreed.

          • hellokitty0580

            Just because you believe something doesn’t make it true or right. I could believe that cats can speak as humans do all I want. It doesn’t make it true.

  • OMA_OPINES

    There is a very wide gulf between denying someone coffee at a shoppe or a sandwich at a counter and making a wedding cake for a clearly same-sex couple. What is public and what is private? I find myself in the unusual position of being with the gentleman on the Right. His arguments are measured and thoughtful and not unkind. I especially liked his analogy to a Quaker or other pacifist being asked to produce a war- supportive item. This would be applauded by Jennifer and her ilk. Inconsistent. These customers have numerous places to take their business.

    • Sharon

      Well said.

  • creaker

    Matthew 6:24 says you can’t serve God and money, has to be one or the other, so Christian business owners can’t invoke religion as a justification anyway :-)

  • Gail Wright

    I am a woman minister in the United Church of Christ which supports (as do I) gay marriage. The Bible has many statements about how women are not to speak, teach, lead men in church which I clearly go against. Could a business now refuse to make a cake for the ordination or church installation or funeral of a woman minister?

  • burroak

    A scenario for your guest Doug:
    Let’s say that one of his family members is dying from a rare brain disease or infection; and the only hospitals that have the technology to treat and cure this affliction; but
    the doctors say to Doug, sorry we are not giving our services to your dying family member because we do not subscribe to your religious identity.
    No, do you know what they would do? They would look at this patient, first and foremost, as a human being, that is suffering and need of dire medical need; and they would treat them, regardless of sexuality, skin pigment, or cultural, ethnic or religious backgrounds.
    They would be medically served, not starved.

  • Coastghost

    Perhaps we’re only discovering belatedly that “equality” is no tenable political virtue capable of enforcement.

  • J__o__h__n

    Can you use the Bible to justify not selling shrimp to a gay wedding party?

    • http://www.gimmesound.com Peter Van Ness

      Or could a Kosher cashier refuse to ring up shrimp for anyone?

  • Sharon

    These laws are being proposed because of activist, vindictive homosexuals who are suing mainly Christian small business owners who decline to participate in homosexual “marriages”, such as the photographer’s case. This is an agenda to destroy people’s businesses who don’t agree with the homosexual agenda. They could ask a business who doesn’t mind participating, but they can’t just be respectful of others’ beliefs who disagree with them.

    • DeJay79

      I’m going to need more information about these lawsuits before passing judgement.

      What if the cake maker or photographer refused service one or two days before the service after agreeing to do it earlier. Would that not dampen or damage the customer’s big day?

      the Fact is, I don’t know the facts of the case, do you?

  • Michele Flynn

    #1: In the name of religious belief, killing of gays is happening in Africa. How does the Arizona law do anything except target one group of people as not okay so therefore it’s okay to discriminate, today in refusing to do business with them, as was done by Christians who refused to do business with Jews, and leading to what next- killing?
    #2: All Christians do not believe homosexuality is not okay. In fact, religious institutions are ordaining gay ministers. So who gets to say that “my religion preaches X” when there is NO agreement about how to interpret the Bible, or Koran or any other doctrine written in the past and trying to be used by everyone to condone their actions today. Discrimination by any name is the same.

  • Coastghost

    Service is refused to patrons without shirts and shoes each and every day.

    • BHA_in_Vermont

      That would be a health issue

      • Coastghost

        Well, it’s not too late, then, for the CDC to close all American beaches for the summer.

    • jefe68

      The level of idiocy that some seem to wallow in astounds me at times.

  • Gail Wright

    I am a woman minister – could this be used to refuse to provide flowers for my funeral or a cake for my installation in a church – since some conservative Christians follow strictly the New Testament verses against women leading worship, speaking in church, or teaching in church?

    • jefe68

      Good question.

  • http://www.gimmesound.com Peter Van Ness

    Another scenario for comment by your guests: Imagine I’m a landlord, whose religion holds that girls should not be educated. Would this law allow me to refuse to lease my building to a school that educates girls?

    • Ray in VT

      Or if you are a landlord, can you refuse to rent to people who send their daughters to school?

      • http://www.gimmesound.com Peter Van Ness

        Exactly. Would this law allow a landlord to put language in a residential lease agreement that says sending your daughter to school is grounds for eviction?

        • Ray in VT

          I don’t know. I haven’t read the text of the bill. Some certainly seem to think that the language is quite expansive.

    • http://www.gimmesound.com Peter Van Ness

      Take it one step farther: I lease my building to an all-boys school and when they change their model and decide to admit girls, I evict them because in the lease it says the tenant cannot educate girls and they have violated that clause, so they are subject to eviction.

      • brettearle

        Hi Peter…

        It’s Brett. Do you know who I am?

        If so, don’t mention my last name…

        When did you join the Forum?

        [Or maybe I have the wrong Peter Van Ness?]

  • adks12020

    So what if someone owns a cake shop isn’t religious but their baker is can the baker refuse to make a wedding cake for a gay couple because of this bill? Can the owner fire that baker or will he/she get sued under this law?

  • OMA_OPINES

    Jennifer’s discussion that it is a “business” decision is ridiculous. Is selling a gun to a militia member (who has no negatives in his or her background check) just a “business” decision? I think not. “You cannot serve God and money” -Jesus

  • TFRX

    Tom, I just heard your guest Napier invoke the “tyranny of the majority”.

    I guess the search for a reasonable Christianist guest is still ongoing.

    • BHA_in_Vermont

      John Boehner embraces the tyranny of the majority

  • georgepotts

    If the law is passed, would it lead to less lawsuits or more?

    Right now, people refuse to do business with people all the time.

    No Soup for You.

    Freedom is freedom.

    If you want your freedom, you can keep your freedom.

    • J__o__h__n

      No soup for you was applied to everyone equally. If you followed the rules (which were designed to move the line quickly), you could get soup. It wasn’t no soup for [insert whatever group].

      • jefe68

        Wish one could say, no comments for you!
        Next!

  • Coastghost

    One of my dearest hopes is that a Federal judge will be obliged to adjudicate a dispute between a heterosexual couple and a homosexual couple over a contested adoption.

    • John Shannon

      how would that be different that adjudicating a dispute between two heterosexual couples, or two homosexual couples?

      • Coastghost

        That’s exactly what I would hope to discover.
        I find it distinctly odd that homosexuals have agreed among themselves to plead determinism when it comes to their sexuality. Yet the thoroughgoing practice of homosexual sexuality necessarily precludes any and all possibility of engendering conception and procreation. Since the strict practice of homosexual sexuality rules out conception and procreation, how are homosexuals able to plead their hunger and thirst to serve as parents? Because I don’t see the biological possibility, I don’t see the legal or social or political necessity of recognizing homosexual adoption rights. (The assertion of “homosexual marriage rights” succumbs to the same rationale, as far as I’m concerned. I’m also awaiting the accumulation and tabulation of data on homosexual divorce rates.)

        • John Shannon

          I don’t see how ruling out conception negates a hunger and thirst to serve as a parent. And I don’t see any legal precedent requiring an ability to procreate as a condition of adoption. Would a “barren from birth” woman also be viewed as not having a desire to be a parent, and therefore no right to adopt?

          • Coastghost

            I don’t know that homosexuals are possessed of this supposed hunger and thirst to parent. I do see their eagerness to enhance their social visibility and status and influence, but Americans these days are averse to consider how recruitment and socialization play into homosexual political strategies. (E.g.–the very word “homosexual” did not appear in a single news item from the Jerry Sandusky trial that I read or heard.)

          • J__o__h__n

            The gays are obviously only raising children for public relations.

          • John Shannon

            You should have stopped after the first three words, they basically sum up your position. You don’t need to know it, and as no one can know this, even of a heterosexual couple, it is therefore not relevant to any discussion, and especially any case before any judge.

  • georgepotts

    If you like your freedom, you can keep your freedom.

  • Greg

    A caller stated that the customer makes the decision (of who should be
    served) not the service provider (company). I disagree because the
    customer did not start the business, but rather is a consumer. The business make decisions based on what it
    thinks is best for the company. If a company
    wants to save a product for another customer who put a “hold” on it, the
    company can refuse serve the latest request.
    Likewise, if a request for a limited resource is made the company can
    choose to serve the later request and thus not meeting the request of the first
    party. That is called a business
    decision, not social decision. When
    government forces a business to serve in a certain manner, then an argument can
    be made that “I” am the one who should be served. I can argue that I have a special situation which
    requires me to be served. The
    marketplace has a good track record of determining which companies will remain
    is business, and when another business should be started to increase
    availability and service.

    • jefe68

      I guess you don’t believe in the old adage, “the customer is always right”.

      By the way, businesses do not have the right to discriminate, and this was clearly pointed out by Jennifer Pizer.

      • Greg

        Here is a question to to prove the customer is not always right. If a customer orders dinner and was served and there was nothing wrong with the dinner, but the customer refused to pay, is the customer right? Does the company have to serve the customer again, and risk not being paid again? That would lead to losses and possibly, closing their doors, preventing the company from serving customers who do pay.

  • Euphoriologist

    The Bible makes it clear that divorce is the breaking of a sacred covenant, and insult to God, and the #1 “enemy” of marriage in America. (Matthew 19:3, 5:31, etc.)

    If the purpose of this bill were truly about preserving religious liberty rather than attempting to enshrine homophobic bigotry into state law, they would be rallying to deny service to the THIRD of American Christians who are divorcees, rather than the tiny proportion of Arizonan gay couples who want to shop from open bigots.

    Could it have anything to do with the fact that conservative Christians have the highest rate of divorce in America out of all others faith groups?

    http://www.religioustolerance.org/chr_dira.htm

    So much for “sincerely-held beliefs in religious principles” being the bedrock of this laughably discriminatory bill.

  • hennorama

    Arizona SB 1062 seems redundant, because current Arizona law has no special protections for gay people at public accomodations and businesses.

    If businesses already can’t be sued for using sexual orientation as a basis for refusing service, why is this law necessary?

    • Ray in VT

      To make some people feel good about discriminating against people and to give them ample cover?

      • hennorama

        Ray in VT — let’s say Gov. Brewer signs this law. There is nothing prohibiting anyone from suing over being refused service, and any entity defending such a suit would have to demonstrate that they have deeply-held religious beliefs that would be adversely affected by providing service.

        At best, it’s problematic for such a defendant.

        If Gov. Brewer signs this (or takes no action by the Feb. 28th deadline, and it automatically becomes law), I envision businesses emblazoning their locations with “We Don’t Discriminate” signs, making it obvious as to which businesses DO discriminate.

  • nj_v2

    Off topic: When did Disqust change their down-vote policy? I just noticed it the other day.

    Looking back a few weeks through archived shows, it appears they’ve scrubbed all the down votes out.

    One can still down-vote, but the cumulative total doesn’t register. What’s the point? Why didn’t they just eliminate it completely?

    It was a useful way to gauge popular opinion for a post, and also provided a way to disagree when one didn’t have the time to post an actual response.

    • J__o__h__n

      They should have it, but not make it anonymous. If it doesn’t do anything, there is no point to having it.

    • tbphkm33

      I agree, it was a valuable tool. Believe it happened toward the end of last week.

    • hennorama

      nj_v2 — while I put virtually no stock in the Votes, I agree with you in principle.

      An obvious alternative is the two-letter reply: BS.

      Anyone else have a one- or two-letter suggestion?

    • TFRX

      Tangent: Do the little banners still appear that say ” # new comment(s) above” (or below) for other users?

      I’m using a rebuilt OS and have applied NoScript to keep a lot of things from cluttering my screen.

      • hennorama

        TFRX — yes.

        Those banners may explain some of the complaints about speedy [Votes down] on new comments. Clicking on the banners speedily navigates one to said new comments, and were one inclined to [Vote down] on a particular new comment, this would speed the process along.

  • Sharon

    Never in the history of mankind has homosexuality been elevated and legitimized to the status of marriage, because it has never been recognized as something good for society and the rearing of children. The same can be said for couples living together, unmarried, and raising children. And this is what people of faith, including myself, disagree with – the push to make this behavior, homosexuality, legitimate in the context of the sacrament of marriage. We are already on the downhill slope morally as a country, and we continue to applaud “everyone did what was right in their own eyes”. The bottom line is whether people believe there is a God who rules in the affairs of men ( no pun intended), or are people their own god?

    • hellokitty0580

      I am a person of faith and I believe that God wants all people to be tolerated with love and compassion regardless of their sexuality, gender, race, ethnicity, or disability. They are human and for the simple fact of their humanity they deserve love and respect. That is what my faith tells me and I challenge anyone to question the veracity of my faith.

    • AC

      which god should i listen to?
      i don’t really like a lot of the types of gods out there and people are always insisting ‘theirs’ is the best.
      i really don’t think civilization needs anything other than willing participants.
      in fact, historically, religions have been the root cause of much hatred and war and evil. it’s not possible they really ever had a moral ground to stand on, too much blood on their hands…
      don’t worry, people used to drink turpentine to cure a sore throat – we learn as we go, you know? religion has caused to much division, it’s time for tolerance and peace.

    • Ray in VT

      Never in the history of mankind have women been allowed to have as large a say as they presently do. Never in the history of mankind has the whole adult citizenry been able to elect their leaders. Things change.

      The bottom line is that we do not live in a society that takes its rules from the rules of one religion. If you don’t want to get divorced or marry someone of the same sex, then don’t. Sacraments are for churches. Civil marriage contracts are a matter for the state. I rather trust the conclusions and judgements of how best to govern our modern society as determined by the members of our society and not an ancient religious text.

      • Sharon

        I agree we govern best by the members of our society, of which we all are a part, diverse as we are. Would you say it’s good government that my state of Virginia had an amendment prohibiting same-sex marriage, approved by the majority of the voters in our state, struck down by a federal judge? Now it will go to the Supreme Court, and by circumventing the members of society, a small minority will have judges decide, since they know they cannot win at the ballot box in our state.

        • Ray in VT

          If a majority of people in your state decided that people of your religious faith were not entitled to certain legal rights and passed a law that criminalized you beliefs, then would you feel that it was entirely in the rights of the majority to make such a decision and that the courts should allow it to stand.

