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Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer Vetoes SB 1062– Update

Guillaume Paumier / Foter / CC BYGuillaume Paumier / Foter / CC BYArizona Senate Bill 1062 amends the state’s religious freedom laws to specify that businesses and individuals can decline to provide their services to others if it interferes with their religious beliefs. Though the legislation does not mention anything about sexual orientation, it is widely understood to be targeting gays because of rulings in other states that bakers and wedding photographers could not refuse to provide their services for gay weddings.

The bill was approved by the state legislator and Gov. Jan Brewer is considering whether to sign it. But Republican politicians are now coming out against the legislation. Both of Arizona’s senators, John McCain and Jeff Flake, oppose the bill. Now three state senators who voted for the legislation have changed their minds. From the Associated Press:

State Sens. Bob Worsley, Adam Driggs and Steve Pierce sent their letter urging a veto just days after they joined the entire 17-member Senate GOP caucus in voting for the bill.

"I think laws are (already) on the books that we need, and have now seen the ramifications of my vote," Worsley told The Associated Press. "I feel very bad, and it was a mistake."

With the three GOP senators joining all 13 Senate Democrats in opposition, there would be enough votes to defeat the measure in a re-vote. But too much time has passed to allow a reconsideration, and the bill was sent to Brewer in a routine transmittal Monday that was accompanied by "boos" from Senate Democrats.

From Reason's coverage:

J.D. Tuccille takes note of businesses managing their own responses to the legislation.

I previously noted that sexual orientation isn’t covered by Arizona’s public accommodations law anyway, so whether SB 1062 is signed or not, businesses can already discriminate against gays in the state.

J.D. Tuccille says, "Arizona's SB 1062 is a Homophobic Stunt, Not a Blow Against Big Government."

UPDATE: As Gov. Brewer mulls whether to sign or veto the bill, business leaders are worried the state will lose the Super Bowl if it passes.

UPDATE: Companies such as AT&T and Delta are reportedly lobbying lawmakers across the country against laws like Arizona's, calling them bad for business.

UPDATE (7:51 p.m. ET 2/26/14) : Republican Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer says she has vetoed SB 1062

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  • AlgerHiss||

    To our gay friends out there: You get real brave going after religious people….except for Islamics.

    How about you get in the Islamic’s faces like you get in everyone elses?

    I mean….those folks not only call you everything but human, but they’ll put your necks in a noose quicker than Barbra Streisand’s dress falls off on prom night. They literally kill you…murder you.

    But no….you blow your tail like a cat and go after people that you know full well are safe targets, like Phil Robertson.

    Let’s see you grow pair and go after the local imam. How about having a massive demonstration at your local mosque.

  • Tonio||

    Losing hurts, eh, Alger?

  • Joao||

    That's the prob, Tonio, sounds like you may be about winning on this issue, not letting folks alone to do as they wish.

    Liberty... you may have heard of it.

  • CentristClassicalLiberal||

    There are way more Christians in America than Muslims. Try again.

  • LibertarianX||

    This should be an unneeded law. A business owner should be able to decide which business they will accept. As for the buyer, I do not understand why they would want to force someone to do business with them. Tollerance has to work both ways.

  • OneOut||

    Jihadist gays forcing people they don't like and who don't like them to provide goods or services are just trying to make headlines, as you know.

    People who are forced to provide service to others they don't want to do business with should just provide shitty service and charge top dollar for it.

    That will solve the problem, quietly, over time.

  • Tonio||

    You got a sad, bro?

  • CentristClassicalLiberal||

    Jihadist blacks forcing people they don't like and who don't like them to provide goods or services are just trying to make headlines, as you know.

    Fixed.

    I don't believe unions or the minimum wage law should exist but I also support ENDA. Alot of social conservatives who oppose ENDA believe that unions and a minimum wage law are legitimate. Those southern Democrats who switched over because of Reagan didn't abandon their New Deal ways.

  • CentristClassicalLiberal||

    I dare you to walk up to a black body builder and tell him that it should be legal to discriminate against blacks.

  • ||

    That's why God created firearms.

