90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
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. “

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Apr 20, 2015
A member of a bomb squad pulls something off of a small helicopter and throws it after a man landed on the West Lawn of the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, April 15, 2015.  A Florida postal carrier named Doug Hughes took responsibility for the stunt on a website where he said he was delivering letters to all 535 members of Congress in order to draw attention to campaign finance corruption. (AP)

We’ll take up the gyrocopter pilot’s complaint. Big money politics in America, on the road to 2016. And what to do about it.

Apr 20, 2015
New York Times columnist David Brooks explores a history of American moral character in his new book, "The Road to Character." Former US Labor Secretary Frances Perkins (R), is one of the subjects he profiles in his books. (David Burnett / AP)

New York Times columnist David Brooks on finding moral character in a self-preoccupied society.

RECENT
SHOWS
Apr 17, 2015
The members of all-female mariachi band Flor de Toloache (Courtesy the Artist).

An all-female band takes mariachi to old places and new. We’ll talk with the women of Flor de Toloache.

 
Apr 17, 2015
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio waves to supporters as his wife Jeanette joins him on stage, after he announced that he will be running for the Republican presidential nomination, during a rally at the Freedom Tower, Monday, April 13, 2015, in Miami. (AP)

Hillary and Rubio, in for 2016. Congress, in on the Iran Deal. And a Gyrocopter on the Capitol lawn. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Three LIVE Tracks From Flor De Toloache
Friday, Apr 17, 2015

Fantastic live tracks from the amazing women of Flor de Toloache.

More »
1 Comment
 
Our Week In The Web: April 17, 2015
Friday, Apr 17, 2015

Interactions on Facebook, campaign time begins and a truck full of bees.

More »
2 Comments
 
Parents Speak Out On Autism Care ‘Cliff’
Thursday, Apr 16, 2015

Stories of autism care for adults from our callers and, maybe, from you, too.

More »
4 Comments