          At about the time of the Loving case, polls indicate that some 90% of Americans opposed interracial marriage. So, given that, were the anti-miscegenation laws good and the Loving ruling bad. That went against the will of the people, as did the Brown decision, as racial segregation had rather broad approval in some places. How long would it have taken African Americans to win such a right at the polls. In some states that would have taken decades.

          My point here is that majority rule is not and cannot be the only way to rule in our nation. Minorities have rights. It’s laid out right there in the Bill of Rights.

          So, yes. I would say that the courts overruling a discriminatory law is a good thing. Legalized discrimination and bigotry do not have a place in modern America. There are certainly places where one can still legally discrimination against gays and lesbians. Those days in American are likely quite numbered.

          • Sharon

            Equating homosexuality with African -American civil rights is a false analogy. Does recognizing, rightly, civil rights for all people require the normalization of homosexuality and the legalization of same-sex “marriage”? I don’t think so, and neither do many black pastors and leaders, including Dr. Alveda King, Martin Luther King, Jr.’s niece. For me, it’s about what we are enshrining into law. Is it discriminatory to not allow adults to marry 10-year-old children? We’re talking about values here, hence the hot debate.

          • Sharon

            You made good points though.

          • Ray in VT

            May I assume that you intended this as a response to me?

          • J__o__h__n

            Why not? You usually make good points.

          • Sharon

            Yes!

          • Ray in VT

            I thought so. It would have been a bit like old Spock telling young Spock to live long and prosper otherwise. It made me chuckle. Ah, the issues in posting can be legion.

          • Sharon

            Yes, and on that note, may you sincerely live long and prosper -I’m back to work!

          • Ray in VT

            And I hope that you do as well. Have a good day.

          • J__o__h__n

            Of course recognizing civil rights “for all people” includes gays. Pastors of any race don’t get to decide civil rights. Who cares what his niece thinks? Children lack the ability to consent so they are not able to marry.

          • Ray in VT

            Many disagree, and some are certainly perplexed as to how people who faced a long history of discrimination can turn around and endorse the discrimination of others. Same sex marriage is about as close to marrying and having sexual relations with kids as marrying one’s dog. Children cannot legally make any number of decisions about their lives. Consenting adults can.

            The debate certainly is hot, but speaking as one who lives in a state where gay marriage is well established, I can say that the sky will not fall. People will not marry pets. Christians, or those of other faiths, will not be criminalized for holding their beliefs.

        • jimino

          Where you live, don’t they teach y’all about how civil rights came to be applied to everyone, regardless of skin color, despite opposition by the vast majority in many states? Check out that history and learn about how “rights” are determined.

    • eonL5

      In your church, marriage is a sacrament. In tax law, it is not. My marriage has nothing to do with your god. Same for anybody else who doesn’t care what your version of christianity says.

    • jefe68

      Fine disagree all you want. Just don’t tell me how to believe. I don’t believe in God and I’m not religious. I also don’t tell you how live your life nor do I want you or your moral ideology telling me how to live mine.

      We live in a pluralistic society that was founded on the idea that religion should not be used as a foundation to the rule of law. That’s called a theocracy.

      Meyer v. Nebraska, 262 U.S. 390, 399 (1923): The right “to marry, establish a home and bring up children” is a central part of liberty protected by the Due Process Clause.

      Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S. 479, 486 (1965): “We deal with a right of privacy older than the Bill of Rights—older than our political parties, older than our school system. Marriage is a coming together for better
      or for worse, hopefully enduring, and intimate to the degree of being sacred. It is an association that promotes a way of life, not causes; a harmony in
      living, not political faiths; a bilateral loyalty, not commercial or social projects. Yet it is an association for as noble a purpose as any involved in
      our prior decisions.”

      Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey, 505 U.S. 833, 851 (1992): “These matters, involving the most intimate and personal choices a person may make in a lifetime, choices central to personal dignity and autonomy, are central to the liberty protected by the Fourteenth Amendment.
      At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence,of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life.”

      • Tyler Bolles

        I wasn’t disagreeing with you, rather the post above yours. We’re cool.

        • jefe68

          My reply was to Sharon’s moral high ground inanity. Is Disgus displaying at as a response to your? comment?

          • Tyler Bolles

            Now I’m confused! Never mind.

      • Sharon

        I’m telling you what I believe – I said nothing about what you should believe. The “rule of law” in our country was based firmly on Christian belief and principles, not some other religion, and not judges’ opinions.

        • J__o__h__n

          Where does it say that in the Constitution?

          • Ray in VT

            And why does the Constitution guarantee me the right to disobey Christian belief and principles? One would think that such a Christian founding might enshrine obedience to a faith’s most central tenets.

          • Sharon

            The Founders knew
            Christianity is based on free will, never coercion.

          • Ray in VT

            It is interesting, then, that so many Christian churches and states have sought to enforce the faith coercive ways. One must wonder why it took into the 18th century of the Christian faith for them to figure out this Christian principle. A better historical position would be to conclude that it was in the moving away from religious dogma during the Enlightenment, with its stronger reliance upon reason than faith, that led to the principles of religious liberty that our nation enjoys.

          • J__o__h__n

            Tell that to the natives.

          • jefe68

            Nope, they based their philosophy and the Constitution on the writings of John Locke. Locke argued that because governments were instituted to protect the unalienable rights of individuals, they had no power other than what was necessary to protect such rights.

            Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined and imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity.

            -Thomas Jefferson, Notes on Virginia, 1782

        • Ray in VT

          I find that a great deal upon which we built our modern system rests very firmly on the pioneering work of some Mediterranean pagans, many of whom fare preceded Christ.

        • John Shannon

          The U.S. Constitution was not based on Christian principles, that is a common mistake many people make.

        • jefe68

          Our Constitution, clearly has a separation of church and state. You should read up on some of the founders such as Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Pain.

          And yes you were telling me what to believe by the very premise of your comment, to which the subtext is, we should have a society based on biblical concepts.

          Take away from Genesis the belief that Moses was the author, on which only the strange believe that it is the word of God has stood, and there remains nothing of Genesis but an anonymous book of stories, fables, and traditionary or invented absurdities, or of downright lies. [Thomas Paine, The Age of Reason]

    • Tyler Bolles

      The bottom line in this discussion has nothing to do with god, just discrimination. Extending the same rights of marriage to same-sex couples would certainly be “good for society”…LGBT folks are members of society just like you. I know way more children of married, hetero couples who were messed up by their parents than I do children of unwed, gay couples (of which I know several). If the welfare of children is of concern in the marriage debate, then I can think of way worse things than being gay…drug addicts, alcoholics, abusers…the list goes on of ACTUAL problems people have that might preclude them from being married and having children if the welfare of the child is of primary importance. Let’s stop using “think of the children!!!” as a reason to stop certain couples in love from getting married.

    • jefe68

      By the way, when women were seeking the right to vote morality was used as a reason to deny them that right.
      Excerpts from the bible were often used as an example to back up the moral claim. Just as it was load of hogwash in the years leading up to the 19th Amendment being passed, it’s still a load of hogwash when used to justify bigotry against LGBT people.

      • Ray in VT

        The Bible can and has been used by just about every side in every debate. I’m currently using it to attempt to ban cotton-polyester blends.

        • jefe68

          And bad plaid print golfing pants.

          • Ray in VT

            I am sure that one could find a verse.

          • jefe68

            I think there is a sermon bad plaid used on some Sunday’s at the Powerhouse Church of the Presumptuous Assumption of the Blinding Light…

          • brettearle

            Oh, They Don’t Wear Bad, Plaid Pants, In The…

            Honey,
            Have you, by chance,

            Seen my plaid…. print golfing pants?

            No, dear, No,
            There is no chance,

            That I have seen…your plaid, print…golfing pants

            But…my golf…will simply not enhance;
            Unless…I wear….my bad print…golfing pants!

            Why, not…then….move
            To southern France?…

            Where, your putting stance,
            Will do a dance….

            Cause there…. is where…at all…
            they simply wear no pants….

    • BHA_in_Vermont

      Then I presume you advocate taking children from a divorced couple or a widow/er and giving them to good, proper, god fearing Christians. Surely a single parent can not properly raise children.

      And you need to recognize the distinction between religious marriage and civil marriage.

      If your religion wants to say gay marriage within its organization is not allowed, that is its business. I can’t imagine too many LGBT people would want to spend time in such an environment anyway.

      However, the LAW of the US says all people must be treated equally therefore discriminating against a gay couple simply because they do not conform to your religious beliefs is not legal.

      • jimino

        What with the “til death do us part” part of the vows, I would think execution would be the called-for remedy for failing at one’s marriage.

    • brettearle

      You cannot expect society to follow the dictates of Religion.

      It is contrary and antithetical to individual freedom.

      It doesn’t matter what any Church, Synagogue, or Mosque advocates.

      If you want to live in a Theocracy, then move to Iran.

      • Ray in VT

        I think that one of the very wise decisions of our Founding Fathers was to decouple the state from a religion or a sect of that religion. I think that it shows that they had learned the lessons from some 200 years of religious strife in Europe. I think that it was also a very practical move, as various members and communities were considered to be rather heretical by others.

    • AliceOtter33

      My family recently moved to the deep South. I was pleasantly surprised to learn my kids’ small, rural school includes several students with openly gay parents and even a gay faculty member. There have been some complaints, but the administration supports these families, the kids go to the birthday parties, and nobody says boo about it.

      This isn’t about people “doing what is right in their own eyes,” and to heck with the rest of the community. This is about a community respecting that we may have different paths to common goals – family, stability, jobs, education for our children, friends.

      I cannot imagine a God who does not champion all people who seek to bolster these basic building blocks of a peaceful society.

      • lobstahbisque

        Alice— beautiful words, and so true.

  • tbphkm33

    Yep, the not-so-Grand-Old-Party has embraced homophobia, bigotry, xenophobia, etc. as their mainstream ideals. Proving once again that the Nopublican “Party” is increasingly irrelevant.

    Basic premise here, we The People (that compose society and government) pay for the infrastructure such as roads, sidewalks, electrical grid, water and sewage systems, etc., which enable businesses to operate. As such, any business has a responsibility to serve everyone, irrespective of their sexual orientation, gender, or race.

    Nopublian’s fail to understand the basic premise of society and governance, they believe they can pick and chose the services that suit their needs. They want tax breaks and newly paved roads taking the public to their storefront, yet, at that point they want to select who they are willing to serve.

    Much like the Germany of the 1920′s should have heeded the warning signs of the emerging conservatives that became the Nazi fascists of the 1930′s and 1940′s – the American people should keep a close eye on the conservative Nopublican/TeaBagger/Neocon/Libertarian movements that are flirting with new age American fascism.

    • Bruce94

      I listened to most of today’s show and was amazed that no one brought up your point, that is, without tax dollars from all citizens including gays there would be no infrastructure to support the jobs and businesses that are seeking to legalize this blatant discrimination against gays.

      It’s as if the wacko birds (see my post up top) that John McCain correctly called out still don’t get it: “If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that…we succeed [not only] because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together” like infrastructure, transportation, education, public safety, research, etc.

      Thanks for your contribution notwithstanding the reference to Nazis which I would have left out. This controversy reminds me of the Religious Right push for so-called “rights of conscience” legislation or clauses that exempt healthcare and pharmacy staff from participating in procedures or transactions that they find personally offensive in spite of the clear violation of professional ethics that such withholding of care, products or services entails. Most professional codes of conduct unequivocally bar the type of discrimination that is sanctioned by SB 1062.

  • lobstahbisque

    Anti-gay legislation like this is starting to look awfully silly. This issue threatens to rip the Cristian Right away from the saner conservatives so they are rightly angry and self-righteous, but in such a dreary, non-fabulous way. I always love it when we separate the men from the boys, as it were, that is, real Christians as opposed to political ones.

    • Coastghost

      “Real Christians” presumably would have no fault to find with strict homosexual practice of celibacy, but today’s homosexuals are not broadly advocating celibacy as a lifestyle.

      • John Shannon

        Real Christians would not judge the sins of others

        • Coastghost

          You point up the difference between “discrimination” and “discrimination”: I don’t think even Real Christians are asked to be thoroughly indiscriminate, they’re still obliged to recognize adultery and fornication as such.

          • John Shannon

            They are asked to love one another, and not to judge the sins of others.

          • Coastghost

            Yes, and historically sexual continence is enjoined upon all in the sacramental appropriation of the somatic, no matter how inconvenient that turns out to be.

          • John Shannon

            Karezza is a wonderful thing, isn’t it

          • Coastghost

            I both do not know and cannot say.

          • lobstahbisque

            I discriminate between those who peddle “bad” religion and those who don’t.

          • StilllHere

            Same with “bad” sexuality?

      • BHA_in_Vermont

        Neither did a number of Catholic priests around the world. Only they did it with non consenting “partners”.

        • Coastghost

          Neither do a considerable number of American public school teachers, according to available statistics.

          • brettearle

            The big, big difference is that Society holds Priests to a much higher moral standard than anyone else–including Educators.

          • Ray in VT

            Plus we don’t have a major international organization covering up the crimes of its members, and shuffling them around so that they can re-offend, for decades.

          • Coastghost

            Frankly, I don’t know what role the NEA might have played in concealing news coverage of the scope of sexual predation (heterosexual and homosexual) in America’s public schools.

          • Ray in VT

            We also don’t know what role the various private and/or religious schools have played. Perhaps we can descent into factless speculation, or, perhaps we can address the known, unless the former is more useful in your ongoing crusade against public education.

          • Coastghost

            The cases in public schools have been documented and are numerous enough to make me wonder just why they’ve not become a subject fit for public discourse. (Maybe a discrepancy exists between Americans’ avowal of concern with education and our actual attention to it.)

          • lobstahbisque

            Off topic.

          • Coastghost

            Oh I don’t know, the publisher of Psychology Today has found it topical enough:

            http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-act-violence/201202/classroom-sexual-predators-perfect-storm-trust-and-betrayal

            I am no partisan of Psychology Today and know nothing of the author’s accomplishments and credentials; nor do I know the
            intrinsic value of the Hofstra Univ. study he cites; but those numbers, even if mildly inflated, show a vast disparity between the incidence of sexual predation in RC parishes compared with public schools, when
            compared to data found in the John Jay report of 2004 (found if you Google “Roman Catholic clergy sexual abuse”).

