Arizona's Anti-LGBT "Religious Freedom" Bill Trolled by a Pair of Democratic Senators

Categories: I'm Only a Bill
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By Matthew Hendley


The sponsor of Arizona's controversial Senate Bill 1062, Republican Senator Steve Yarbrough, insists his bill is not a license for businesses to discriminate against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people.

Through a bit of trolling, a pair of Democratic senators set out to prove the bill -- which has since passed the Senate and is scheduled to be heard in the House this afternoon -- does just that.

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Yarbrough's bill would expand the rights of businesses to make exercise-of-religion claims. Yarbrough specifically has compared his legislation to the case in New Mexico, in which a wedding photographer refused to photograph a lesbian couple's wedding. Yarbrough's bill would give the photographer a defense, if that were an Arizona case.

The two Democrats who led the fight of the bill yesterday, Senators Steve Gallardo and Ed Ableser, proposed eight amendments to Yarbrough's bill, most of which would have prevented a business from discriminating against an LGBT person. Yarbrough, and the Republican majority, voted down each one.

UPDATE February 21: The House has passed this bill, and it's now in the hands of Governor Jan Brewer. Click here to read more.

First, Gallardo offered adding specific LGBT protections to the bill. That was voted down.

Then, Gallardo offered that any business that does want to reserve service to someone based on a religious belief should let that be known on a sign posted at the front of the business.

"There's a reason why businesses don't want anyone to know [they discriminate], it's because they will go out of business -- they know that," Gallardo said. "They know that this type of discrimination would not be tolerated in Arizona."

That was voted down.

Then Ableser introduced his series of amendments.

Current law allows a person to make an exercise-of-religion claim in court, and part of Yarbrough's proposed expansion of this law would change the definition of "person" to include "any individual, association, partnership, corporation, church or other business organization."

Ableser said that's not the definition of a person, and offered up a more scientific way to define a "person" in this section of the law as "a species of bipedal primates to which modern humans belong, characterized by the brain capacity averaging 85 cubic inches, and the dependency on language and the creation and use of complex tools."

"I think we can all agree to that," Ableser said.

Yarbrough called the amendment "odd," as he and the Republicans voted it down.

Then Ableser wanted a tougher definition of what the "exercise of religion" might be. For Christianity, he used the "greatest commandments" described by Jesus in Matthew 22: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind," and, "Love your neighbor as yourself."

Ableser offered another variation, saying that someone's exercise of religion can't harm another person.

And another variation: People who are victims of someone's religious beliefs should be able to sue as well. And another one: An exercise-of-religion claim shouldn't be based of a contradictory interpretation of religious scripture. All of those amendments failed.

For good measure, Ableser offered one more amendment: People shouldn't be able to make an exercise-of-religion claim based on Satanism.

Ableser cited one of the "Eleven Satanic Rules of the Earth," which states, "If a guest in your lair annoys you, treat him cruelly and without mercy."

Under Yarbrough's bill, a Satanist business owner could defend himself in a lawsuit by saying his religious beliefs dictated that he must have treated someone cruelly and without mercy for being an annoyance.

Like the rest of the amendments, that one was voted down too.

At one point during this floor hearing yesterday, Gallardo made it clear what they were getting at.

"You can't argue the fact that this bill will open up the doors for discrimination," he said. "I invite any member on this floor to stand up and point out how this bill would not invite discrimination against gays and lesbians. You can't do it, because that's the point of this bill!"

Yarbrough responded that the bill "is all about preventing discrimination against people who are engaged in the serious exercise of their religious faith."

The bill passed the Senate on party lines, and it looks like a similar fight's about to take place in the House this afternoon, based on what Democratic Representative Mark Cardenas posted to Twitter this morning:



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Follow Valley Fever on Twitter at @ValleyFeverPHX.
Follow Matthew Hendley at @MatthewHendley.




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100 comments
je_eighth
je_eighth

            Universal GAYety is Coming !

