1. Factoid says

    Thei conservative understanding about the overturning of Jim Crow is just factually wrong. The case law ended both de jure (law) and de facto (in fact) discrimination.its just misleading to claim it only ended state discrimination. Their argument would allow businesses to turn away people of color for religious reasons too.

  2. Dastius Krazitauc says

    One of the reasons given for gay rights taking so long to achieve is that conservatives claim it only affects a *small percentage* of the population. Yet, here Lowry is claiming that Arizona religious freedom bill should have been made law over an “occasional baker or florist” who doesn’t want to work with gay clients. The Republicans really rallied around that particular small percentage of the population.

  3. Vera says

    Indeed, one ‘small percentage of the population’ is more important than the other *cough* Republican Base…

    And I have no problem with people who don’t support Gay marriage for religious reasons, but you have to make sacrifices by living in a secular society. Religious people weren’t given the A-Okay to not serve mixed race couples when Loving v. Virginia came around, legalizing inter-racial marriage in the remaining states, so there’s no precedent as to why they should be exempt now.

  4. says

    If it was only about a small number of wedding-related businesses, then why wasn’t the bill written to apply only to these businesses? Lowry and his ilk think we are stupid.

  5. Josh says

    Lowry is misrepresenting the Civil Rights Act. It barred discrimination based on not only race, but also gender, religion, and national origin.

    Congress outlawed all forms of bigotry broadly recognized at the time. Unlike in 1964, gays are no longer considered to be mentally ill. So it’s past time to add sexual orientation and gender identity to the list.

    Civil rights law is justified in every context, not merely that of the 1960s American south.

  6. Josh says

    Of course, at the time, Lowry’s racist rag opposed the Civil Rights Act and promoted Barry Goldwater. So there’s that, too.

  7. Wavin' Dave says

    Ah, just another apologist for the lunatic fringe. How very tedious this all is – on OSCAR night, of all things? Who are you wearing, Lowry? JudasWear?

  8. anon says

    The federal law in question, which rarely applies to actual facts on the ground is mostly about tax and zoning issues. If a church wants to build a new building, the town can’t use zoning laws to deny the permit because they don’t want the church around–stuff like that. There are many cases where zoning laws were used to keep non-profit churches out of areas that wanted property-taxable (ratable) businesses there instead. Also, the law makes it harder to prosecute religious service activities, such as singing, dancing, outdoor preaching, etc. where towns were using public performance and noise ordinances to block church services.

  9. Anderson says

    That’s Lowry’s opinion and he’s entitled to it. He should take it up with Jan Brewer. Good luck!

  10. Jason Macbride says

    Lowry’s bloviation is a tsunami of poorly informed indignation. He’s a slightly more articulate than normal advocate for the Lost Cause.

  11. JJ says

    Lowry: “If you own a coffee shop and you refuse to serve a gay person…you’re not going to have a defense under this law, because serving someone coffee is not a burden on your religion.”

    False. HB 2153 left it entirely up to the individual to say what qualified as a burden. It defined “Unreasonable burden” to mean “that a person is prevented from using the person’s property in a manner THAT THE PERON FINDS SATISFACTORY to fulfill the person’s religious mission,” (emphasis added).


  12. Chrislam says

    Again…the right-wing extremists can keep spinning and spinning….but for the bazillionth time…no one is asking much less forcing these business owners to engage in gay sex – no infringement on their religious freedoms.

  13. RayRay says

    In my best Stewie voice … What’s that you’re asking for religion? ‘Special rights’? You know. Like the ones you accused homosexuals of? Cause you’re what … ‘Special’?

  14. gr8guyca says

    If Lowry wants to defend the bakers and photographers, what would he say to the restaurant owners that won’t take the reception for a gay wedding or the hotels that won’t allow reservations for a gay couple on their honeymoon? How about landlords that don’t want a gay, married couples in their buildings? What about a housing community that doesn’t want a gay couple living within their midst?

    Okay, Rich. Answer that.

  15. says

    If that cake baker/florist/photographer said ‘I don’t want to provide my service because the customer is ‘_____’ (Black, Muslim, an unwed woman, a foreigner, a Democrat) we wouldn’t even be having this discussion. But because the customer is a ‘homosexual’ society is supposed to carve out a special exemption in non-discrimination laws or enact legislation like this so that we can be legally judged less than and denied public accommodation.