          • lobstahbisque

            Dull. You are taking the conversation on a tangent– An admirable tactic for the sake of argument, but not recommended for the revelation of the truth. In other words, you are conflating homosexuality with child molestation, a link that has proved to be non-existant.

          • Coastghost

            Homosexuals are immune to the practice of sexual predation? Do tell.

            You’re free to find my prior post dull, but I find it compelling to learn that 11,000 cases of clergy sexual abuse in the Roman Catholic Church is deemed by American society (Roman Catholic and non-Roman Catholic) as much more troubling than a study suggesting millions of cases of sexual predation occurring in our public schools (even if you cut the Hofstra study figures in half, you’re still contemplating a figure of over 2 million).

          • lobstahbisque

            Oh come on, don’t be coy. What do you really think about the Queers? You’re talking to the genuine article by the way.

          • Coastghost

            I admire H. H. Munro both for his prose and for his personal circumspection and discretion. That said, I may in fact have less regard for mainstream homosexual aesthetics than I have for homosexual practice of sexual morality.
            (I also admire Alfred Jarry’s Ubu Cycle of plays, though I can hardly condone his liberal appropriation of alcohol, absinthe, and ether.)

          • lobstahbisque

            So you have no views. Good.

          • jefe68

            Your brave, taking on one so challenged in areas of social justice.

          • Ray in VT

            Sure. It doesn’t get discussed.

          • brettearle

            The coverup is worse than the crime.

            It’s an unbelievable story.

            De facto Immunity from Prosecution is a disgrace.

            It sends an incredibly dysfunctional message.

            The current Pope, as likable as he is, should be aggressively discussing this, publicly.

          • Ray in VT

            I think that that is a part of what contributes to the outrage on the issue, plus the insistence of that institution that it is a guiding and moral institution which works for all that is Good.

          • brettearle

            I know…it’s LITERALLY mind-boggling.

          • hennorama

            brettearle — in my view, the “worse than the crime” aspects are both the lack of reporting of criminal behavior, and the conspiratorial facilitation of new criminal behavior via, as [Ray in VT] wrote, “shuffling them around so that they can re-offend, for decades.”

            The denial/coverup is of course reprehensible as well.

          • brettearle

            My un-inclusive use of the word, `coverup’, meant to imply the `facilitation’ and the `re-offend’ aspects.

            The `lack of reporting’, you’re referring to, of course, refers to the informing of law enforcement by Bishops.

            Of course, as you would expect, I fully agree–and it is also implied in my un-inclusive use of the word, `cover-up’.

            However, your unintended consequences, of the use of the phrase, `lack of reporting’ calls to mind whether Media have held the Church’s feet to the fire–by reminding everyone of who is still getting away with utter, utter wrongdoing, such as Cardinal Bernard Law, from the Archdioces of Boston, comfortably ensconced in Italy.

            Reminds of when Media do not often report of capitol crimes that remain unsolved.

          • hennorama

            brettearle — naturally.

            BTW — TY for adding to the list of Typos/Freudian Slips/Autocorrections That Make Me Smile.

            Hint: Are unsolved crimes in Rome or Washington DC often unreported in The Media?

          • brettearle

            Thank you, Yes!

            Do you know, by the way, “The Capitol Steps”?

            It’s a capitOl crime if you don’t.

          • hennorama

            brettearle — de rien, et mais bien sur, sir.

      • 1Brett1

        Why do you “presume” this? Can you cite some religious tenet/doctrine that states Christians are okay with people having homosexual thoughts/fantasies?

        And, considering your history of comments made about homosexuality, are you saying you expect homosexuals to be celibate if they wish to escape your scrutiny? Is celibacy your demarcation line for acceptance of homosexuality?

        • Coastghost

          You would need to study the Apophthegmata Patrum to begin to come to terms with the ancient Christian discipline of conforming thought to behavior (and vice versa).
          I’m saying nothing to discount the struggle involved in averting sexual incontinence, whether the practitioner is heterosexual or homosexual.

          • jimino

            You are the best argument against education leading to intelligence I have ever seen.

          • Coastghost

            Thanks for noticing: I’ve had to spend most of my life overcoming the pernicious effects of education.

          • Ray in VT

            Considering some of your positions, I think that you had an extremely bad reaction to education, which has led you to some rather non-factual positions. Perhaps the issue was with you and not with education, as the latter has seemed to work very well for so many.

          • Coastghost

            Oh come on, Ray: I cited Sallust’s Catiline Conspiracy properly in the earlier forum, I’ve properly cited Juvenal and Psychology Today in this forum.
            I concede autodidacticism imposes its own limits, but I also concede that what passes for “education” in this country rarely supplies a sound alternative. (Public schools down here eliminated Latin from their curricula by the time I came along.)

          • Ray in VT

            That is true, however on some other issues I think that your positions are highly lacking. I’ve met many home-schooled kids who are very knowledgeable on some subjects, but the selective nature of their sources in many areas leaves them very limited in a way that those who have had a broader education are not.

          • Coastghost

            Well, I submitted enough to formal schooling to obtain degrees and credentials.
            My positions are “highly lacking” or “distressingly contrarian”?

          • Ray in VT

            For the ones with which I have taken the most issue, I would call them highly lacking.

          • lobstahbisque

            That’s right. Ignorance doesn’t necessarily indicate stupidity.

          • Ray in VT

            I have always enjoyed the saying that ignorance is curable but stupid is forever.

          • hennorama

            Ray in VT — indeed.

            I’m often surprised that some take a comment such as “you seem ignorant of the facts” as an insult. As for myself, I readily acknowledge my ignorance about many/most things, but as you wrote, such “ignorance is curable.”

          • Ray in VT

            True. There are many things about which all of us are ignorant. I think that it shows some measure of wisdom to be able to know the limits of ones own knowledge.

            I think that my brother considers me to be something of a know it all, so when I do ask him a question is usually throws him off a bit. There was some term that I saw in a classified ad once, and I texted him about it. It turns out that it was a term for some variety of grass for livestock feed that I had not heard before.

          • hennorama

            Ray in VT — now my curiosity is piqued. What is the term?

          • Ray in VT

            I cannot recall. I tried to think of it before I posted my comment, but it escapes me.

          • hennorama

            Ray in VT — ACK! Do you recall if it was for cattle, horses, goats, etc.?

          • Ray in VT

            Cattle I think, but I am not 100% sure. He knew it right off of the top of his head, but I was one that I had never heard. My nephew will talk about all of these different varieties of grass in the bales of hay, and my response is something along the lines of “if you say so, Chief.”

          • hennorama

            Ray in VT — I guess I’ll just have to let it go, and in return, leave you with this:

            http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=7jiaU0xbOKs

          • Ray in VT

            My younger son refused to go on that ride this past year. He thought that it would be too fast.

          • hennorama

            Ray in VT — since you left me with a brainbug, I thought an earbug was reasonable recompense.

          • brettearle

            Wonderful.

            Never knew of this.

            Thanks…

          • HonestDebate1

            Fescue? Timothy? Bermuda? Johnson? Alfalfa? Orchard Grass? Crab Grass? Lespedeza?

            I’m more familiar with the digested versions.

          • Ray in VT

            No, it wasn’t any of them.
            I’m mostly concerned with picking out the second cut bales, and I also have to deal mostly with the after effects of the consumption. I leave what goes into the bales to my brother.

          • Coastghost

            Exactly! See, we CAN agree on something. (Even the most brilliant geniuses must remain ignorant of much, insofar as mortality precludes omniscience.)

          • hennorama

            Coastghost — and as Einstein said, pre-Google et al, “Never memorize something that you can look up.”

          • Coastghost

            hen: bright fellow, that Einstein.
            If you and he would permit, though, I’d add the Coastghost Caveat: “. . . as long as you can remember where to look it up.”

          • 1Brett1

            And, when one can merely internalize knowledge, digesting just enough to put on airs, why make enough of a study to actually find something useful in knowledge acquisition? …I would bring that metaphor out to its most humorous conclusion and make a joke about belching and farting, but I’m feeling lazy…

          • hennorama

            1Brett1 — that reminds me of an instructor who called rote oral test answers from students who had only crammed for the tested as “verbal diarrhea.”

          • Coastghost

            hen: if you’re not otherwise familiar, you might take a listen to a song from 1968 by the British group Family called “How-Hi-the-Li”, which ascribed the same malady to politicians of the day. Nice musicianship, too.

          • hennorama

            Coastghost — thank you for the reference. My instructor certainly may have heard the song, as he was “of the era.”

            Some of the lyrics seem appropriate for the today’s topic, too:

            And the politicians start to speak
            Trying to make themselves clear
            To the ones who can’t diagnose
            The symptoms of verbal diarrhea
            And the ministers of state
            Who preach their words of hate
            We suggest they change their religion before it’s too late

            Courtesy of: http://www.lyricsmania.com/how-hi-the-li_lyrics_family.html

            Thanks again.

          • HonestDebate1

            Oh come on, let’r rip. Put the art in fart.

          • HonestDebate1

            A riddle:

            If you don’t know the difference between ignorance and stupidity by the time you finish reading this comment then you are stupid.

            Why?

          • HonestDebate1

            Man! I wish I was smart enough to understand your comments.

          • jefe68

            Boy does that comment speak volumes…

          • jefe68

            Seems to be working.

          • 1Brett1

            So, I guess what you are saying is that “real Christians” are from the 5th century AD and that to understand what you are saying I would need to study a collection of ancient documents consisting of explaining spiritual practices and experiences of early Christian hermits living in the desert of Egypt? Well, alright, then, I’ll immerse myself in a disciplined study for a couple of years and one day get back to you…I would expect–and I say this out of the utmost fondness for your desire to evade discussion in favor of intellectual parlor games–nothing less from you, CG, so thanks for remaining true to your character.

            I have to say, I’ve never heard the term “sexual incontinence” used before. It rather evokes views of sexual expression as something akin to involuntary control of ones bladder or bowels (or, at the least, something sorely lacking in self-restraint) as opposed to a natural, normal human expression.

  • tbphkm33

    Vote with your wallet – here is a list of Arizona companies to boycott…

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Arizona_companies

    • HonestDebate1

      That worked good against Chick-Fil-A.

      • jefe68

        In the long run as a business strategy it’s not a good idea. The audience advertisers covet most — the 18-49 crowd — are in favor of gay marriage.
        Chick-fil-A is alienating the single most important demographic there is. And brand perceptions are very difficult to reverse once they’ve set in.

  • Barringer Yates

    These religious conservatives are getting out of control and need to be stopped cold in their tracks before they push for more and more ‘exclusions’.

    First, they often don’t accept many people do not worship their particular brand of revulsive faith, while they also believe somehow letting others just live their lives as they see fit ‘offends’ them What really irks them is that gay people and their families might get to partake equally in liberties afforded to most everyone else, and in doing so might detonate their faux arguments that being gay is a ‘choice’ and therefore unworthy of such equality in law. This more than anything gets their undies in a bunch, so they create these vile laws they think will firewall their lives from them.

    These arguments were used to deny people of color equal rights to public goods, accommodations and services as well, and the same arguments were use then. Being gay is NOT a choice, so their paper tiger arguments saying that they disagree with gay being a ‘lifestyle choice’ is completely worthless.

    Time to start a call to allow for these so-called ‘conservative christians’ and dominionists to re-partirate to Uganda where their brand of christian ‘love’ would be more to their liking. Inversely, the collective IQ of the rest of America would rise dramatically.

  • Barringer Yates

    I really think that if this fails, and same sex marriage is found to be a constitutional right, they are going to resort to violence. I find their arguments against gays both ever more irrational, and yet more strident.

    It’s not out of the question.

    Just read any news blog last night praising Uganda and their new anti-gay laws. They were terrifying and sobering.

    There is a big faction of this country, often irrationally bigoted and insular, frustrated by a culture and media that it increasingly sees as indifferent if not hostile to their ‘beliefs’, and being fed a constant stream of ideals such as they are the ‘real Americans’ along with being armed to the teeth, you can see how a hair-trigger event could set off a deeply serious civil conflict. They honestly believe being gay is a societal detriment and that to ‘preserve’ traditional values, they would resort to such extremes. It’s happened before. Just look at what they’ve done to abortion clinics, patrons and doctors.

  • Sy2502

    I think it’s interesting that this law is being disguised under the “freedom of religion” label when in fact it’s specifically fundamentalist Christians against gays. I certainly wonder how these same Christians will react when other religions start using that same law to their own advantage. How will a Christian woman react when a Muslim doctor refuses to see her because she’s a woman? Or when a Christian goes to 7/11 to buy a 6 pack of beer and the Muslim clerk refuses to sell it to him? Or when a Jewish waiter refuses to bring a pork dish to their table? Will they be as vocal about protecting freedom of religion then?

    • Ray in VT

      Based upon my experiences with people, I would tend to think that they would regard such instances very differently. Largely because the thing was happening to them.

  • Steve__T

    “Stupid is as stupid does.”

    ~Forest Gump

  • 1Brett1

    Someone further down the thread used a hypothetical analogy of a Jewish baker refusing to put a swastika on a white supremacist customer’s birthday cake. This is a false comparison, and I have two things to say about this:

    1) There are neither any laws allowing Jews to institutionally discriminate against white supremacists, nor are there any bills being proposed regarding this. The bill that was passed, the subject at hand today, is about allowing open discrimination of gay people/protecting those who would discriminate categorically against gay people through legislation.

    2) The hypothetical Jewish baker hypothetically refused to serve one hypothetical customer, not based on what the customer believes–or because the customer was part of a group of people identified by who they are/what they believe–but based on a highly offensive symbol that was asked to be put on a cake…hypothetically, of course. The Jewish baker (in this hypothetical scenario) was refusing to replicate an offensive symbol, not refusing the serve a certain “type” of person/group because of their beliefs/lifestyle/fundamentally who they hypothetically are .

    • HonestDebate1

      1) There are no laws that allow me to skip rope but it’s not illegal. Laws don’t allow they restrict. At best they exempt certain entities from other laws that restrict. SB1062 is about religious freedom. It clarifies that churches and religious institutions are not the only ones guaranteed that protection.

      2) The comment you refer to (I read it) made no mention of anyone being refused anything hypothetically or otherwise. It didn’t get into what people think. That wasn’t the point. Beyond that, a cake with two grooms on it is an offensive symbol to some.

