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Rachel Maddow on the Arizona Anti-Gay Bill Veto and Similar Measures Elsewhere: VIDEO


Last night, Rachel Maddow addressed Jan Brewer's veto of Arizona's anti-gay 'religious freedom'/segregation bill and noted that since Arizona's bill has been getting so much attention, similar bills in other states have either been shelved or put on hold.


Rachel mentions the Mississippi bill which we mentioned yesterday, noting that the bill had been stripped of many of its provisions.

MississippiDeep South Progressive, however, insists that the ugly parts of the bill still remain:

Those key parts of the bill, which LGBT activists feared would legitimize discrimination by businesses that claim “sincerely held religious belief” as the motivating factor, remain unchanged. That’s contrary to previous reports that said the bill had been amended to only include the section that would add “In God We Trust” to the Mississippi state seal.

Despite that, leaders of the state business community were declaring victory Wednesday night, saying that the bill addressed the concerns of the business community. The Mississippi Economic Council (MEC), said that SB 2681, as amended, “provides both positive clarification and focused direction so that the amended bill addresses only actions by government, not private businesses or individuals.”

Mississippi is obviously one to keep an eye on.

CNN yesterday ran a list of other states with similar measures and the status of each.

2_brewerAnd finally, Michelangelo Signorile has some important notes on Arizona, et al:

But let's not forget that in Arizona, it's still legal to refuse to serve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in your bakery or your photo studio for religious or any other reasons, due in no small part to Jan Brewer's hostility to LGBT rights throughout her tenure. It's legal for a landlord in Arizona to turn away LGBT people. Except in a few Arizona cities with employment protections, it's also legal for an employer to fire someone simply for being queer...

...The backlash against this bill should also be a lesson for national LGBT groups that supported ENDA with dangerous religious exemptions: It looks hypocritical and wrongheaded to support a federal employment nondiscrimination bill that gives exemptions in hiring to some businesses, like hospitals run by religious entities, only to condemn a state bill that, in the name of "religious freedom," seeks to exempt businesses from having to serve gays. Could that be one reason that some major LGBT groups were oddly silent when the Arizona bill was passed last week?

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  1. It's not over. Tea Bagger neo-confederate Republicans will try again next year or the year after just as they keep trying to nullify abortion rights by attacking abortion providers with impossible-to-meet requirements and regulations. The only way this attack on gay people will be over is when voters turn the Tea Baggers out of office once and for all. Nobody's civil rights are safe if Tea Baggers are in power.

    Posted by: Jim | Feb 28, 2014 3:09:36 PM

  2. I suspect they are going to try more subtle ways of pushing their homophobic agenda, and there's an historical precedent. During the 1960s, conservatives reacted badly to the civil rights movement, but it had become less and less acceptable to be overtly racist. So, during an election in Boston, a reactionary named Louise Day Hicks ran a campaign whose slogan was "You know where I stand," and the racists in the area knew (or thought they knew which is politically just as useful) what she meant. has a summary of what went on at that time. It's worth reading as we can expect the same sort of tactics to be used again.

    Posted by: Bill | Mar 1, 2014 12:07:02 AM

  3. The Mississippi bill has not been stripped of anything; a paragraph was added to placate the Mississippi Economic Council and now SB 2681 goes on to a committee vote sometime this week. Please update your reporting!

    Posted by: Xanadu | Mar 3, 2014 2:32:09 PM

  4. As in, please "continue to keep an eye on us." ;)

    Posted by: Xanadu | Mar 3, 2014 2:33:09 PM

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