Arizona | Discrimination | News

Arizona Legislature Approves Bill Allowing Businesses to Refuse Service to Gays


The Arizona House voted 33-27 today to give its approval to a bill already approved by the Arizona Senate that would allow businesses to refuse service to gays based on their religious beliefs.

The AP reports:

Opponents raised scenarios in which gay people in Arizona could be denied service at a restaurant or refused medical treatment if a business owner thought homosexuality was not in accordance with his religion. One lawmaker held up a sign that read "NO GAYS ALLOWED" in arguing what could happen if the law took effect, drawing a rebuke for violating House rules.

The bill is backed by the Center for Arizona Policy, a social conservative group that opposes abortion and gay marriage. The group says the proposal is needed to protect against increasingly activist federal courts and simply clarifies existing state law.

"We see a growing hostility toward religion," said Josh Kredit, legal counsel for the group.

All but three Republicans in the House backed the bill Thursday evening. The Senate passed the bill a day earlier on a straight party-line vote of 17-13.

The bill is similar to legislation pending in Ohio, Mississippi, Idaho, South Dakota, Tennessee and Oklahoma. It now heads to Governor Jan Brewer for signature.

(image neil schneider)

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  1. Vote for "No Republicans Allowed" bill in your state NOW!

    Posted by: litper | Feb 20, 2014 8:58:39 PM

  2. Americans are no better than Russians. Both are insane.

    Posted by: Icebloo | Feb 20, 2014 9:09:01 PM

  3. Next step: Federal district court, and AZ is part of the 9th Circuit - which has recently said cases involving discrimination based on sexual orientation will be required to meet heighten scrutiny.

    Gov Airhead, please sign it. This should be fun to watch!

    Posted by: AdamTh | Feb 20, 2014 9:09:02 PM

  4. Americans are no better than Russians. Both are insane.

    Posted by: Icebloo | Feb 20, 2014 9:09:06 PM

  5. Go ahead, Arizona, show yourself to be an ass. The new civil rights movement needs all the evidence we can get to show that intolerance and bigotry is real. Thanks!

    Posted by: Patrick | Feb 20, 2014 9:09:17 PM

  6. So any thoughts on the long-game on this? Why would they waste everyone's time on legislation that is obviously absurd?

    Is it fundraising? Are they that in denial? Are they courting extreme primary voters?

    At a time when the GOP seems increasingly out of touch, it seems bizarre. What do ppl really think?

    Posted by: pete n sfo | Feb 20, 2014 9:14:42 PM

  7. Now it's on !

    They will lose !

    Posted by: ggrr | Feb 20, 2014 9:14:59 PM

  8. Hopefully, this is a sign we are living in the twilight of modern religion. Science and technology both are moving so rapidly. Some people are left behind and understandably, angry and confused resulting in passing these last desperate grabs for power . I knew religion was a scam when, in 1971, the priest and nuns would not answer my questions about the dinosaurs. I knew thenthey were real even at six years old. I'm perhaps a little spiritual but all major religions are a turn off. And, if there is a hell, I will be with the people I love!

    Posted by: Matt | Feb 20, 2014 9:15:46 PM

  9. You think that there is hostility towards religion now? This goes well beyond Arizona. The separation of church and everything else just keeps getting wider.

    Posted by: Richard Harney | Feb 20, 2014 9:15:55 PM

  10. Hopefully the law won't stand up in court. It seems to leave things open for a slippery slope, aside from being wrong enough already. Why not religious discrimination against people who have used birth control, had premarital sex, divorced, women who have had an abortion?

    Posted by: Shawn | Feb 20, 2014 9:21:55 PM

  11. In fact Shawn, the slope would go directly to women, any people of colour ... the Bible has plenty of scripture to reject almost any category of humanity you care to name.

    Posted by: Mike | Feb 20, 2014 9:28:11 PM

  12. More job security for the ACLU.

    Posted by: Keith | Feb 20, 2014 9:34:35 PM

  13. Sounds like a good reason to not travel to Arizona.

    Posted by: throwslikeagirl | Feb 20, 2014 9:37:08 PM

  14. Why is ABC news calling this a "religious free bill" in their headline?

    Posted by: cooley | Feb 20, 2014 9:37:54 PM

  15. As a gay black man, I will not be visiting Arizona and Florida. That s$!t is modern day segregation and Jim Crow.

    Posted by: Mel Smith | Feb 20, 2014 9:39:22 PM

  16. "We see a growing hostility toward religion"

    Gee, I wonder why.

    It's time to end the free ride, and treat religious speech, and religious business, like all other speech and business.

    As for this law, while Brewer will probably sign it, the 9th Circuit will certainly invalidate it. This is somewhat similar to Colorado's Amendment 2, which the US Supreme Court struck down in 1996. It permits the groups most likely to discriminate against gay people, to continue to discriminate by merely claiming "sincerely held" (whatever that means) religious cover. As far as I can tell, Arizona only has non-discrimination in its public sector, so this law appears to be aimed directly at them.

    Posted by: Randy | Feb 20, 2014 9:41:17 PM

  17. Sign it Brewer, help us kick the last of these evil cans down the road and into the gutter forever. Dumb ass Arizona Republicans.

    Posted by: RexT | Feb 20, 2014 9:41:34 PM

  18. As I have written before we need to stand up for one another. What is happening in Russia, what is happening in Africa can happen anywhere and this hints that it can happen in the USA as well. No one is safe unless we RISE UP and do it together.

    Posted by: Jeff | Feb 20, 2014 9:44:20 PM

  19. "We see a growing hostility toward religion," said Josh Kredit, legal counsel for the group.

    Really? Do you not understand why?

    Posted by: Twitdude | Feb 20, 2014 9:46:35 PM

  20. It's absurd, but don't get complacent. Spain during the moors was the most advanced society in Europe at the time. 1100s to 1400s. First novel, algebra, science, art, architectural. It was multicultural with Jews, Christians, and Islam. After Ferdinand and Isabella, the moors and Jews were forced to convert, or forcibly moved to Portugal then Mexico. And, within two generations there was the inquisition that lasted for 400 years.

    Posted by: steve talbert | Feb 20, 2014 9:50:20 PM

  21. These are the final death throes of the religious bigots in the US. They know they've lost the battle against marriage equality. This is pure posturing and will not stand any scrutiny by the courts. I'm so glad that so many Republicans are willing to go on record, making it known exactly how they feel about equal rights. We will bury them.

    Posted by: David | Feb 20, 2014 9:51:26 PM

  22. Republicans are formidable foes. Do not discount their capability for doing evil in what they think will be of service to their narrow religious beliefs.

    Posted by: Joe in Ct | Feb 20, 2014 9:56:03 PM

  23. Anyway, what gay person with an ounce of dignity would want to have ANY bigot associated with providing services to such important occassions by injecting hate and ill will and ultimately dragging everyone else down?

    Posted by: ToThePoint | Feb 20, 2014 9:57:49 PM

  24. Here is my question....Is this just against gays, or are they allowed to discriminate against ANYONE under the premise of their religious views? For example, as was in Ireland, can Protestants refuse service to Catholics, can Jews refuse service to Muslims, ETC.?

    Posted by: CB | Feb 20, 2014 10:04:08 PM

  25. Addendum...could a business refuse service to 'known' adulterers, such as John McCain, because adultery is against Biblical beliefs? How about war vets? The Bible specifically as one of its Commandments "thou shall not kill"!

    Posted by: CB | Feb 20, 2014 10:08:31 PM

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