      • 1Brett1

        1) Yeah, sure, skipping rope, great comparison…If Brewer signs this bill, bigoted people will have a law behind them to protect them should they decide to arbitrarily discriminate against someone they perceive to be different than they are and based on some perceived sexuality from the person they just don’t like; it makes for the promotion of an uncivilized society. I’d say that creates a law that allows bigotry to flourish. But, hey, quibble and focus on the definition of a law to argue unproductively, and typically what one would expect and consider in terms of how you choose to defend something that is indefensible.

        I don’t see you condemning this bill. So, no matter what you say others project on to you, here is another example of your trying to find some needle in a haystack so as not to criticize a bigoted conservative bill.

        Also, for a business to say they don’t want gay people around in the general public (as it pertains to their bakery, or bar, or grocery store, etc.) isn’t about religious freedom. A convenience store, for example, is not a place where religious rituals/beliefs are being practiced/honored, and people aren’t having their religious freedoms infringed upon because gay people might be around, no matter how much of a tie you want to put on this pig of a bill. Citing religious freedom is such a bloated and flimsy argument for the passing of this bill.

        2) The person made a comparison to a Jewish baker refusing to make a cake with a swastika for a nazi…and of course more nonsense from another argumentative and limited mind: sure two grooms on a cake is JUST like a swastika. How much can one contort not to criticize a conservative bill that overreaches and promotes exclusion in society?

        • HonestDebate1

          You are entitled to your opinion that you can’t do anything unless there is a law that allows it. That’s your premise. All I did with the skipping rope thing was to illustrate it brilliantly.

          I don’t know enough about the bill, the plaintiffs or the circumstances to condemn it. I will say on the surface I do not condemn it. If anything I would condemn the bakery. I would not however assume they are bigoted.

          And this is just a bizarre reframing of the issue:

          “Also, for a business to say they don’t want gay people around in the general public (as it pertains to their bakery, or bar, or grocery store, etc.) isn’t about religious freedom.”

          Who the hell said that? That is truly weird and completely fabricated.

          Read the text of the bill, it’s about religious freedom.

          And who said a 2 groom cake is JUST like a swastika? I said it’s an offensive symbol (your term) to some, that’s all.

          • 1Brett1

            “You are entitled to your opinion that you can’t do anything unless there is a law that allows it.”

            Oh jeesh, no, what I was saying was that if laws get passed protecting businesses who wish to discriminate against serving people who are gay, then people will justify their bigotry, using the law to back them up when they wish to persecute someone they don’t like, and you know that is what I was saying. And if someone who owns a business doesn’t want to serve gay people, then they are in effect saying they don’t want gays around their place of business; that’s not at all a “bizarre reframing of the issue.”

            The bill can use the term “religious freedom” all it wants; it’s just a justification for intolerance. Sorry, believe, or pretend to believe whatever you want, whichever that may be.

            When I was a kid, my parents were looking at buying a new house; my mother’s mother was with us, and there was a black girl riding her bike in the neighborhood. My grandmother said, “uh-oh, look at that!” I asked, what is wrong with a black girl riding her bicycle. She said, “nothing, but you wouldn’t want one of them as your neighbor.” She claimed not to be a racist; she even claimed something about races weren’t meant to mix, and so on. This mentality is no different.

            I don’t know anything about any lawsuit that may have prompted conservatives to draft this bill, and I am basing my opinions on the bill itself.

            As far as your considering comparing two grooms on a cake to a swastika as being two examples of something being offensive, my retort meant that they are not even close to being on the same level, and you know that.

            And, no, of course, you can’t possibly condemn this bill, as you just don’t have enough information; how can anyone possibly offer an opinion on this… “Why, I do declare, shut my mouth, as a gentleman, I just couldn’t possibly condemn something without devoting endless hours of study tooowarrd it!”

            Yeah, whatever…If Blanche Dubois and Lindsay Graham had a love child…

            And, finally, to address what you said ["If anything I would condemn the bakery. I would not however assume they are bigoted"], figures you consider a business refusing to serve a gay person not to be bigoted. You are being true to every thing you’ve ever said about gay people, there.

          • HonestDebate1

            All the bill does is clarify and amend legal definitions. There is nothing about discrimination. The law does not “allow” businesses to discriminate against gays. It protects businesses from being forced to violate their religious beliefs. If the bakers believe that homosexuality is a sin and feel customizing the cake makes them party to that sin then how is forcing them by law to do so not violating their Constitutionally protected religious freedom?

            Here, read it. Item 5 (line 19) is the pertinent amendment.

            http://www.azleg.gov/legtext/51leg/2r/bills/sb1062p.pdf

            And please, you gave an example of a convenience store, you wrote what you wrote. It’s not a matter of “in effect”. No one was booted out of the store and they could have bought any cake on the shelf. No one is being persecuted. That’s a bit dramatic, no?

            What do you want me to condemn? I find nothing to condemn and I’m not looking or something to condemn. I just don’t care that much about it.

            The only thing I condemn the baker for is turning down money over a figurine. I don’t get it but I’m not religious. I don’t think homosexuality is a sin. And I love lezbos to boot, they’re a hoot. But it’s not about me.

            If there is a bigot in this scenario it is those bigoted against religion. The gay couple should respect their beliefs but they seem to think deeply held religious tenets mean nothing.

          • J__o__h__n

            If they aren’t bigoted, why would yo condemn them?

          • HonestDebate1

            For passing on profit over something so trivial.

      • jefe68

        SB1062 is about religious freedom.
        No, it’s about bigotry hiding behind the guise of religious freedom.

        • HonestDebate1

          Alrighty then.

  • Sharon
    • Ray in VT

      Ole Forbes going to bat for discrimination. The more that I read Forbes the less that I think that it is of any use.

      • lobstahbisque

        I thought Malcolm Forbes was outed years ago.

      • hennorama

        Ray in VT — FYI, forbes.com was hacked recently, prompting this announcement:

        “Recently, Forbes.com was targeted in a digital attack. Our publishing platform was compromised and email addresses for registered members have been exposed.”

  • hennorama

    Anyone wishing to contact Arizona Gov. Brewer via email can go here:

    http://www.azgovernor.gov/Contact.asp

    Phone Numbers:

    Phoenix Office: (602) 542-4331
    Tucson Office: (520) 628-6580
    Fax Number: (602) 542-1381
    In-State Toll Free: 1-800-253-0883 (outside Maricopa County only)

    • StilllHere

      How about the tourist office, I’m planning a trip?
      Do you know any good resort hotels in Scottsdale?

      • hennorama

        StilllHere — I’m confident in your ability to do your own research, and would not impose my judgment of what is “good” on you.

        [PS] the link in my original post also includes an [AZ SPOTLIGHT] tab, which you may find helpful, assuming you are actually serious about “planning a trip.”

        • StilllHere

          Just thought as long as you’re doing internet searches…
          You seem to be imposing judgments of what is “good” all over here today, so this seems in your wheelhouse.

          • hennorama

            Stilllhere — yeahright.

            Expressing one’s views and providing information is “imposing judgments.”

            Sure, sure.

      • jimino

        Have you checked out the Bible’s recommendations yet?

        • StilllHere

          What book?

          • jimino

            I can’t say, but it’s apparently the “go-to” source for modern living so it must be in there somewhere.

      • Ray in VT

        There’s one with a bar called the Blue Oyster. I’m sure that you would love it.

        • StilllHere

          I prefer craft breweries. Anything?

          • Ray in VT

            Come on up here then. We’ve got the one rated the world’s best by one of the beer websites. An adjacent town also won some top cheese prize if you are so inclined.

          • StilllHere

            I’m trying to avoid the snow but thanks.

          • Ray in VT

            I could actually see a bit of ground following the thaw this weekend. Spring training is under way. It won’t be long before that season makes a lasting appearance here in the Northeast.

          • jefe68

            Karsen’s grill in Scottsdale.
            Great beer and food. And if you go during Spring training you might get to hang with some of the umpires, who frequent this establishment.

            But they don’t allow guns, as most of the dinning establishments in Scotsdale don’t. Sign that the Arizona legislation is out of touch with some of the “job creators” in the state.

        • harverdphd

          Why are you so sure?

          • Ray in VT

            My friend Captain Harris keeps winding up there. Says it is a hoot.

    • brettearle

      She needs a complete makeover.

      Put in local contact number for a Deprogrammer.

      Please.

      • hennorama

        brettearle — while one doubts they will be given serious consideration, you can submit your suggestions using the info above.

        • brettearle

          My satire may have failed.

          But then, again, I may have missed your own.

          • hennorama

            brettearle — you communicated quite well and without failure.

            I was simply pointing out that you can share your ideas with the Governor’s email readers, and was trying to encourage such sharing by you and others, regardless of the topic, or whether one is for or against SB 1062.

            I doubt that your suggestions would be either the worst or most the most offensive of those Gov. Brewer will have already received, or will receive in the future, and I’m confident that she is well aware that she has “a perfect face … for radio,” as the old saw goes.

          • brettearle

            She comes across to me as if she owns a once-hailed Brewery that is about to be closed by the Board of Health for

            rancid Hops.

          • hennorama

            brettearle — you might very well think that, but I couldn’t possibly comment.

            Two points:

            Is “rancid hops” a symptom of Bird-itis?

            Once-hailed Brewery = Head Belie Wry Crone (imperfect of course, but amusing)

          • HonestDebate1
          • brettearle

            `Brewery’, as in Brewer-y

          • hennorama

            brettearle — Doh! I get it now:

            rancid hops = untrue infield bounces at Miller Park.

            Sorry I was so slow on the uptake.

          • brettearle

            An uptake handle of Miller beer on Tap from Brewer-y.

            Oh Miller Park, how you Karp….

      • harverdphd

        Alas a makeover would do you no good whatsoever

        • jefe68

          Alas a troll never seems to know when to stop.

      • HonestDebate1

        Brettearle, as someone who prides themselves for their flexibility, you are potentially stretching your self too thin. With all due respect, IMHO, I think you should take a breath. Governor Brewer has vetoed similar legislation in the past. Conventional wisdom as well as unnamed sources inside her administration are saying she will veto the bill. Obviously we know nothing for certain but the more you insult, demean and ridicule her the farther you will have to go to demonstrate your flexibility by praising her if she vetoes the bill.

        • brettearle

          I think you might be right about that.

          My partner informed me of my own misinformation, an hour ago–before I saw your comment.

          [And like Slick Willie said, about the former First Lady, `The First Lady is right about just about everything' [I paraphrase without his hoarse accent]. The same is true about my First Lady.]

          See how flexible I am?
          .

    • HonestDebate1

      Why would she listen to people outside her State who are not constituents? She has vetoed similar legislation in the past.

      • Ray in VT

        Perhaps she would like to hear about how measures that she might take could affect whether or not people outside of her current constituency would be more or less willing to move to or visit her state. If state businesses and elected leaders think that such a move could damage their state’s economy, then they might wish to reconsider their positions. Or not.

        • hennorama

          Ray in VT — the question is mental myopia, manifested.

          ‘Mazing.

          • jefe68

            Is it me, or has HD really gone off the rails with this.

          • hennorama

            jefe68 — you might very well think so, but as I am not a mental health professional, I have no expertise in the relative severity of anyone’s Derailment/Derangement Syndrome, and therefore couldn’t possibly comment.

          • HonestDebate1

            It’s you. And I say that as a mental health professional with experience in Derailment/Derangement Syndrome.

          • jefe68

            That’s a made up syndrome coined by columnist Charles Krauthammer.

            If you’re a mental health professional I pity your patients.

          • HonestDebate1

            I’m not only a mental health professional, I’m also a client.

        • HonestDebate1

          I suppose that’s true. I still think her loyalty is to her constituents but I can see the logic in your premise as a secondary data point. But the law affects only Arizonians.

          • Ray in VT

            Or any people travelling there. Heading south into Jim Crow territory affected African Americans venturing south. They were not exempt.

        • harverdphd

          OMG! Market forces!…your kind of cute when you’re a conservative….

          • Ray in VT

            Just acknowledging reality. If GOP is supposed to be all about jobs and business, then maybe they might want to think about a business backlash.

      • jefe68

        I don’t know, maybe because a fair amount of Arizona’s economy depends on tourism and if people stay away due to some draconian law against the LBGT community it might take a bight out of their frail economy.

        Kind of like the over zealous gun laws they have there. I know a few restaurant and bar owners in the Scottsdale/Phoenix area and all of them have signs up asking folks not to bring guns into their establishments.

        • HonestDebate1

          How do you know the law won’t attract more people? Is Arizona a popular LGBT vacation spot?

          • jefe68

            Wow, your’ real piece of work.

            I guess you have not heard the news that Apple, American Airlines, Marriott and host of other businesses are all urging that this bill die on the governors desk. Apple went so far as to say they are seriously reconsidering locating their new factory in Arizona which would be a cost of about 2000 jobs.

          • HonestDebate1

            I didn’t ay a thing about the market. Please don’t tell me what I think.

          • jefe68

            I’ll post what I think is a relevant response. If you do’t like it, you don’t have to respond.

            What you think is neither here nor there. You side with the authors of this absurd law, which says a lot about you.

          • Ray in VT

            So, if government is not acting to end things such as discrimination and segregation, then what is? Perhaps people acting on their own or in groups, but privately and not via the mechanisms of government, will choose not to patronize discriminatory establishments, and the virtue of the economic hardships that it will create for such discriminatory establishments will lead to changes in those behaviors and end the discrimination. That seems to be the market-based approach to solving the situation. One certainly see that vein running through your comments. The problem is is that it doesn’t work. It didn’t end Jim Crow, and so long as forces are strong enough to resist it, it will not work. It is a failed approach.

          • jefe68

            He’s being coy methinks.

          • Ray in VT

            Inane methinks.

          • jefe68

            True that.

          • HonestDebate1

            I didn’t say anything about the market. That’s not the issue.

          • Ray in VT

            Sure it is. It is about the market being allowed to discriminate against certain groups of people, and we know that the government shouldn’t be doing things to prevent such discrimination, as the market will take care of it. It always has.

          • HonestDebate1

            The government doesn’t allow things. It’s about the customers not being allowed to force people to participate in something against their religion.

          • Ray in VT

            Yes it does allow things. It allows people to attain full equality. Bigotry in the name of religious belief is still bigotry.

          • J__o__h__n

            The majority of the country now supports gay equality so the boycott won’t be limited to just gays.