    ‘Religion’ is not an excuse to defend racial bias. Religion is not an excuse to discriminate against a person of another faith. Nor is it an excuse to subjugate women. Or the disabled. Or Veterans. Or a person from another country. These groups are included in state & federal non-discrimination laws because legislatures have identified them as targeted groups for discrimination and acted to protect them from discrimination.

    Now guess which targeted group already identified is NOT protected.


    States that EXCLUDE sexual orientation/gender identity language in their anti-discrimination laws should be challenged. States & federal government haven’t met their responsibility of equal protection of ALL their citizens. They are required to include a suspect class in their anti discrimination civil rights laws once that suspect class has been identified.

  16. Kieran says

    Rick Lowry, the neocon tool that never met a Middle East War he didn’t want to send other people’s kids to fight in. What a slimeball.

  17. NY2.0 says

    Conservatives to this day still have hang ups with the Civil Rights Act. We don’t live in a theocracy, you can not have a business open to the public then pick and choose who you serve based on your religion. Its bigots trying to use “god” as justification.

  18. TheSeer says

    “if you’re going to substantially burden someone’s exercise of their religion, there has to be a compelling governmental interest at stake…”

    Stability and well-being of gay families is a compelling governmental interest.

  19. says

    And right on time, the GOP is trying to spin the living sh*t out of this. The bill didn’t fail because it was unconstitutional, it failed because “we didn’t understand it!”.

    Gosh, if we just sat back and did nothing, we could have enjoyed the benefits of being treated like third-class citizens! Darn it!

  20. TonyJazz says

    Let them spell out their bigotry: what types of businesses are allowed what sorts of discrimination???

    And these people really think they are taking a moral stance? (I can only guess why they lack a logical train of thought…)

  21. Mags says


    All that screeching regarding the “Religious Rights” of businesses who still operate on a Sunday.

    Sky-Daddy’s official day off! Shame on you people, shame!

  22. Manroar says

    Hi religious people !

    Remember this :

    Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

    Of course you don’t !

  23. BobN says

    It’s pretty obvious that the right is coordinating on this issue, outright lying about the vetoed law’s intended impact and what it actually sought to change in the law.

  24. emjayay says

    Mark: Thanks. That Think Progress post nicely explains the logic of anti discrimination law. The author should have been on to explain it to Rich Lowry.

    People like him and George Will would I suppose like to think of themselves as smart intellectual guy conservatives, but they just start from bigotry and pretend that what they are saying makes logical legal sense.

    They aren’t nearly as smart and intellectual as they would like to believe and have fooled conservatives into thinking.

  25. Bill says

    @JJ : ‘Lowry: “If you own a coffee shop and you refuse to serve a gay person…you’re not going to have a defense under this law, because serving someone coffee is not a burden on your religion.”‘

    … something else to add – Lowry seems to think that serving coffee to a gay person is fundamentally different than selling a gay person flowers or baking a cake that the gay person ordered.

  26. enchantra says

    I support the right to Freedom Of Association, period. However, since we have no sound reason to believe that it will ever be restored in matters of privately owned businesses dealing with the public and association restricted by race, then it’s only reasonable that this assault on the Constitution be nondiscriminatory across the board.

  27. Bill says

    Here’s what Lowry’s idea that you can easily find someone else means in practice. You are planning an event (in this case, a wedding) and call up a baker to order a cake. The baker tells you that he can fit your schedule and to drop by to select the cake. So you spend 1/2 hour in your car (at over 50 cents per mile) getting there and back, another 15 minutes selecting the cake, and then …. oops, it is gay event and “we don’t serve your kind” (for religious reasons, wink, wink) so it is back to square one.

    If we added a clause that said, “if you refuse a customer on religious grounds and did not inform the customer when initially contacted, you must reimburse the customer for mileage and at $20 per hour (adjusted to track inflation) for the customer’s time,” what sort of whining would you expect to hear from the religious right?

  28. Michael says

    Hmmm? Civil rights as a “travel convenience” issue. Now, isn’t that special?

  29. SoLeftImRight says

    I’m so tired of the endless examples of photographers and bakers, as though gay weddings would be the only impact of this kind of noxious law. This religious “freedom” BS could be used to justify any long list of discrimination to more than just gay people. How about we go back to no Jews at the country club, no gays or blacks at the local inn? It’s all just bigotry, and not against the religious morons.

  30. bill hill says

    The bill and its supporters boil down to bigotry…that shouldn’t be hard to get through your thick skull.