Arizona Republicans Look to Prevent Churches From Being "Forced" to Host Gay Marriages

Categories: I'm Only a Bill
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By Stefano Bolognini via Wikimedia Commons


Many Republican lawmakers are backing a bill that would prevent churches or ministers from getting "forced" to have anything to do with gay marriages.

Although the Arizona Constitution effectively bans gay marriages in the state, this is proposed in case the situation changes. The bill, House Bill 2481, is the second piece of legislation proposed this year that calls for allowing a certain group of people to discriminate against gay people.

The other is Senate Bill 1062, proposed by Republican Senator Steve Yarbrough, would defend businesses that refuse to serve gay people, if the business owner is asserting that he's doing so based on a religious belief.

In a committee hearing last week, Yarbrough specifically linked the purpose of his bill with a case in New Mexico, where a photographer refused to shoot a gay couple's wedding.

In HB 2481, sponsored by Republican Representative Steve Montenegro, only churches and ministers would be able to turn down requests to perform or host gay marriages.

Montenegro issued a statement before the legislative session started, signaling his intention to propose this bill, and explaining the reasoning behind the proposal:
"There are a number of churches and ministers who have publicly campaigned for same-sex marriage and who have indicated a willingness to perform them. There is no need to force churches and their officials to participate, and Arizona's First Freedom Act will ensure that those on the radical left will not be able to use same-sex marriage as a weapon against those churches whose teachings and beliefs are irreconcilably at odds with it."
Specifically, the bill says, in part, "Government may not require a minister to solemnize a marriage that is inconsistent with the minister's sincerely held religious beliefs."

So while the intent is to target gay marriage, it could apply to any kind of marriage that doesn't sit well with a minister's beliefs.

It appears that similar legislation has been proposed in other states, including Utah and South Dakota.

As for Arizona's bill, 35 Republican legislators have signed on as sponsors or co-sponsors, including Montenegro.

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Follow Matthew Hendley on Twitter at @MatthewHendley.



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47 comments
TommyCollins
TommyCollins topcommenter

I wouldn't think it would take a law for a church to decline a gay marriage ceremony. Seems to me all they have to do is post their regulations for everyone to read. Churches are simply businesses involved in the sale of religious practices and as such the administrators have a right to refuse to conduct gay marriages.Or 'straight' marriages. Or marriages among animals, I suppose.


Would this be an issue if a church refused to conduct marriage between members of the bovine and equine community?

Flyer9753
Flyer9753 topcommenter

So once again, the Republicans are wasting time and money with legislation that is not needed since no one is being forced to do anything anyways....


Typical Republicans, wasting

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

Time to revoke the tax exempt status of these Snake Oil Temples and treat them like ANY OTHER BUSINESS!


Religion = Superstitious Nonsense for Ignorant Imbeciles.





norman.dostal
norman.dostal

churches CANNOT be forced to do anything-host a wedding, officiate a jewish mass, etc. STUPID GOP-they will lose big in the Fall

car_del99
car_del99

Being " blessed " by a pastor , priest or whatever has the same effect as being blessed by an ordinary person..I don't see the difference..Both are equal.


logicman
logicman

gays should be able to get married, but if a business (church) doesn't want the money they shouldn't be forced to.  No different than forcing a doctor to perform an abortion if he doesn't want to.

rickaz59
rickaz59

The underlying motive here is that the Mormons are worried they will be forced to perform Temple weddings for Gentiles or, Kolob forbid, backsliding Mormons.

shadeaux14
shadeaux14

Just more good old Arizona "Hatin in the name of the Lord"


Sure glad I'm surrounded by all these "Good Christians"


So much for evolution.

eric.nelson745
eric.nelson745 topcommenter

That paparazzo in NM cannot "refuse service to anyone" based on his religious views. Any business that serves the general public cannot legally discriminate against any person having the ability to pay for its services. He is not a religious institution and he is not a non-profit. When same-sex marriage comes to AZ, preachers will not be forced to officiate at such weddings. Again we have here a solution in search of a problem. But ok, go ahead and pass this bill and I guess it's ok for Gin Jan to sign it into law. It will have no effect on the ability of same-sex couples to get hitched in the state. But those relatively few individuals with the power vested in them by the State of Arizona who have no objection to gay marriage will find themselves quite busy. 

DNichols
DNichols

The same G.O.P. that Babtized a Racist Neo Nazi thatknowingly hunted/ambushed Hispanic's with Sniper Riffles, and Night Scopes as of all damn things a "Saint" , and has Gay High Ranking Members in Arizona, dosen't want Gay Marraiges near thier Nazi Babtizimal Fonts? 