     Gays are found throughout history. For the first time ever - finally - they're almost worldwide! Wow!
     This global gaydom is even foretold in the Bible - predicted by Jesus (see "days of Lot" in Luke 17 and compare with Genesis 19).
     And the Hebrew prophet Zechariah (14th chapter) says that during the same gay "days" ALL nations will come against Israel and fulfill the "days of Noah" at the same time (see Luke 17 again) - a short time of anti-Jewish genocide found in Zechariah 13:8 when two-thirds of all Jews will die.
     In other words, when "gay days" have become universal, all hell will break loose!
     Shockingly, the same "days" will lead to and trigger the "end of days" - and when they begin, human government will quickly wind down in just a few short years. For the first time in history there won't be enough time for anyone to expect to live long enough to be able to attend college, have kids and grand-kids, save for and enjoy retirement, etc.
     One final thought. The more we see gays "coming out," the sooner Jesus will be "coming down"!
     (For more, Google or Yahoo "God to Same-Sexers: Hurry Up," "Jesus Never Mentioned Homosexuality. When gays have birthdays...," and "FOR GAYS ONLY: Jesus Predicted...")

ancientmyth
ancientmyth

"...who are engaged in the serious exercise of their religious faith." As in seriously engaged in discriminating another Citizen based on religion.  If they can't serve the public, they should go private.  There they can discriminate (exercise) anyone they choose.  But in public, one Right will not outweigh another's Right (their right to be free of religious discrimination).

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

Arizona Legislature = home to Amerikkka's Taliban

jennc2112
jennc2112

I did read the text of the bill and during the senate debate I believe it was Yarborough who said that there is a provision where you may not break any other law such as discrimination of protected classes and murder. However upon reading the bill that clause is not in there, therefore an EMT can refuse to treat you let you die and not be held responsible. We all know the SCOTUS will strike this down but it has not stopped these lawmakers from trying. I firmly believe that if these people believe so much that their religious rights are being violated then they should not buy from companies that support equal rights. That means no Apple, Microsoft, Starbucks, most grocery stores in AZ, Clorox,Proctor and Gamble, no shopping at Target, the list is absolutely huge. If they cannot give up all these companies then their faith is just not that important to them. Also a correction, The Greatest Commandments verse is Mark not Matthew 

Rita Mary
Rita Mary

Digesting. BUSINESS WILL SUFFER. BOYCOTT AZ IF LAW is signed by Gov.

Jeff Kee
Jeff Kee

Call and Email Jan Brewer's governor's office: In-State Toll Free: Phoenix (602) 542-4331 Tucson (520) 628-6580 1-800-253-0883 (outside Maricopa County only)

nlefevre12
nlefevre12

I have actually read the text of the bill. It is not limited to protecting discrimination against those that are homosexual or bisexual. It would apply equally to those that would refuse employment, accommodation or service to members of mixed race couples, mixed religion couples, mixed nationality couples, divorcees, eaters of pork, and every other discrimination endorsed by the Bible (or discrimination endorsed by any other religion the business owner adheres to). The effect is that anyone that wants to refuse employment or service to gays, mixed race couples, divorces, or pork eaters can do so and the victim of the discrimination (not against the person's actions - against the person) will have no remedy. It even has (Section 8) what I like to call the "back of the bus" provision. It allows the business owner to segregate the employee/customer into a separate section. I find it hard to imagine that any significant US corporation would open headquarters or other facilities in a state that allows such discrimination.

Linda Evans
Linda Evans

Toby, that's the best one-sentence assessment of our legislature that I've seen in a long time.

Linda Evans
Linda Evans

What bothers me most is that our legislators didn't even come up with this "brilliant" idea on their own. They're puppets for groups like ALEC that drop these draconian proposals into state legislatures around the country, most of which have the decency and good sense to reject them. Even Kansas said no to this. And then there's Arizona . . . .

Toby San
Toby San

They don't know how to actually govern, Tyson, so they pass laws that endear them to their bigoted voting base.

Larry Dillon
Larry Dillon

I'll hold you by that pretty bitch hair while I fuck ya..squeal like a pig bitch boy

Larry Dillon
Larry Dillon

Bent over and fucked up the ass...to think otherwise speaks to your blatant stupidity Ain't that right breeder bitch

slappy
slappy

Does Babeu support this bill.  Will he arrest himself if he is asked to leave a business.  How to you like your fellow Republicans Babeu?   

Megan McCann
Megan McCann

So why is my family the only group ever picketing? Come on people this is important to stand up for!

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

Arizona = the Hate State



harlotsghost
harlotsghost

Az?  Shouldn't be too surprising.  AZ endorsed the Confederacy during the Civil War and was no where near the battlefield.  The transcontinental railroad payoff is AZ's genesis.  No matter what crap the White Horse Prophecy spreads.