          • HonestDebate1

            I understand that but a bigger majority have religious beliefs to the contrary. It is not a stretch to think someone who favors gay equality can support this legislation. A gay friend of mine is belligerently opposed to gay marriage.

            But again, I don’t think it’s a matter of gay equality.

          • Ray in VT

            “I understand that but a bigger majority have religious beliefs to the contrary.” Whatever the tenets of particular institutions, people make up their own minds. Polls indicate that a majority of Americans support same sex marriage. For instance, take this https://www.hrc.org/blog/entry/quinnipiac-poll-54-percent-of-american-catholics-support-same-sex-marriage.

            This, of course, is totally aside from the point that the civil rights of minorities shouldn’t be decided upon by a simple voting majority. I think that someone who supports a measure that would create legalized discrimination against gays and lesbians does not favor “gay equality” no matter what he or she may tell you.

          • HonestDebate1

            So my gay friend who opposes same sex marriage is not in favor of gay equality?

            And besides, all I was saying is we don’t know the political fallout until it happens. Jeffe could be right, he could be wrong.

          • Ray in VT

            The dude who invented sea monkeys was Jewish and supported neo-nazi groups. There are always some people who will argue against the interests of their own group. One would wonder why one would not want equal rights.

          • HonestDebate1

            That’s not the case, it’s more nuanced than that. There are other factors. To her, it’s has nothing to do with equal rights. That battle can be fought in a different arena. She is, as am I, a supporter of civil unions that can address the rights to hospital visitation and such. It’s about the redefinition of what marriage is.

          • Ray in VT

            Well, if she and you want some people to have something that is “separate but equal”, then go ahead, but that is a losing position historically and currently. We could probably find a few black people that liked having their own water fountains too.

          • Ray in VT

            Also, marriage has been constantly redefined. It was once about transferring land, property (perhaps the woman herself) or securing alliances or partnerships. It was once not allowed for people of different races, and then it got “redefined”.

          • HonestDebate1

            And now that the polygamist are emboldened, they will be next. They’ve got the baby thing worked out by the looks of today’s show.

            The definition of marriage was never restricted by race. It was not redefined. It was the law that was redefined.

            And more straw man obsession with race. You just can’t keep from injecting it can you.

          • Ray in VT

            Currently they have been “emboldened” to seek protection from being prosecuted for living together.

            So it wasn’t marriage that was redefined, just the legal definition of marriage? Sounds like a redefinition to me. Marriage was once a religious sacrament, which was eventually redefined as a civil contract.

            Race is pretty important to a lot of people, especially those who get shafted because of their race. It’s an also important in an age when people will make racist arguments about blacks and crime based upon arguments from racist sources.

          • HonestDebate1

            The FBI is not a racist source…at least it wasn’t before Holder. Why do you keep making the stupid accusation?

          • Ray in VT

            Show me where it came from the FBI. 39 to 1 comes from a bunch of racists, not the FBI as far as I can tell. Show me otherwise. Being so incredibly uncritical as to not pursue to origin of what looks to me like such a blatantly bogus fact shows, I think, where the stupidity lies.

            I forgot. It’s people like Holder and Obama who are the real racists. More great commentary from the likes of the New Century Foundation? I bet that they’re behind such a statement 100%. Nobody has it worse than white people in Obama’s ‘Merica.

          • J__o__h__n

            J Edgar Hoover’s FBI wasn’t a racist and Eric Holder’s is?

          • Ray in VT

            Of course. Just look how tough the Bureau is on white people and how easy it goes on black people. If you want to scroll through thousands of comments, then ole HD1 can enlighten you.

          • Ray in VT

            Also, based upon your position that law cannot infringe upon religious beliefs, then should you not be as worked up about people not being allowed to practice their religious freedom to marry as you seem to be about defending the religious right of people to use their prejudiced religious beliefs to deny equal access to services to some groups?

          • HonestDebate1

            Is homosexuality now a religion?

          • Ray in VT

            Who said anything about homosexuality? That’s just weird.

          • HonestDebate1

            Who did you mean by “some groups”? Everybody but gays?

          • Ray in VT

            Maybe it’s black people. Christian Identity and the FLDS consider people of African origin to be some sort of “subhuman” mongrels and not people. Should they be exempted from the Civil Rights Act of 1964 based upon their racist Scripture? Are black people a religion?

          • HonestDebate1

            What do blacks have to do with this?

          • Ray in VT

            Think about it.

          • J__o__h__n

            It should be. Then it would have all sorts of privileges.

          • HonestDebate1

            But it’s not, so….

          • Ray in VT

            Also, given that some religious institutions have consecrated same sex marriages, then why are you not fighting for those churches to have the state recognize those marriages, as it does for the marriages consecrated by, for instance, the Catholic Church?

          • HonestDebate1

            Again, you’ve got it backwards. It’s the church’s decision. I stay out of it. I have my opinions but I don’t care much either way.

          • Ray in VT

            Yet marriages consecrated by the Church are legally recognized by the state, while some marriages consecrated by other churches are not. Now you don’t have an issue with a law that is treating that sacred unions differently? Why are you not up in arms about those churches whose tenets are being down-trodden by states that refuse to recognize their faith?

          • HonestDebate1

            Are you serious?

          • Ray in VT

            Sure.

          • jefe68

            And yet it is.

          • Ray in VT

            Come on, Jefe. As some good people will tell you this is just about attacking and destroying religion and freedom. Get it right.

          • jefe68

            Well, no one expects the Spanish Inquisition now, do they.

          • Ray in VT

            No. No they don’t.

          • HonestDebate1

            I don’t think SB1062 even mentions sexual orientation.

            http://www.azleg.gov/legtext/51leg/2r/bills/sb1062p.pdf

          • Ray in VT

            True. They could deny service to women, ethnic minorities or religious minorities as well. Kudos to the drafters for attempting to grant a carte blanche for any sort of faith-based discrimination.

          • HonestDebate1

            The language doesn’t support that at all.

          • Ray in VT

            So, if the practice or observance of one’s religion falls into those categories, and the law “protects” the “ability to act or refusal to act in a manner substantially motivated by a religious belief”, then how does the language not support that?

          • J__o__h__n

            If the majority supports it how can a bigger majority oppose it? That is impossible. No one who favors gay equality can support this legislation. Once again, you don’t think a matter of civil rights for gays is a matter of gay equality.

        • harverdphd

          Good idea – let the market decide – and if they suffer a big ht, so much the better

      • TFRX

        Hey, if outsiders’ PAC money is good enough for her…

  • StilllHere

    Don’t pink and red clash. How about a pastel?
    Or maybe an upside down rainbow as part of a smiley face indicating thanks but no thanks?

  • HonestDebate1

    I think the word discriminate is meaningless without context. It’s legal and necessary. We had a guy come to our farm wanting to lease a horse just last night. That’s money in our pocket. The problem is he weighed about 400 pounds. We had to refuse his business because we didn’t want to subject our animals to an inexperienced rider who was so large. We discriminated. The modeling industry discriminates against people born ugly. The Military discriminates against people born with flat feet. Obama discriminates against Conservative judges when making appointments. And on and on.

    But this law is about protecting religious freedoms not discrimination. It restricts certain people from forcing businesses to violate their beliefs.

    • jefe68

      More hogwash.
      First off you can join any branch of the military with flat feet. They have insoles now. Second, the modeling industry does not discriminate as there are all types of people doing.

      THe rest of your inane comment does not even warrant any discourse. It’s that lame.

    • J__o__h__n

      You didn’t discriminate as he was too big to ride the horse without risking damage. If you didn’t rent an SUV to him for being fat, that would be discriminatory. Ugly people are not qualified to be models. People who don’t meet physical standards are not qualified to be soldiers. The law doesn’t say that every one has to be treated exactly the same, but if they are not, that there has to be a legitimate government interest ranging from rational to heightened depending on the reason for being treated differently.

      • HonestDebate1

        We have big horses that could handle him and if he was more experienced it would be easier on the horse too.

        Men don’t have hooters but one guy sued to get a job at Hooters and I believe he won. Some military requirements have been lowered for females.

        So don’t be so sure that some butt ugly hag won’t sue a modeling agency and win.

        The law says no one’s religious freedoms shall be infringed upon.

        • Ray in VT

          Oh, so people can do whatever they want just so long as they have a religious belief to back it up. I think that law and history are decidedly against your opinion.

          • HonestDebate1

            I said nothing like that. Not even close.

            We own some land that has no legal access; there is no right-of-way. It does have a road to it through several other land owner’s property. Since it is the only access, we cannot be stopped from crossing their land. Our access shall not be infringed. Should I take that to mean I can do whatever I want?

            It isn’t about the bakers being able to do anything. It is about their right not to do something. You’ve got it backwards.

          • Ray in VT

            “The law says no one’s religious freedoms shall be infringed upon.” So, that does not mean that the government cannot take actions that infringe upon people acting in whatever way their religion sees fit, as the government cannot infringe upon religious freedoms. History and law do not support such a position.

          • Ray in VT

            Yes, it is about something. About their “freedom” to deny services to a group of people, which flies in the face of decades of progress on civil rights. It is about singling out people for discrimination and unequal treatment.

        • jefe68

          Anyone can sue anyone for anything if they are so inclined. It’s up to a judge to decide if a case has merit. It’s a risk, as one cold end being counter sued for filing a frivolous lawsuit.

          Try using some commonsense.

  • Bruce94

    I heard that if Gov. Brewer doesn’t veto SB 1062, John McCain may propose a new state song for Arizona patterned after a 1926 jazz standard. It goes something like this:

    Pack up all our tourists and retirees
    There they go, flying low, seeking more tolerant communities
    Bye bye wacko bird

    Where somebody will wait on me
    Without regard to sexual identity
    Bye bye wacko bird

    No one here can love or understand the gay
    Oh, what hateful things they have to say
    Don’t bother to make the bed or light the light
    Every decent person I know is leaving this cesspool tonight
    Wacko bird, bye bye

    No one here can love or understand the gay
    Oh, what dark places they must go to when they pray
    Don’t bother to make the bed or light the light
    And forget about ever again being a Super Bowl host site

    Wacko bird, bye bye

    • HonestDebate1

      Aw c’mon man, that song didn’t deserve that.

      • Bruce94

        I know, but the people of Arizona didn’t deserve the abuse that their state legislature inflicted on them either. Since I’ve done a few edits, what do you think now?

  • Brian Munroe

    This is truly a sad discussion at best. Since prejudice is what is front and center, prehaps I can be prejudiced by asking a general question: Why do these questions always seem to originate in the south?
    Here is my issue: if someone walks into an establishment owned by one of these so-called “religious” people. How is it that they come to decide if someone is Gay, Bi, Straight, etc? I dont think that a business owner should be able to hang up a shingle with products or services and disciminate against anyone, but for now, I’ll play the devil’s advocate (almost literally):
    If such a ridiculous law was to be passed and signed by Gov Brewer, how would someone determine if someone was Gay or Straight? The way someone speaks? Dresses? Hair cuts? I know some pretty effeminate guys that aren’t gay. I know some pretty “butchy” women who arent lesbian. So who determines who can be refused and who isnt? Perhaps they would ammend the law to apply to “Gayish” people? When do they extend it to Handicapped or Challenged people, or little people? How long until Muslims and Hindus are added?

    • hennorama

      Brian Munroe — without responding to your “general question,” this article on latimes.com provides some background about SB 1062:

      http://www.latimes.com/nation/nationnow/la-na-nn-arizona-gays-sb-1062-20140222,0,2958198.story#ixzz2uLyDxiFF

    • brettearle

      As a Jew, I can tell you that some of the older anti-Semitism, in this country, somehow had laser-like radar detection.

      No one looked at the chart of an individual’s genetic tendencies towards Tay-Sach’s Disease.

      Apparently, `The Banality of Evil’ has a Sixth Sense….

  • TFRX

    After all the shotstorming about the oogedyboogedy term “Sharia Law”, who guessed that the Fundie crackpots would bring it to the USA first?

    • HonestDebate1

      When did we start executing gays as they do under Sharia?

  • anamaria23

    Some of the finest people that I know are gay. Some I have known since their birth and have been privy to their struggles to fit in to this society. It is an arduous journey for them, a painful awakening, some suicidal at times. Most bring only good to the world. I would rather be a gay person than a sanctimonious prig claiming to know the mind of a God who asks above all that we “love one another”. It is called human variation. I would want for them as much happiness as for my own children.
    Would those who object find fault with adulterers and other “straight” people who indulge in out of the norms of sexual practice?

    • HonestDebate1

      But that’s not what this about. No one is saying gays aren’t good people. Judging souls by sexuality makes no sense to me. There are evil nasty gays and there are good righteous gays. The same is true of Christians. Gays can be sanctimonious or not. Ditto Christians. Neither sexuality nor your religion determine your worth to society.

      • anamaria23

        What is it about?

        • HonestDebate1

          Protecting religious freedoms enunciated in the Constitution.

          I sincerely doubt the bill will survive. I think she will veto it. If not, then I predict eventually the SCOTUS will decide.

          • anamaria23

            If it is “enunciated in the Constitution” then Gov. Brewer has an obligation to let it pass as would the SCOTUS.
            It could be interpreted as freedom from religion.

          • HonestDebate1

            I agree with you but she is being pressure by the PC fanatics.

          • jefe68

            Oh you mean like the Arizona Chamber of Commerce.

          • Ray in VT

            What a bunch of PC fanatics. How anti-American can some people be?

          • jefe68

            What a load of hooey.

      • anamaria23

        The cake bakers et al are saying that gays are not good enough people, that they are too sinful to be afforded the same rights as others by them,

        • Salvor Hardin

          The cake baker’s are saying they shouldn’t be required to participate in a same sex marriage or endorsing a gay union. If they were refusing to sell a gay person a birthday cake then you may have a point but requiring someone to create and celebrate something they believe is morally wrong violates their rights as well.

          • J__o__h__n

            Gluttony is a sin; ban cakes.

          • HonestDebate1

            So is sloth, ban blogs.

