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Jan Brewer Has 5 Days to Sign Arizona Bill Allowing Businesses to Refuse Service to Gays: VIDEO


Arizona Governor Jan Brewer has five days to sign House Bill 2153, the bill that allows businesses to discriminate against gays based on their religious beliefs. The bill passed the state House last night and the Senate earlier this week.

The Arizona Republic: Brewer

Specifically, the legislation proposes to:

-- Expand the state’s definition of the exercise of religion to include both the practice and observance of religion.

-- Allow someone to assert a legal claim of free exercise of religion regardless of whether the government is a party to the proceedings.

-- Expand those protected under the state’s free-exercise-of-religion law to “any individual, association, partnership, corporation, church, religious assembly or institution or other business organization.”

-- Establish wording that says that in order to assert a free-exercise-of-religion defense, the individual, business or church must establish that its action is motivated by a religious belief, that the belief is sincerely held and that the belief is substantially burdened.

Proponents say the bill would, for example, protect a wedding photographer who declined to take photos of a same-sex couple’s commitment ceremony due to the photographer’s religious beliefs. “We are trying to protect people’s religious liberties,” said Rep. Steve Montenegro, R-Litchfield Park. “We don’t want the government coming in and forcing somebody to act against their religious sacred faith beliefs or having to sell out if you are a small-business owner.”

The Arizona Daily Star adds: Arizonaflag

Brewer has generally sided with groups such as the Center for Arizona Policy, which supports the legislation on the grounds that it keeps people from having to act against their religious beliefs.

But foes hope to convince business groups, which have so far stayed out of the fray, to convince the governor that having Arizona be the first — and potentially only — state to adopt this law is bad for attracting business.

Gubernatorial press aide Andrew Wilder would not comment, saying only that his boss will review it when she returns from Washington, D.C., where she is attending the National Governors Association conference.

Watch an AZCentral report on the bill, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. I don't know much about politics but in reading online about Governor Jan Brewer I am wondering how someone who only went as far as Community College got elected as Governor in the first place?

    Posted by: Jeff | Feb 21, 2014 9:33:52 AM

  2. How did she get elected in the first place? Because Arizona.

    Posted by: crispy | Feb 21, 2014 9:37:08 AM

  3. Americans worship the stupid

    Posted by: Steve | Feb 21, 2014 9:39:57 AM

  4. We used to vacation in Arizona... no more. Besides, so much of the state is such a hell-hole. There are some nice parts, but once you've been there, the rest of the state is really quite sterile. Sterile landscape, sterile mentality.

    Posted by: Dan Cobb | Feb 21, 2014 9:42:18 AM

  5. She didn't sign a version of this bill last year, but that bill contained budget disputed items. We'll see. Either way, it won't stand in the courts and the sooner it's overturned, the sooner we will be done with the latest bigotry from the Repugnanticans.

    Posted by: NotSafeForWork | Feb 21, 2014 9:47:05 AM

  6. This is so silly. They're just shoring up constituent support yet again by spewing nonsense that will inevitably lead to attacks, lawsuits, and fewer tourists from out of state. If businesses aren't supporting it, why was the bill introduced? Most businesses are smart enough not to want to be among the first bigots highlighted as taking cover under such a law.

    Posted by: Paul R | Feb 21, 2014 9:53:18 AM

  7. So a state that doesn't set it's clocks back is about to set its clocks back.

    Posted by: Craig | Feb 21, 2014 9:53:51 AM

  8. Would this legislation also allow someone to discriminate against blacks and latinos for possibly offending their religion? Is there a standard of what constitutes religion? Could I put a sign up in my business saying "NO LATINOS WELCOME" if I had some batshit crazy religion whose tenets including not interacting with any non-white people? Would that be ok under this law? Unintended consequences, for sure.

    Posted by: Adam | Feb 21, 2014 9:56:10 AM

  9. This bill is all about discrimination and unequal treatment under the law, something that puts state law in direct collision with federal law. Let the lawsuits begin.

    Posted by: Jay | Feb 21, 2014 9:59:22 AM

  10. There are already great pics of signs saying "We reserve the right to serve AZ legislators" coming out.

    These people don't really think these things through, do they?

    Posted by: Michael | Feb 21, 2014 10:00:14 AM

  11. Arizona is a beautiful state, but it is a hotbed of nutjob conservatives who go ballistic at the thought of gays and Mexicans living there.

    Posted by: Jack M | Feb 21, 2014 10:00:52 AM

  12. For those asking how Brewer got elected in the first place:

    She didn't! Ta-da!

    She's remained in office because of the Incumbency Effect. Had she actually had to have been elected, she would not be governor.

    Posted by: Rob | Feb 21, 2014 10:06:16 AM

  13. If she signs the bill Arizona can go F%#K themselves and by that I mean every company that operates in the state.

    I can literally pull $100K worth of business from two Phoenix area based companies without much effort and my employer would never know my real reason for doing so. I Sh1t you not.

    Posted by: Dearcomrade | Feb 21, 2014 10:07:30 AM

  14. I don't think Brewer will sign the anti-Gay bill. Female (or feminine) drunks are people with empathy, and we cry all the time--even Republicans. I should know. She won't sign it.

    But I'll never forgive the drunk b.tch for wagging her finger in the President's face. In the words of Blanche DuBois, "Somethings are UNFORIGIVABLE!"