Arlene Alvarez
Arlene Alvarez

When I rent to a gay couple, they usually tell me they are 'roommates'. How would I know what they do once they close the doors to the apt and why would I care? Its a business, they are my customers, I am blessed to have customers. For all I know the 'strait' tenants might be having threesomes, or practicing S &M, and again, its not my concern. The same should be true of any business. If a person owns a juice stand can he/she refuse to sell a glass of orange juice to a republican? Can he/she refuse to sell it to a democrat if it is known that the democrat is going to give it to a republican on the bus...u get the pic.

Cozz
Cozz topcommenter

This States leadership just never gets tired of discriminating against someone or something.

Just another embarrassment to Arizona.

Flyer9753
Flyer9753 topcommenter

Serious question here.... How will businesses/people know??


I mean say a homosexual man or woman goes into a business solo.. how will the business owner know so they can act in accordance with this law?? 


Maybe we need everyone to carry some sort of ID that tells everyone around us what our sexual affiliation is... yeah that's it! We need sex id's.


I know, we can make them little stars of different colors!! Yeah, that's it!


Hmmm... but what if they don't wear them.. I know they like shiny colorful things but still, they might not wear them all the time and I would hate to see one of the loving christians have their delicate sensibilities bothered by accidentally rubbing up against someone who so offends their so delicate deeply held beliefs...


Even better, we can have another bill, later on, to force everyone to wear them! We can make it a law that everyone who is homosexual wear a colored star sewn into their clothing! Yeah, that's the ticket!


Then later on we can have another bill that forces them to put a sticker on their cars too!! Don't want to be driving behind any of them for sure....


And later on we can pass another bill for where they live! Yeah! Because you know that if your delicate beliefs are that strong you don't want to live near one of 'those'.. 


......


Sound familiar anyone????


EVERY single thing that led to the holocausts started right here, with legislation like this...


arrested.development
arrested.development

I will not go into a church. Xtians refuse to fill prescriptions, Xtians refuse to serve anyone they think is not straight.


Xtians are bigots. Read how the New Life church in Colorado Springs physically harassed non-Xtians, forcing people to sell their homes and move away. Read about the forced baptisms at the Cornerstone Baptist church in Colorado Springs. Church members would say to a non-Xtian neighbor, 'We're going to the mall. Would your children like to go with us?' They would then take the children to their church and baptize them. 


Mormon prophet Prophet Joseph Fielding Smith: Darkies are wonderful people, and they have their place

Monicque Faber
Monicque Faber

Pick up the phone and call Jan brewer! 602-542-4331 leave your message to veto sb 1062. Let your voice be heard and pass along. This may not make a difference but the time is now to try and be part of the solution. Oh and you have to call during office hours!

Flyer9753
Flyer9753 topcommenter

How about this


I am going to refuse service to Republicans that my businesses serve.


Hey, it's my deeply held belief that those types of people are bigots and I reserve the right not to serve bigots


But of course, I am not discriminating against anyone, I'm not making any political statements, I am just standing up for my deeply held religious beliefs so that makes it ok...


Right Republicans?

1959cutter
1959cutter

@slappy theres a little café behind the fire dept, in casa grande,and they really suck up to baboon as sherf.

they even have a 8X10" color glossy signed and prominently posted on the wall,with his eyes bulging out over a big hamburger, which is preplexing since I thought he was a hot dog guy!

michaelcristian380
michaelcristian380

True for you. Good. But for the practicing true Christian, he now has the right to refuse service or rent to gays if he chooses to. Doesn't & shouldn't effect you in any way. ...why would you care?

arrested.development
arrested.development

@Flyer9753  "EVERY single thing that led to the holocausts started right here, with legislation like this..."


Thank you. This is brought to you by the same people who gave the world Kristallnacht and the Holocaust.

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@Flyer9753  

I'm not a Republican, but I have friends who are, and who find this legislation to be abominable.   It is NOT "Republicans" who are your enemy, it's the Religious Right.

Far too many Republicans in power today are puppets of the Religious Right.

jbunny
jbunny

@michaelcristian380 She also noted that if she rents to straight people who are "right" in the eyes of God, once the door is closed they could be having threesome and doing S&M stuff for all she knows. Maybe these straight people are doing all that while unmarried...so would you refuse service to those people as well? They're not gay, but certainly not "practicing true Christians" that you speak of. How will you identify these people? If I walk into your business, will you ask me if I've had premarital heterosexual sex prior to serving me? Where do you draw the line? If everyone's line is different, how can this bill possibly accomplish anything?

arrested.development
arrested.development

@michaelcristian380  "why would you care?"