DNichols
DNichols

The G.O.P. was going to run Gay  Sheriff Babeu for the Arizona House?

The G.O.P. is a little confused, and sending mixed messages?!

Governor Brewer goes out to bars with Gay Sheriff Babeu, why would the G.O.P. now care about gay marraige?!

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

If you're silly enough to think you need to have your marriage "blessed" by the local witch doctor, why in the world would you ask somebody to do it who doesn't approve of it?


robert_graham
robert_graham

@Flyer9753 But you liberals are wasting time and money with legislation to try and force Arizona to "Host" illegal aliens.

TommyCollins
TommyCollins topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay 

Yep. Can you imagine how many mega churches would go out of 'business' if they had to pay fair taxes?


valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@norman.dostal 

It's not stupid at all. You're showing your own ignorance.

They're politicians.  They know that the legislation isn't necessary, but they also know that they have religious-right constituents who will appreciate the fact that they're "holding the line against the gay agenda".

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@logicman

Licensed businesses can actually be punished by the government if they refuse to deal with customers based on criteria that are covered by anti-discrimination laws.


Churches don't operation under the same sort of license, so they're free to discriminate based on the rules laid out for them by primitive people living thousands of years ago.


A major function of religion is to inhibit societal change so the elders won't be made to feel even more uncomfortable by the crazy things that kids these days are doing.

The benefits are mixed, at best.


DannyNoonan
DannyNoonan

@shadeaux14   If you'd rather live in a state or country where the GOVT can force people to do things they don't want to, you're welcome to leave....go to CUBA or some other country where you won't have any choice in any matter!

fishingblues
fishingblues topcommenter

@DNichols I wish you were a little smarter.  You're too fucking stupid to know when you are being insulted.Therefore, I would be wasting my time.

Jazus!  Talk about head-in-the-ass disease.

Fucking liberal zealots!

Cozz
Cozz topcommenter

@robert_graham 

Oh my Jaffy, does this mean you and Babeu will have to get a divorce now ?

azlefty
azlefty

@robert_grahamI wish all of the Conservative  GOP businessmen who employ them would realize that! 

robert_graham
robert_graham

@valleynative Exactly! And why would the government talk about amnesty for millions of illegals when the majority of the American people don't want it?

norman.dostal
norman.dostal

Wrong, retard. You clearly dont know AZ. The "hate gays" bills do NOT work anymore. AZ has a large democratic populace and polls indicate that majority are supporting marriage equality (over 77%!!!). So, to my original point, backing a "Hate gays" bill is stupid and will not benefit a politciian in AZ.

Cozz
Cozz topcommenter

@eric.nelson745

Impossible. Jaffy has a knuckle dragging one track mind with an IQ of -5

Cozz
Cozz topcommenter

@robert_graham

Shut the F up you racist POS.

azlefty
azlefty

@robert_graham@valleynativeWhy does not the  "Toughest Sheriff in America" go after the  Conservative Criminal Businessmen who willingly hire them?  AKA doing the  job he was elected to -enforce state laws?

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@robert_graham

And why should people have to read about illegals in the comment section of an article about gay marriage?

How pathetic to have to lower yourself to inserting yourself into inappropriate places in order to try to get attention.


Go stand on a corner and hand out leaflets.  Grown-up are talking here.


norman.dostal
norman.dostal

and you really think 77% of AZ is democrat? wow-imbecilic

norman.dostal
norman.dostal

Why would you know AZ better than a political science major who studies politics in the USA? I just presented a fact-77% approve of gay marriage in AZ. For a poltician to counter that in any way is STUPID. You called me ignorant, which is moronic because my post was concise, clear and factual. You ARE retarded and self absorbed and obviously a pearl clutcher "Oh my, a stranger called me a name!". If you reply again, why dont you counter my argument: Is a politician intelligent (not stupid) if he tries to pass legislation that over 77% of the state is against? Try harder please!

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@norman.dostal 

I'm sure I know Arizona better than you do.  I also seem to understand politics better than you, since you appear to believe that these politicians care what Democrats think.


I'm also an adult, and have no respect for the opinions of anybody who calls others "retard".   I can't help but picture you as a 3rd grader angry with his friends on the playground.

fishingblues
fishingblues topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay @valleynative What is STUPID is your incessant use of the term "ipso facto".  What, you think you are a lawyer?  You don't really pretend to know Latin?  You piece of shit fucking fraud..  

DNichols
DNichols

@valleynative

This is Arpaio's "One trick Pony."

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