          • Brian4000

            The law doesnt ditinguish between those two cases. It would allow you to both not serve a gay wedding and not serve a gay client. But should we even allow them the former? I am in an interacial marriage, what if a baker decided he didn’t want to sell us a wedding cake for our wedding because he felt god condemns the mixing of the races? I certainly wouldnt want the law to allow us to be discriminated in such a way. Why should gay people have to endure the same treatment. It isnt like the baker is being asked to french kiss the bride. And while he may have his reasons for disaproving of interacial marriage or gay marriage, they are not good reasons. The koran says so, or the bible says so, is t really a valid argument.

          • Salvor Hardin

            I believe the baker shouldn’t be required to participate in any event they don’t like for any reason they like – whether you feel the reason is justified or not. Same for a wedding photographer. They are participants in the wedding and not just providing a general service.

          • Brian4000

            That is disgusting. I don’t think businesses should be able to discriminate based on religion, gender, race, sexual orientation, etc. You may not not get it, but there are actually a lot of bigoted people out there. I dont need the law giving them the power to discriminate against me and my wife because we have different colored skin. This isn’t the 1940s. And i think gay people are entitled to the same treatment as fellow human being.s

          • Salvor Hardin

            They have rights as well and you are trying to by force of law requiring them to write words on the wedding cake celebrating a marriage they feel is morally wrong which is disgusting to me.

          • Brian4000

            I am sorry, your freedom of religion doesn’t give you the right to trample on my civil rights. I have a right to marry who i want. And i have a right to buy a cake from whatever bakery i want, no matter what my skin color, sexual orientation or religion. Now, you can choose what oroducts you are willing to sell and what words they can contain, but you can’t deny me service. This whole business of appealing to tolerance to justify bigotry is silly. We do not need to tolerate hatred and bigotry, no matter what religious language you wrap it up in.

          • Salvor Hardin

            You certainly have a right to buy a cake from anywhere but you do not have a right to force speech out of someone’s mouth. So I don’t know the particulars of this case so if it is just providing a generic cake to someone then that should not be a problem. But if you are forcing to write words on a cake or put same sex figurines on a cake then you shouldn’t be able to trample on their free speech rights.

          • Brian4000

            I think whatever product you sell, you have to sell it to everyone. So if you sell cakes that include the names of the bride snd the groom, then yes you have to be willing to also sell one that says David and Steve on it. However you are under no obligation to offer cakes that say the names of the couple. Stop being dramatic and demanding special attention. You are an adult who owns a business. If you are unwilling to serve people equally, you shouldn’t open a store in the first place.

          • Salvor Hardin

            It is still up to the owner of the business what they put on the cake.

          • jefe68

            Actually it depends on the state.
            Federal laws protect people from workplace discrimination on the basis of race, national origin, religion, sex, age, and disability, there is no federal law that specifically outlaws workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in the private sector.

          • Brian4000

            I am talking morally, not legally.

          • Ray in VT

            But when those two things collide it is very often the legal that wins, at least in the shorter term.

          • HonestDebate1

            I don’t think the Bible says much about interracial marriage which would make the case harder to justify as religious tenet. I could be wrong.

            But turn it around, would you want to give business to such a baker? How far would you go to insist that such a person take your money?

          • Brian4000

            The bible has all kinds of vague passages people can read anything into. When interacial marriage was illegal in the US, the big argument we heard to maintain that unjust system was religious. People seriously argued that mixing races was ungodly.

            Would I want to give business to such a baker? That isn’t the point. The point is you are enshrining in law discrimination against me and my wife. It is like when woolworths didn’t allow black people service. Is the answer to simply say, well do you really want to give Woolworth’s money anyways? The issue is the law enables them to prevent me from aquiring a product or service I may want or need.

          • Salvor Hardin

            There are certainly jobs where people should be able to exercise their free will whether they will participate in a wedding service or not. Two of these jobs it seems to me are the person doing the marrying such as a member of the clergy and the photographer. People are not slaves and they should not be forced to perform a service for which they do not agree with for whatever reason they like.

          • Brian4000

            The church isnt a business, it is a religion. If they dont want to perform a wedding, they dont have to. The photographer is a business. But lets stipulate your right, the photographer is close to the priest example because he is literally there participating in the sacrement. Fine allow it in those cases. However someone who makes cakes, is just supplying food, they are not participating in the sacrement. This law goes beyond that anyways.

          • jefe68

            Tell that to the Vatican Bank.

          • HonestDebate1

            As I said, I could be wrong but I am not aware of the passage you are referring to.

            I don’t see the analogy with racism.

          • Brian4000

            I didn’t say the bible supports the position, just that people have interpreted passages to mean god is against interacial marriage (when it was illegal in the us they used biblical arguments to defend laws prohibiting interacial marriage). Here is just one modern example: http://thetencommandmentsministry.us/ministry/bible_and_segregation

          • HonestDebate1

            That’s my point, it’s not cut and dried as with a man laying with a man.

          • Brian4000

            Even that isn’t cut and dried. Lots of weird prohibitions in the bible we ignore because we understand it is a document of its time. The bible also forbids eating shrimp

          • HonestDebate1

            I usually disagree with you but not here. It’s seems rather simple to me, especially the way you put it.

      • J__o__h__n

        The issue isn’t personal morality but equal treatment.

    • Bruce94

      You’re absolutely right. The gay people I know are all productive, successful and more importantly ethical folks–overachievers who have probably accomplished more than I have. But groups like the ADF apparently want to marginalize them and deny them the equal protection and rights that all of us should enjoy.

      And you’re correct when you point out that homosexuality is about normal, positive human variation–the longstanding consensus of the behavioral and social sciences as well as the health and mental health professions. Those responsible for SB 1062, it seems, would disagree with that finding and would reject decades of medical research and clinical experience.

  • Annie Tye

    I have a question (not trying to be a smart-ass, just don’t understand!): I remember seeing signs in businesses in several states that said something like, “We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone.” Are those businesses breaking a law? If so, what are the ramifications?

    It’s too bad that our reality makes us debate this kind of thing. That old cliche, “why can’t we all just get along?” should be reconsidered! (Ditto the Golden Rule!)

  • McMug_Pun

    Tom, to be fair, there is no reason for you to cut that
    homophobic lawyer off every time he speaks. If those people are already so convinced that they are victimized by the gays, then just let him speak. Or else he would use today’s interview as another “proof” that their “freedom of religion” is being threatened. As a gay man, I would love to hear his bogus argument in its entirety.

  • hennorama

    From latimes.com, an excerpt:

    3 GOP lawmakers reverse support for Arizona bill criticized as anti-gay

    TUCSON — Three Republicans who supported a bill bolstering the rights of business owners to refuse service to gays and others on the basis of religion reversed course Monday and asked the governor to veto the controversial measure.

    Republican state Sens. Adam Driggs, Steve Pierce and Bob Worsley wrote a letter to Gov. Jan Brewer pleading for her to reject SB 1062. The measure is intended to support business owners who refuse service to gays and others because they believe serving them violates the practice and observance of their religion.

    “While our sincere intent in voting for this bill was to create a shield for all citizens’ religious liberties, the bill has instead been mischaracterized by its opponents as a sword for religious intolerance. These allegations are causing our state immeasurable harm,” the state senators wrote. “As Arizona leaders, we feel it is important to loudly proclaim that we strongly condemn discrimination in any form.”

    The state lawmakers joined Arizona’s U.S. Senators, Republicans John McCain and Jeff Flake, in asking Brewer for a veto. All of the Republicans in the state Senate voted for the measure, as did all but two in the state House.

    Some foes of the legislation have threatened to boycott Arizona if the bill becomes law. That possibility worries some companies and business organizations, which have urged Brewer to veto it.

    Apple, American Airlines and Marriott are among them.

    “It is exceedingly difficult for us to sell Arizona as a destination against a backdrop of negative attention suggesting certain travelers or conference attendees would not be welcome here — as a matter of law,” Marriott wrote the governor.

    The Arizona Super Bowl Committee also came out against the bill, saying it would “deal a significant blow” to the state’s economy. Arizona is scheduled to host the 2015 Super Bowl.”

    cindy.carcamo@latimes.com

    Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times

    http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-ff-ariz-gay-bill-20140225,0,5978629.story

  • All_About_Alice

    #1 how does anyone know who is or isn’t gay? #2 when is being gay a religion? #3 in a free country an owner of a private business should be able to decide whether or not to serve someone. A million different reasons could be used to avoid service in the case of a restaurant .. from “the cook just walked out” to “our stove broke” to “we’re closing early due to a family emergency” and on and on. IMO none of this has anything to do with religious discrimination in the first place.

    • jefe68

      You mean like this poor excuse for a human being:
      Gary James, owner of Gary’s Chicaros Club in Enid Oklahoma, refuses to serve gay people, blacks, Hispanics and other racial minorities, welfare recipients, disabled people, Muslims and Democrats.

      It is not illegal to bar potential customers because they are gay in Oklahoma. Although state law prohibits discrimination based on race, religion or gender, sexual minorities are not protected.

      Read more: http://digitaljournal.com/biz/small+business/restaurant-owner-refuses-to-serve-freaks-faggots-niggers/article/369599#ixzz2uPKToB8H

    • Lawrence

      Well, I think it’s pretty obvious when a florist and photographer refuse to perform their services for a gay wedding. ( as happened in NM and was the impetus of this bill in the first place. )

  • pete18

    While I agree that if this law allowed business, based on their religious beliefs, to refuse service to gays it would be ugly, discriminatory, wrong and probably unconstitutional, I don’t think that is the bill’s intention or effect:

    “RFRA was first a federal law, passed by Congress in 1993, in response to a U.S. Supreme Court decision, Employment Division vs. Smith (1989). In that case, the Court did not protect the religious freedom of a member of the Native American Church who used peyote, a hallucinogenic, as part of a religious ceremony. The state did not violate Smith’s religious freedom, the Court concluded in an opinion written by Justice Antonin Scalia, because the law making illegal the use of the hallucinogenic applied to people of all faiths, not just the Native American Church.

    Many were deeply concerned about what that
    decision would mean for religious freedom in the United States. In practice the decision meant that if a government policy interferes with a person’s right to freely practice their religion, that is acceptable as long as the policy was not specifically designed to do so.

    A broad coalition of both conservatives and liberals came together, therefore, in support of the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act. This law would tell the courts that the state may only violate someone’s religious freedom under certain conditions (more on these later), and it is up to the government to show those conditions are met. Plus, having a law that is generally applicable (applies to all faiths and those with no faith), is not sufficient reason to deny someone religious
    freedom.

    The law was passed by an overwhelming majority, a
    unanimous vote in the House and a 97 to three vote in the Senate, and signed by a Democratic president – Bill Clinton.

    Later, though, the U.S. Supreme Court would rule, in Boerne vs. Flores (1996), that RFRA cannot be applied to state laws. States would have to pass their own RFRA if they wanted it to apply to their state and local laws, the Court said. So, many states did exactly that. Arizona was one of
    those states.

    The bill passed Thursday by the Arizona legislature
    modifies that existing law. More specifically, it more precisely spells out what RFRA was always understood to mean. Arizona legislators believed a few points needed to be clarified mainly for two reasons, according to Arizona State Representative John Kavanagh.”

    …here are some of the main changes the Arizona bill would make:

    Those covered by RFRA would include “any individual, association, partnership, corporation, church, religious assembly or institution or other business organization.”

    A religious freedom violation can be asserted “regardless of whether the government is a party to the proceeding.”

    The person asserting a religious freedom violation must show three things:
    “1. That the person’s action or refusal to act is motivated by a
    religious belief.

    2. That the person’s religious belief is sincerely
    held.

    3. That the state action substantially burdens the exercise of the person’s religious beliefs.”

    In sum, the bill would essentially make three changes for RFRA: 1) Clarify that any association, including for-profit corporations, are covered. 2) Clarify that the government does not have to be a party in the case. And, 3) to prevent frivolous RFRA claims, require that those claiming a religious
    freedom violation show that there is an actual religious belief behind their action, that they are sincere in their religious belief, and a state action has placed a substantial burden on their religious belief.”

    http://www.christianpost.com/news/issue-analysis-arizona-bill-does-not-give-businesses-license-to-discriminate-against-gays-115093/

    • J__o__h__n

      It almost certainly was the bill’s intention and it will be the bill’s effect.

      • pete18

        And your evidence is?

  • Brian4000

    Except these people are notb eing asked to perform abortions, they are being asked to serve everyone their product regardless of sexual orientation. They just are not comparable.

  • Bruce94

    I see the parallel differently. This controversy reminds me of the extremist Religious (i.e. Christian) Right push for so-called “rights of conscience” legislation or clauses that you cite above for physicians. When you examine the track record of organizations like the ADF that go around the country promoting sutch “conscience rights,” I believe you’ll find their track record is mixed. In many if not most cases, they fail to successfully assert those “rights” to exempt healthcare and pharmacy staff from participating in procedures or transactions (e.g. selling contraceptives) that they find personally or morally objectionable. They lose the argument because referrals are often not practical, or even when they are, the are not acceptable because their withholding of care, products or services is considered a clear violation of their professional ethics which typically bar the type of discrimination that is sanctioned by SB 1062. When doctors, nurses, therapists or pharmacists (in training or practice) have been disciplined or terminated because they have invoked “rights of conscience” in inappropriate or discriminatory ways, their employers have often been upheld in a courts of law especially if the employer also has non-discrimination policies in effect and/or receives federal/state funding as most schools and healthcare institutions do.

  • Kyle

    If businesses are going to refuse to serve gay people because it offends their beliefs, I would hope they would refuse to serve divorcees as well, along with people who eat shellfish and people wearing clothing of two cloths. Leviticus states those are abominations along with sleeping with a man as you would a woman. You can’t pick and choose which parts of the bible you feel like believing in, then use religion as a cover for your bigotry. I’m a little rusty when it comes to the bible, but I’m pretty sure a sin is a sin. If you’re going to refuse service for one particular sin, you better refuse service for every sin. I’m sure the vast majority of people know that will never happen and this really is just a shield for bigoted people to hide behind.

    • TFRX

      I haven’t taken my neighbors children as slaves, nor fulfilled my “obligation” to my brother’s childless widow, so…no cake for me.

      • Mahatma_Coat

        How about this one? Then business can stop doing business with companies that have Female CEOs?
        “I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man. She must be quiet.” (1 Timothy 2:12)

    • Mahatma_Coat

      Upholding this law would be very dangerous for Christians. They may be forced to actually read the whole Bible and come to terms with its Bronze Age ideas.