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Feb 21, 2014 10:07:46 AM

  15. She will sign the bill. Her one son is confined to the state institution for the criminally insane for a rape-murder and she has had no compunction in decreasing that facility's budget.

    Posted by: Stephen | Feb 21, 2014 10:14:12 AM

  16. "Proponents say the bill would, for example, protect a wedding photographer who declined to take photos of a same-sex couple’s commitment ceremony due to the photographer’s religious beliefs."

    However, please note that the bill is NOT limited to LGBT. It could also be used as an excuse to refuse doing business with people of the "wrong" race, the "wrong" ethnicity, the "wrong" religion, the "wrong" gender, etc. Does your faith teach that Jews and Catholics are heretics? Does your church teach that women should not be permitted in public? Do you hold a sincere belief that people of any race other than your own are cursed by God?

    If this becomes law, it will gut decades of civil rights laws and be a carte blanche to be as bigoted as you want.

    Posted by: Gregory In Seattle | Feb 21, 2014 10:18:29 AM

  17. "She's remained in office because of the Incumbency Effect. Had she actually had to have been elected, she would not be governor."

    Not true at all. Brewer has been elected multiple times. She was elected to the state legislature, Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, and later Secretary of State. She did inherit the governorship when Janet Napolitano joined Obama's cabinet, but for her second term as governor she ran against a tough Democratic opponent and won the election.

    You can call her governorship the incumbency effect, but let's not discount the fact that Arizonans continue to elect these people. After all, this is a state where a large portion of its people continue to vote in a corrupt racist like Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

    Posted by: crispy | Feb 21, 2014 10:24:14 AM

  18. brewer... the woman who thumbed the president of the united states in the chest.
    she's a constant embarrassment to the people of arizona.

    Posted by: woody | Feb 21, 2014 10:24:47 AM

  19. Gregory, I believe public accommodations law protects race, religion, gender etc. from this on a federal level. LGBT folks have no such protection except where provided by state government. At least that's my understanding. So this is really solely directed at LGBT Americans.

    Posted by: busytimmy | Feb 21, 2014 10:25:50 AM

  20. THE BAD NEWS: This bill is NOT just directed at gays. It would allow a motel owner not to rent a room to unmarried hetero couples, it would allow a doctor not to treat a pregnant single woman, it would allow a bed store to refuse to sell a bed/mattress to an inter-racial couple, it would allow a restaurant to refuse to serve a gay person (or gay group) long as the bigot could point to something in the Bible or some other religious 'tenet' that the bigot says would not condone the person or relationship.

    THE GOOD NEWS: The Arizona Tech Council --which is a fairly conservative business group with companies like Honeywell, Raytheon, Ernst & Young, Sonora Quest Labs, etc -- issued an URGENT email alert to all its members last night and urging them to sign a joint letter to the Governor demanding that she veto this bill. The Tech Council rarely gets involved in this stuff, and it's freaking out about how awful this bill is.

    MORE STUFF: Pressure must be put on the National Football League to move the 2015 Super Bowl out of Arizona if this bill is signed. Also, pressure must be put on the NCAA to move the 2016 national college football championship game out of Arizona.
    The state will cave in if the NFL and NCAA threaten to move these games.

    BAD NEWS: The Arizona bill is the first of many that are going to happen in places like Oklahoma, Texas, Tennessee (mostly southern and Republican states). Don't count on the Supreme Court to find this bill unconstitutional -- there are 5 conservatives (including Kennedy) on that Court and Kennedy's vote on religious issues is NOT the same as his vote on gay issues. We need to win this war by winning this first battle in Arizona.

    Posted by: MiddleoftheRoader | Feb 21, 2014 10:26:04 AM

  21. Can't this law be used by Christians to discriminate against Jews or Jews against Mormons or Mormons against Buddhists?

    Also, where are all the gay Republicans? I keep waiting for them to appear on these kinds of threads to tell us how great and wonderful the GOP is and how hateful liberals, progressives, and Democrats are.


    Posted by: Harris | Feb 21, 2014 10:30:48 AM

  22. "Don't count on the Supreme Court to find this bill unconstitutional"

    Oh please. This bill is so irrefutably unconstitutional, even Scalia may pause before posing judgement. But there's no doubt that 5 justices (at least) will side against it.

    The problem is that it will take years to wind its way to the Supreme Court. And ain't nobody got time for that.

    Posted by: crispy | Feb 21, 2014 10:35:19 AM

  23. Ridiculous. If this so-called "law" is enacted, one should have to prove that their religiously held beliefs are grounded in the religious writings. Where did Jesus say to discriminate and turn away people? He didn't; ergo, they are not practicing Christianity, they are practicing Bigotry, which is not a religion.

    Posted by: Lucca | Feb 21, 2014 10:38:55 AM

  24. My religion tells me not to employ or serve Black people, or pay taxes, or accommodate handicapped people.

    Posted by: SteveDenver | Feb 21, 2014 10:59:27 AM

  25. I don't remember the part of the Bible that prohibits hiring gays. Even if it is passed, I would love to be the plaintiff's attorney in a discrimination suit and force them to prove that their religion requires discrimination.

    Posted by: Astoria | Feb 21, 2014 11:03:46 AM

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