Jews had a yellow star, gay people had an inverted pink triangle. The only way out for both was through the smokestack.


That's why I care. BTW, Mr. Goody Twoshoes, I'm a straight male married to a woman. It's called the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Look into it.

Flyer9753
Flyer9753 topcommenter

@michaelcristian380  Here is a question for you.


Let's say you own a restaurant, why would you care if a homosexual is eating there?


Let's say you own a motel/hotel, why would you care who rents a room there?


Let's say you own a car dealership, why would you care who bought a car from you?


Why would you care? 

Flyer9753
Flyer9753 topcommenter

@michaelcristian380  

"why would you care?"


Because in this country, the United States of America, with the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights, discrimination is illegal, period.


Don't like that? You are welcome to move. Need help packing?

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@valleynative " It is NOT "Republicans" who are your enemy, it's the Religious Right. Far too many Republicans in power today are puppets of the Religious Right."


So it IS Repuglykkkans.


Noted.

Flyer9753
Flyer9753 topcommenter

@valleynative @Flyer9753  I actually agree with you Valley. As Danzig (He's a Rep) and I have spoken about before, you are right, it's not all Republicans and I do acknowledge that


However I also have to acknowledge that the vast majority of todays Republicans are part of the Religious Right as well and therefore take a little bit of a 'you made your bed, you get to sleep in it' attitude as a result.


I like Republicans... REAL REPUBLICANS and TBH it's way PAST time for the real Republicans in Arizona and around the country to stand up to the Religious Right and the Tea Party Taliban and kick them to the curb.


Yes, I know it's a political party and I am not going to get into a debate about how you do that in a political party and so on, since it's BS, it can be done even if it's just vocal opposition, something that is not being seen since the people in positions to be vocal are too worried about their wallet (re-election) than the country.


Sorry if I offended anyone with my comment. I agree with everything you say but I let my comment stand since IMHO the only people who can make a dent about this type of thing is real Republicans but instead the 'real Republican' populace keeps giving us back these imposters. 


Real Republicans are in some respects, a large respect, just as responsible for this legislation as the idiots who actually submitted it.


Republicans don't want the ire, fix your party.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@michaelcristian380 "In Texas business owners have the right to refuse service to anyone-for any-reason! "


No, they don't you lowlife shit-sucking bigoted racist piece of shit.


That pathetic phrase / sign is simply code for -- "a shitbag bigoted inbred racist lowlife Texan owns this business"


Hiding behind your pathetic Holey Baable and the superstitious bullshit therein don't make it any less vile or repugnant.



michaelcristian380
michaelcristian380

@jbunny @michaelcristian380  Well, nothing's perfect! But there are real practicing Christians out there just like there's real gays out there. We just have to 'tolerate' each other. Isn't that what gays preach-tolerance! As far as the line is drawn? Well, I don't know. I think we all draw our own lines in life. In Texas business owners have the right to refuse service to anyone-for any-reason! Boy, that really covers alot of things-including refusing gays or straight people or having the wrong eye color! I'm sure few Christian owners would rent to gays. And some won't because of their beliefs. This bill protects their beliefs.  

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@valleynative "It is some Republicans.  It may even be a majority of those Republicans holding office in Arizona"


So ... it *is* the Repuglycants ... 


already noted.



valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay @valleynative 

Dumb as a fucking post.

It is some Republicans.  It may even be a majority of those Republicans holding office in Arizona, but it is not "Republicans".  To say that it is "Republicans" is to be as much of a bigot as those who hate gays or blacks or Hispanics.

danzigsdaddy
danzigsdaddy topcommenter

@Flyer9753 both partys have their lunatic fringe (and many of them), its just that right now the republicans are the majority in this state's elected positions..........so you see more of OUR lunatic fringe coming out. if this was a Dem run state, we would be seeing more of the Dem's lunatic fringe coming out. even though i am Rep, i gotta admit, BOTH our parties are destroying this country with their hate for one another and refusal to work together for a common good. as you and i have discussed before.........it might be time to start over. even though you and i are of different parties, we do get along and agree on many things and want whats good for our country, but sadly we arent the ones running the country. you are willing to hear out a Rep and i am willing to hear out a Dem, but thats something that many of our elected officials do NOT have in common with us

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