  • OnPointComments

    Some people’s religious beliefs are that marriage is between a man and a woman, and they are not in favor of gay marriage. To them, marriage has a religious connotation, and they believe that it should be up to religious denominations to determine whether to recognize a marriage or not. These religious people believe that marriage is the union between a man and a woman, and as Christians, believe it is also a sacred union, and that God is in the mix.

    • jefe68

      Good for them. Now I’ll mind my business and I hope they mind theirs.

      • HonestDebate1

        It would have been nice if the gay couple felt the same way.

    • Ray in VT

      I wonder what such people would have to say about the state approved, Justice of the Peace administered, and totally not religious marriage that my wife and I have. I don’t think that the Catholic Church considers me to be married, but I could care less. Why should anyone with a sanctioned marriage care what others may care about its validity, based upon their possibly differing religious beliefs?

      • OnPointComments

        The state approved, Justice of the Peace administered, and totally not religious marriage would probably be considered at least as valid as a civil union.

        • Ray in VT

          Civil Unions don’t exist here anymore.

      • HonestDebate1

        Unless you’ve done a 180, I think you meant “couldn’t care less”.

        • Ray in VT

          Oh, I could care less. One can go down to zero from even the infinitesimal amount that I care. I think that our non-religious marriage bothers my wife’s old, religious grandparents.

    • OnPointComments

      The preceding was Barack Obama’s publicly-stated position on gay marriage prior to May 9, 2012:

      2008 – “I believe marriage is between a man and a woman. I am not in favor of gay marriage.”
      2008 – “I believe that marriage is the union between a man and a woman. Now, for me as a Christian, it is also a sacred union. God’s in the mix.”
      2007 – “It should be up to religious denominations to determine whether they wanted to recognize that as marriage or not.”

  • Kyle

    Let me try to explain this in a way I think more of these people might understand. Lets use the cake maker scenario since I’ve heard that over and over. Saying that selling a gay couple a cake means you condone their lifestyle is like saying that selling a gun to someone who uses it for murder means you condone their actions. Another side I haven’t heard mentioned, can you imagine if it was any religion but Christians putting up a fight? If it was a Muslim business saying they wouldn’t sell, does anybody really think it would have been the story it is now? If I followed a religion that found Christians morally reprehensible and I tried to deny them service because of that, there would be an uproar and I would be sued every which way. No matter how I look at it, all this seems to be is state sanctioned bigotry.

  • Novinha

    I don’t know why no one bothers to point out that vendors do not have the right to ask what their products are going to be used for. If I buy a cake, it’s none of the seller’s business what it’s being used for, who I’m marrying, whatever.
    I could go into a store and buy a knife, and the seller doesn’t even have the right to even ask me what I’m going to use it for, even though I could have plans to use it as a weapon. I could go to pharmacy to fill prescriptions for numerous controlled drugs, and the pharmacist doesn’t even have the right to ask me what I need them for. That privacy clause is implicit in any transaction in the marketplace, even those that require permits or prescriptions.
    Yet these people are suggesting that a florist can demand to know what I’m going to do with the flowers I buy there because they reserve the right to refuse to serve me if I’m gay? Ridiculous.

  • Sy2502

    I have another question for these Christians. Does their religion tell them they can’t serve only gays or does it include other types of sinners? How about adulterers? Atheists? Women who have kids out of wedlock? Tax evaders? People who use cuss words? People who don’t hold the Sabbath holy? In fact, given that according to Christians we are all sinners, shouldn’t they refuse service to EVERYBODY?

  • maxx

    discrimination? civil rights? civil liberties?

    Comparing to the kkk is hardly fair.

    Here is a question. The problem lies within definition. This country, this world has yet to prove definite prove that a person is “born this way” or has no choice in sexual orientation. There have been cases of family members being homosexuals true, however one can argue this in drug cases. Families usually have an generations of addiction. Although, there is not prove of the gay gene there is more prove and support that homosexuality is an addiction.

    This theory as one would imagine is highly unpopular. Cause like most things it causes one to think that homosexuality isn’t normal that they in one way or another are an degenerate. Again this can be said about many addictions. However sexual orientation is alot more touchy with good understanding. Homosexuals are people. Everyone Deserves respect. That being said . those of different religions have rights. Everyone knows that stance of Christians. Although, varying degrees of from the extremist who shout go to hell to the most open.

    Like many people I don’t agree with everyone’s life style . for instance I don’t think veaganism is healthy in anyway. why don I protest their right to live or eat they want to no. Im tolerant but not accepting . That being said about people who do pot as well. However when did one groups civil liberties get to forefront of everyone else’s? Why should homosexual rights trump anyone else’s? I think for most those who wouldn’t serve homosexuals in their business would just lose business and most people who believe it was wrong wouldn’t want to go their anyway.

    People keep throwing the word bigot around like air.
    It’s okay to disagree not everyone has to support gay rights . They don’t have agree . It’s funny that they very supporters of gay right preach tolerance but steamroll everyone if it’s not in their favor.
    Maturity goes a long way.
    Just a thought

    • Other Chris

      The question of genetic basis is irrelevant.

    • Sy2502

      The law protects people’s rights on the basis of religion. Religion is a choice. So the argument on whether homosexuality is a choice or not is, in my opinion, irrelevant.

    • TELew

      There are millions of cases of homosexual persons who testify that they neither chose to be homosexual nor are able to change being homosexual.

      Just what kind of evidence to you want? Are these testimonials no enough?

      • HonestDebate1

        There are certainly those who are born gay and have no choice in the matter. I have seen it first hand. I was living on my own before I graduated from high school. My first roommate was gay. He did not want to be. His father was a real he-man, a big game hunter who also had a license to kill the alligators that caused problems in the Florida lakes. Still, he was gay. He ended up going crazy and being committed. He got through it after he came out and came to grips with who he was. I get that.

        But that doesn’t mean some can’t chose to be gay as well.

        • TELew

          Those who “choose” to be gay are probably “bisexual,” and are a minority among gay people. In this regard I believe they should be free to choose what they want.

          But the bigger issue is that the vast majority of gay people cannot be truly “not homosexual.” I have known men who have chosen to marry women, have families, etc. However, their feelings do not “change.” But in such circumstances I believe it is unfair to the woman, as such relationships end up lacking the physical intimacy that makes sexual attraction an integral part of being married.

          I am much like your friend, at least with regards to his initial feelings about being homosexual. For me my moment of crisis came in my senior year in college. Before then I had fought tooth and nail against my feelings. Ultimately I sank into a very deep depression. But with the help of a good therapist, after about six or seven months I finally accepted the fact and decided to make the best of my life. That was some 27 years ago, and though I can’t claim everything is wonderful in my life, I get by well enough. I am disappointed that I never had children, but sometimes that was not in the cards. I am very glad I never married a woman, because it would have been a lie.

          • HonestDebate1

            I agree with all of that. I do however think that choice (if there is one) can be influenced by our culture and how we define our society. I actually think it’s easier for males to experiment because they generally rely less on emotions for sexual gratification than women. We can be satisfied with slippery friction. I may be out there on that though. My point is, I do think a two-parent heterosexual family should be the model for defining our society. I don’t fit many societal norms either. I would not hold myself up as a role model. That’s just my opinion.

            I do have a question though about the term LGBT. I have talked to gay friends about it and gotten mixed replies. You mentioned bisexuality and I agree with your assessment. To my way of thinking the issue is accepting yourself for who you are. That was my friend’s salvation, apparently yours too. It’s really true across the board from gays to people with afflictions to even people who are ugly. It seems to me that resorting to surgery to be transgendered is the ultimate rejection of yourself. And I’m not talking about hermaphrodites and such. I also understand some people are trapped in a body they don’t want. I just see it as a much more nuanced and complicated problem psychologically than being gay. I think there is a universe of difference between bisexual and transgender and it’s not appropriate to lump them all together in the acronym. I am curious as to your view.

          • TELew

            I personally detest the term “LGBT.” It sounds too much like “BLT” (as in sandwich). It is a term so that we can be “all inclusive,” and I use it because it seems fairly standard these days. A better term might be “queer,” but it has two problems. First, historically it is a derogatory term. Second, in a sense (and this is true of LGBT), it is a definition that is “heteronormative,” ie. it relies upon heterosexual models, as in anything that does not fit those models is “queer.” You also have the problem that I and many others do like being called “queers.” Nevertheless, I prefer the term to “LGBT” which is too much alphabet soup for me.

            As for transgender vs. homo/bisexuality, in a sense the two have nothing to do with other. Transgender is about ones gender identity. Homo/bisexuality is about ones sexuality.

            I would agree that a two parent household is a good ideal, though I don’t believe it should necessarily being only a heterosexual couple. I was raised by a heterosexual couple that divorced when I was a teenager. It was a good thing they divorced because it was not a good relationship. I have three siblings, all of whom are heterosexual, of which I have not doubt whatsoever. The problem lies in the fact that ideals rarely are fulfilled in reality. I also believe that the true “traditional family” is one in which the extended family, especially grandparent, is involved in child rearing. In this regard a gay uncle or lesbian aunt can make significant contributions relieving the parents of many of the burdens. the problem here lies in the fact that our society does not support such a model. We are too oriented to fulfilling only our individual needs (which extends to individual nuclear families). In addition, we have to find jobs where they are–meaning that families can no longer live near each other.

            I hope this helps.

    • TELew

      The funny thing is that “everyone else’s” rights have been trumping the rights of gay people for a very long time, including now.

    • hdesignr

      Well said.

    • hennorama

      .V.

    • J__o__h__n

      It doesn’t matter if it was chosen or not. No one was born a member of a religion.

  • 1Brett1

    Some say, “why don’t gays go somewhere else where they are welcome.” Okay, but then why don’t these business owners have the courage of their religious convictions to advertise up front whom they don’t want to serve? Do their religious freedoms take a back seat, then, to their bottom line?…Doesn’t really sound much like religious conviction to me; sounds more like grandstanding and trying to rally support for discrimination.

    If these business owners want to ensure their religious beliefs are protected and they want to maintain the tenets of their religion, why don’t they advertise using signs/ads like, “We don’t serve gays, people who have pre-marital sex, women who have children out of wedlock, and people who cohabit in sin.” It would help them maintain their rights with much less hassle. Why don’t they do this? Because most likely they don’t want a backlash; they don’t want their businesses hurt by such proclamations. I guess standing up for one’s religious beliefs is fine as long as they can express their religious convictions without fear of backlash. So much for exercising one’s rights.

    I guess profit takes precedence over religious conviction.

    • HonestDebate1

      Speaking for myself, I would not ask that question but I do wonder why some people insist on supporting certain businesses who they disagree with. I also don’t understand the use of the word “welcome” as it relates to this case. They were welcome to shop, do business, and buy a cake. I don’t know why they would post such signs as you suggest. This case is very far removed from the notion that they won’t “serve” anyone who has ever committed a sin as defined by their religion. I don’t know how you got that.

      I guess I can see them putting up a sign saying they don’t make divorce cakes, or don’t bake cakes with private parts made of icing (I’ve seen some great ones) and such. But even then, it doesn’t make much sense to post signs unless they were just barraged and needed too. For instance, we do not rent horses but are called several times a week about it. We put a message on our answering machine that says we don’t rent horses.

      It seems to me extremely short-sighted and illogical to turn down business for something so trivial, but that’s me. I certainly put profit above religious convictions. If the bakers felt like me then they would have taken the money and baked the cake. So I don’t agree with your assessment at all.

      • HonestDebate1

        BTW on a totally unrelated matter, I want to hire you for a gig. It’s a Tea Party fund raiser. I will send you a list of the songs I’ll require. Obviously being a tea party they will all have racist, homophobic themes. You must perform the songs or I’ll spread the word you refused to serve me. No other songs will do. If you try to wiggle out, I’ll sue you for discrimination.

        • pete18

          good point.

        • 1Brett1

          Oh, haha, that is so clever [sarcasm]. I don’t play commercial music. I play the songs I play, and most of those are my own compositions. I don’t even play bars anymore, generally, and I would never play a private function for people I don’t know.

          I don’t advertise my services as a performer. I send press kits to venues where I want to play. So, it’s not the kind of thing where I have a Yellow Page ad as “professional musician, available for weddings and parties.” I’d quit playing music if that is what I had to do.

          Even if someone comes up at a gig and says, “Hey, can you play ‘Midnight Hour’?” for example…I mean it depends, but, generally, I’d say no; my gigs aren’t trips down memory lane, or the ‘golden oldies’ or ‘classic rock.’ They just aren’t those kinds of gigs.

          People are going to places to see ME not “a generic performer of the ‘hits’ if you see what I’m saying. People don’t call me up and say, “hey, you are going to play at my gig and you’ll play the songs I tell you to play.” So (and you know this) your hypothetical is ridiculous.

          As far as my music lessons, yeah I teach people from all kinds of religious and political backgrounds. If it ever came up, I wouldn’t refuse anyone. If a customer said they couldn’t take lessons from me because I’m not Christian, communist, atheist, or white supremacist, or that I serve black students, I’d say, “okay.”

          By the way, I replied to your comment above (the reply might surprise you) but it got thrown in moderation…It’ll probably show up tomorrow morning. I really get tired of that DISQUS crap. My comments that don’t get sent to moderation are a lot more controversial than the ones getting snagged, so that’s what’s funny/ridiculous.

          • HonestDebate1

            I don’t care what kind of music you normally play or where you advertise. It matters not. I have the right to hire you. If you have a reason not to play the music I want then it doesn’t matter one iota. It is my right to force you to play whatever I want because I am a customer. You are a musician for hire and I need a musician. I don’t give a wit about your convictions.

          • 1Brett1

            Only you (and apparently the sycophantic pete18) would think your reasoning is anything other than ridiculous. Besides, before you embarrass yourself too much, you should wait until you see my reply tomorrow after it gets kicked out of moderation. Your argument is silly. No one has to perform racist or homophobic songs because you are the customer. Your false analogies get so convoluted.

          • HonestDebate1

            My reasoning is ridiculous.

            Perfect, thank you.

          • HonestDebate1

            As an aside, I am the sycophant of Pete, you have it backwards. The dude’s a genius.

          • pete18

            I used to think you had good judgement, now I’m not so sure.

