As a conservative, I voted for Jan Brewer. I felt no qualms in doing so. I’ve been irritated with some of her choices of late, mainly her decisions regarding Child Protective Services, but I have been impressed with her refusal to back down on issues such as Second Amendment rights and immigration issues.
Now, as a lesbian, I’m sitting here with my breath on hold. The state senate and house of representatives have both passed SB 1062. Now all that waits is Governor Brewer’s decision – sign it into law, veto it, or take no action and let it become law.
The bill came about after multiple lawsuits and civil complaints brought against business owners in several states. Gay couples preparing to hold marriage ceremonies are running into bakeries and photographers who are refusing to do business with them because the business owners are Christians and don’t agree with homosexuality, let alone gay marriage. When this happens it makes the news. It also typically goes straight to court. Several states, including Kansas, Ohio, and Kentucky have all drawn up laws with the intent of preserving “religious freedom” and protecting business owners who want to refuse service to gays based on their religious beliefs. Arizona, however, is the first state to come this far in passing that legislation. All other states have dropped it.
I’ve read the bill. It’s short and simple enough to understand. The big problem I have is that it’s pretty ambiguous in its language. In short, the bill literally says that any business can refuse service to anyone and claim a “sincerely held religious belief” to avoid being sued or penalized by the government under discrimination laws. That means this would stand to affect more than just gay people; it could spread to racial and religious discrimination very quickly.
I have said before and will say again that I will only support gay marriage rights as long as the rights of churches to refuse to perform gay weddings is preserved. Churches should never be forced to engage in practices that go against their beliefs. For the record, I think if a caterer or a photographer doesn’t agree with gay marriage they shouldn’t have to be forced to do business with gay couples. I think that if a gay couple knows that they’re going to a Christian-owned business that won’t want to help with their ceremony, they’re inviting disaster in the form of poor, shoddy work. The problem that I have with SB 1062 is that it is far too broad and flings the door wide open for all kinds of discrimination to be excused by religion.
In reality, however, this is little more than an exercise in stupidity by the socially conservative hard right. This is more of the same from social conservatives who claim to want limited government and then turn around and expect the government to legislate personal and moral issues. Rather than minding their own business and learning to live and let live, they want everyone to snap to and agree to their brand of morality a la legislation. If anyone dared suggest allowing Sharia courts anywhere in the United States (something I vehemently refuse to support, in case anyone was wondering), these folks would be up in arms in a heartbeat, as well they should. But they have no issue at all with trying to legislate from their own pulpit.
Mushy moderates like John McCain and Jeff Flake know how strong their social base is and they play to it. During the last election, both Arizona senators openly supported the social conservatives who were worried about gay marriage and gave them exactly the answers they knew that base wanted to hear. Now that both of those senators have come out in the Gang of Eight and agreed to come to some kind of compromise on gun control, those socials are crying foul. They just can’t understand this kind of betrayal.
You don’t get to feign ignorance now. You were more worried about those damned social issues than you were about the economy, amnesty, taxes, healthcare, and gun rights. Because that was your primary concern, we’re all stuck with men representing us who are willing to sell us out. The problem is that you are still refusing to see that truth. The liberals are thoroughly enjoying the resultant mess and watching the conservative side implode. They are the ones that will win this war because you simply cannot let go of issues that have no bearing whatsoever on what’s really destroying us right now – the economy, Obamacare, amnesty, and rising taxes. Cities are going broke and some states are well on their way and we’re still kibitzing about gay marriage.
Of course, none of this is to mention the breathtaking arrogance of social conservatives. Your whole beef is that you should be allowed to refuse to do business with someone because they’re gay and you don’t agree with homosexuality. Do you really think Jesus would approve of putting up a sign in your restaurant asking gay people to stay away? Do you think Jesus would applaud you for turning away a patient because you didn’t want to treat a gay person? What would Jesus say if he were standing in front of you while you called all gay people pedophiles and screamed for them to be stripped of their rights? What happened to “whatever you do unto the least of these”? If you support this farce of a law, then go out and scrape that WWJD sticker off your car and take that cross necklace off. You obviously don’t remember what Jesus said about how you’re supposed to treat other people.