          • 1Brett1

            So, a gay person going into a bakery and asking for a wedding cake is the same thing as a bigoted racist demanding a musician play racist homophobic songs? Okay, sure, brilliant comparison…

          • pete18

            Here is a clearer example. You own a bakery and the director of the Westboro Baptist church comes to your shop and wants to hire you to cater an affair at their church. They’ll want the cakes decorated with things like, “God loves the Westboro Baptists,” etc.

            Are you within your rights to refuse to take that account? If so why? If not than how is it any different than the photographer saying “no” to a gay wedding?

            This is a different question than whether a member of the church comes in and orders a cake from you, they are asking you to go to the church and cater their 25th anniversary party or something like that.

          • 1Brett1

            Are you asking if I were a caterer? I can’t say how someone else would handle this. Also if this hypothetical caterer refuses to cater this affair and the Westboro Baptist Church sues (and they do sue every chance they get), so what? People sue over stupid crap all the time. Also as comparisons go, the caterer in this hypothetical scenario doesn’t have the benefit of standing behind any religious conviction. Just straight up not liking a customer isn’t a religious thing.

            To answer your question, though, yes, I’d bake the cakes and put “God Loves the Westboro Baptists” on the cakes. (If they were to ask if I would put vile expressions on the cakes, I would refuse to do that, but I wouldn’t refuse to serve them outright). BTW, I have attended rallies by the Westboro Baptist church and have heard Fred Phelps speak live…I found it fascinating.

          • Ray in VT

            When he was speaking did you throw up in your mouth a little?

          • 1Brett1

            He was pretty vile! His group was pretty vile too! A counter-protest went on that was cool…A group dressed as angels with huge wings surrounded him in a circle. They held up their wings through his diatribe, so no on could see him.

          • Ray in VT

            When some of his people had a protest in Montpelier some years ago basically everyone ignored them, and after a couple of hours of having no one pay attention to them they gave up and left.

          • HonestDebate1

            They are within their first amendment rights to be vile according to the SCOTUS.

          • 1Brett1

            Who said Phelps’ group doesn’t have the right to do what they do? They seem to protest all over the place.

          • J__o__h__n

            I really hate that acronym. Court or Supreme Court is sufficient. Do we really not know what country they are the supreme court of?

          • Ray in VT

            I think that we should get the POTUS to weigh in.

          • J__o__h__n

            I hate that too.

          • HonestDebate1

            I like FLOTUS. It sounds sexy.

          • HonestDebate1

            Mighty picky. It’s just a short cut.

          • J__o__h__n

            Court is shorter.

          • HonestDebate1

            Duly noted but I guess I’ll decide for myself. I know you went away in protest over the banners for a while. Maybe you’ll warm up to SCOTUS.

          • 1Brett1

            I’m going to sue you if you don’t write “court” instead of “SCOTUS”!

            Maybe there should be a law protecting all of the poor, persecuted “SCOTUS” writers whose 1st Amendment rights are being violated by others who would condemn them for their habits?

          • HonestDebate1

            You already lost that argument dude.

          • pete18

            I’m not sure I understand your answer. Are you saying that you do or don’t believe it that a caterer would have the right to deny service to the Westboro Baptist church for religious or moral reasons?

            I’m sure watching Phelps was like watching a train wreck. Thugs and idiots, all of them, but what they think and say is still protected under the first amendment.

          • 1Brett1

            Who said Phelps’ group isn’t protected under the 1st Amendment?

            You asked me what I would do if I were a cater and…and I told you.

            If someone has a public business and wants to refuse service to gays, then they should find some other occupation where they are not putting themselves in a position to be discriminatory, if their religious convictions are so strong that they don’t want to serve gay people.

            What would you do if you were a baker and Westboro Baptists asked you to bake cakes and present them at one of their protests?

          • pete18

            I didn’t say that you suggested that about Phelps, I was just pointing it out as an aside.

            All I’m trying to do is establish what your position is. Regardless of what you and i would do, what do you think the law does and what should it protect in these instances?

            That’s what’s at stake in the Arizona law. The law has to be written in a way that applies universally. The protection of religious freedom came from the Supreme Court case, Employment Division vs. Smith, about whether a member of an Native American church could legally smoke peyote because it was part of his religion. The court said he couldn’t, which caused a bi-partisan coalition in congress to pass the Religious Freedom Act, which forces the government to bear the burden of proof in seeing that certain conditions are met before they can violate someone’s religious freedom.

            The supreme court later said that the states would have to draft their own laws
            to address religious freedoms as they apply to state laws. Hence the Arizona law and the recent attempts to amend it.

            My basic point here is that we can probably all find a situation where it would seem reasonable for the law to allow some wiggle room so that people couldn’t be sued for denying service under certain conditions. Maybe you’re completely consistent in your position, but I think a lot of people will only apply their opinion to one situation without considering the other possibilities.

          • HonestDebate1

            Telling a baker what to bake is no different than telling a musician what to play.

          • 1Brett1

            Your hypothetical situation was in asking a musician to sing a racist song.

          • HonestDebate1

            “I think people should do whatever their conscience tells them to do”

            Or to not do what their conscious tells them not to do.

            I have been informed the theme has changed. Now they want 2 hours of Celtic Carpenter covers. I demand to be served.

          • Ray in VT

            “Or to not do what their conscious tells them not to do.” Like putting up a sign at a lunch counter and refusing to serve a class of people?

          • HonestDebate1

            Yes, put up a sign that says we serve only those who can afford to pay the bill.

            “NO FREE LUNCH”

            That’s completely appropriate.

            IF you meant race instead of class then the analogy is not valid. When a black man marries a white woman he is doing the exact same thing as when a white man marries a white woman. At one time it was thought there was a difference and that’s why interracial marriage was not condoned in law. Now we know there is no difference between a white and black other than skin color. There IS a humongous difference between a man and a woman. I am very happy about that.

          • Ray in VT

            Of course, treating one group of citizens as second class and discriminating against them is totally different from treating another group of citizens as second class and discriminating against them. We’ve all got the same rights, except for those of us who don’t, because it is okay to prejudice the law against one group, just so long as we have a good reason, like a super old book in which people believe, but which does not have force of law.

          • Ray in VT

            Who’s talking marriage in this particular analogy? I am talking about not compelling someone to do something that is against their conscience. If one’s conscience does not allow them to serve a black person, then, would your statement not indicate that you believe that that person should not be compelled to do so?

          • 1Brett1

            Oh, yeah, I can play me some Celtic music! I do a series of very lucrative St. Paddy’s Day gigs every year, even some Celtic-esque-bluegrass type stuff when my friend who plays low whistles is in town. I would consider it a challenge to adapt some of the Carpenter’s songs into Celtic renditions (Ms. Carpenter wasn’t too bad a drummer, either!).

            What is the date, time and HOW MUCH?? I mean, I’m going to need to earn some extra money after that Tea Party group sues me for not playing racist, homophobic songs!

        • J__o__h__n

          Elton John played at Rush’s wedding. (I think it was his third, but I’ve lost count of his sacred matrimonial bonds.)

          • Ray in VT

            Remember when traditional marriage was until death do you part? Then someone came along and redefined it.

          • HonestDebate1

            So divorce is something new, who knew?

          • Ray in VT

            It once was. Once women had many fewer rights in that arena. Once reasons for granting one were far more limited. Then people came along and redefined it.

          • HonestDebate1

            You are talking about redefining the law. Marriage is marriage.

          • Ray in VT

            Except that marriage now is not what it always was. Then people redefined it. It is not a static institution.

          • J__o__h__n

            The issue is the legal definition of marriage. No other definition matters.

          • Ray in VT

            Correct. The definitions advanced by the various churches are not the law.

          • HonestDebate1

            They are now friends but Rush still had to pay a million bucks.

  • Madoff

    Tom Ashbrook doesn’t know what yellow star means? Seriously?

  • hennorama

    [From the Reasonable Heads Prevail desk, another dispatch]:

    As expected, Gov. Brewer wound up vetoing SB 1062.

  • HonestDebate1

    Now that the bill has been vetoed, I have some questions.

    To what extent did Governor Brewer let politics and commercial interests factor in her decision? And to be clear, I do not criticize her for weighing those factors, that’s her job. But still those factors are not related to religious freedom which is the cornerstone of the debate.

    The Constitution does not make any distinctions about who is protected under the first amendment. There is nothing about it being limited to churches or religious institutions. Why should States view it differently?

    Will the bakery be forced to bake the cake?

    Will this end up in the SCOTUS?

  • tbphkm33

    I’m glad that Governor Brewer realized this proposed law would not stand up in the courts and in fact would negatively impact Arizona in so many ways.

    I do have to admit that I have boycotted christian businesses for years. In fact, any business that promotes religious affiliation of any kind. Walked out of a restaurant once that had bible verses on the back of the menu.

    YOUR superstition has no right to interfere with my life. What you want to believe is your business, keep it to yourself. There are plenty of other businesses that will take my money without subjecting me to primitive superstitions.

    • HonestDebate1

      I think it is peachy keen that you boycott businesses you don’t like. Really, I do. But no one is interfering with your life. You were the one who walked into their world and asked for a menu. So there’s that.

      And I agree with you that Gov. Brewer realized the proposed law would negatively impact Arizona in many ways, not that they have squat to do with the righteousness of the proposal. She said so plainly.

      On what basis do you make the certain claim the law would not hold up in the courts?

      • Kaelin

        The business / employer is generally entitled to dictate employee conduct on the job. This rule is especially true when an employee can invoke “religious grounds” to engage in conduct detrimental to the health of a company, including refusing to serve patrons for reasons outside company policy. Furthermore, demonstrating and using the emotional capacity to serve patrons is a bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ) for working in most service industries, just as having full mobility is a BFOQ for working as a professional athlete, so employers can require it of their workers.

        • HonestDebate1

          All of that is true. Still, I don’t see anything unconstitutional about expanding the definition of “you” beyond churches and religious institutions to include businesses. The first amendment does not make that distinction.

          Let’s see where this goes from here, it may end up in the SCOTUS.

      • Kaelin

        [accidental double post]

    • TFRX

      I don’t know if I’m so glad about it, because I think she maybe thought she couldn’t get away with it…this time.

      At some point the honesty of those who’ll wear their “God Hates F*gs” t-shirts outweighs those who symbolize their bigotry as wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.

    • J__o__h__n

      They have every right to include their religious messages and you have every right to not shop there. I don’t think that is similar to the Arizona legislation.

      • 1Brett1

        I prefer it when I see Christians who run businesses advertise, either through the fish symbol, or some quoted scripture, or in directly stating it is a business run by a Christian, etc., it lets me know not to shop there.

        • J__o__h__n

          Unless they are really pushing their views, I don’t avoid shopping somewhere. I love Trappist ales.

          • 1Brett1

            I have a neighbor who is a plumber, and he goes out of his way, plastering pro-Jesus/scripture stuff all over his van, talking personal saviour stuff on house calls, etc. Also, there’s a “Christian” barbershop down the street…it’s those kinds of businesses I’ll avoid.

          • Ray in VT

            Do they only give haircuts which Jesus would have personally approved of?

          • 1Brett1

            Considering the old guy who runs the place…no doubt! (I’ll bet customer and barber pray together before each haircut.)

          • Ray in VT

            Does Jesus prefer crew cuts by any chance? It looks to me that Jesus wasn’t one for short hairdos.

          • 1Brett1

            As a matter of fact, this barber has a crewcut! …I think Jesus changed his hairstyle after he created ‘Merica.

          • Ray in VT

            Well, Jesus was a real man’s man of a gun toting, freedom loving ‘Merican. That’s why he wrote the Constitution.

        • Salty

          …and that would be a pro liberty stance. I should also not be forced to take part in a business transaction if I find it violates my constitutional protected faith and it’s exercise.

          It is sad to see these folks have such negative views of faith and the faithful. I can’t imagine how one could cope in a world without purpose, a life without hope and a day without faith.

  • hennorama

    Arizona Governor Brewer said this about her veto of SB 1062:

    “Senate Bill 1062 does not address a specific and present concern related to religious liberty in Arizona. I have not heard of one example in Arizona where a business owner’s religious liberty has been violated.

    “This bill is broadly worded and could result in unintended and negative consequences.

    “After weighing all of the arguments, I vetoed Senate Bill 1062 moments ago.”

    That seems pretty clear: it was a bill in search of a problem that doesn’t exist, was too broad, and could have “unintended and negative consequences.”

    Reasonable Heads Prevail. Again.

    Source:
    http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/3127406/posts

  • hennorama

    V.

  • northeaster17

    “The libs want preferential treatment solely for their pet causes and actually expect to dictate to the rest of us how to live.”
    You religous freedom is good till it gets past the realm of your nose and into the realm of mine.

  • 1Brett1

    What’s “next” you say? So, slippery slope, huh?

    Bake a cake one day, be locked in a dungeon for praying, the next?

    Baking a gay couple a cake is allowing “preferential treatment” for liberals? Serving all people in a public business without discrimination is a concept replete with “lies and deceptions”?

  • J__o__h__n

    It is not constitutional.

  • Salty

    It sad to see these folks have such negative views of faith and the faithful. I can’t imagine how one could cope in a world without purpose, a life without hope and a day without faith.

  • http://biscuitswithjam.wordpress.com/ Biscuits-with-Jam

    My question – can a website designer who has religious objections to gambling refuse to create a website for a casino?

    • http://biscuitswithjam.wordpress.com/ Biscuits-with-Jam

      I posted this because it’s interesting to think about when it might be legitimate to make business decisions based on moral/ethical principles. The example of gambling is good because it is legal, and recently has become more widespread, but many people are uncomfortable with gambling or have specific beliefs that prohibit gambling. There are other examples — for example I remember being part of a campaign to divest my college’s investments from the apartheid South Africa regime.
      There probably are legitimate exceptions to the “serve every customer” rule, especially for service businesses that require a personal level of participation of the business owner or staff. This could be an interesting philosophical debate BUT the Arizona law is the wrong law and the wrong forum for this debate. Really, I think that gay marriage is relatively new, and people who are currently uncomfortable with it will become more comfortable as it continues to be part of the fabric of community life.

  • Stacy21629

    Nice little avoidance of the hairdresser example…
    If a Christian photographer can be forced to photograph a gay wedding or face legal action, a gay hairdresser needs to be forced to cut the governor’s hair or face legal action.

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