  • John Galt||

    Thankfully Samuel Colt made everyone into a black body builder, huh?

  • ||

    IOW, yes.

  • Byte Me||

    Natural law says you can discriminate against anyone for any reason. Because, Freedom of Association.

  • CentristClassicalLiberal||

    I'm not an ideologue. I believe in cost-benefit analysis. the enemy of ideologues.

  • Byte Me||

    You apparently believe in forcing others into associations they would rather avoid. "Force" is the operative word there, and this is (or should be) an abhorrent notion.

  • CentristClassicalLiberal||

    COST-BENEFIT ANALYSIS. GOVERNMENT-MANAGED PRIVATE ROADZ. GOVERNMENT VOUCHERS FOR PRIVATE SCHOOLZ.

  • Joao||

    Conflation:

    The process or result of fusing items into one entity; fusion; amalgamation.

    Race and sexuality are not the same just because they are both social issues.

  • CentristClassicalLiberal||

    Racism and homophobia are still the same ignorance. The former is hatred of people based on their race and latter is hatred based on whose body odor one is attracted to.

    Also there is no evidence of an invisible man in the sky. My brain involuntarily links people who believe in supernatural nonsense with adult babies and adults who believe in Santa Clause or the Tooth Fairy.

  • JWatts||

    "I dare you to walk up to a black body builder and tell him that it should be legal to discriminate against blacks."

    Do you think might makes right? Because that's the logical interpretation of your statement.

    And it's about as anti-Libertarian sentiment as you are likely to see on this board.

  • CentristClassicalLiberal||

    There's a reason I have classical liberal and not libertarian in my username. COST-BENEFIT ANALYSIS BITCH!

  • Benjamin||

    This is such a complicated and delicate issue.

    As a Christian, I find it morally unacceptable to deny services/goods to somebody because of their sexual identity even if it contradicts what I believe. However, I would be opposed to participating in a celebration that directly contradicts what I believe, for example a gay wedding. Did I just offend you? Probably. Does that seem immoral to you? Who cares? As libertarians, are we interested in morality or are we interested in protecting individuals' rights from government intrusion?

    If someone wants to deny me services/goods because I'm white, or Christian, or own guns, or drive a prius, they should be able to do so. In fact, they should be able to deny me services/goods FOR ANY REASON OR NO REASON AT ALL.

    That said, this particular bill proposal was probably poorly worded, narrow in scope (singling out homosexuals), and wouldn't accomplish libertarian goals.

  • ||

    this particular bill proposal was probably poorly worded, narrow in scope (singling out homosexuals), and wouldn't accomplish libertarian goals

    Indeed. The issue isn't (the narrow) religious freedom; it is the freedom to (not) associate.

  • Ann N||

    You are trying to take on the whole CRA in one bite.

    This bill and overturning CRA are 2 different things.

    CRA is thought control, of the order of 1984, but its socially accepted. what to do?

  • Seamus||

    "That said, this particular bill proposal was probably poorly worded, narrow in scope (singling out homosexuals), and wouldn't accomplish libertarian goals."

    Really? Please tell me how you would improve the language in this bill: http://tinyurl.com/qbgr8xk

    And while you're at it, please tell me how it singles out homosexuals?

  • Acosmist||

    "Freedom of association" is the definition of "religious" now.

    OK then.

  • John Galt||

    Hey, that constitutional crap is over. You shall associate with who you are told to. And you're going to do it with a smile if you know what's good for you.

  • fish||

    .....ding, ding, ding.....tell him what he's won Johnny!

  • fish||

    A boot in his face....forever!

  • JWatts||

    No, not in the face. The boot goes on the neck. You only kick them in the face when they get uppity.

  • Byte Me||

    Guys, I've always labored under this strange notion that we (libertarians) believed in freedom of association. Any business has every natural right to deny service to anyone for any reason. After all, their PR is their problem.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    It's nice to know at least three state lawmakers consider legislation carefully before voting.

  • ||

    They had to pass it in order to be able to figure what's in it.

  • Seamus||

    "Arizona Senate Bill 1062 amends the state’s religious freedom laws to specify that businesses and individuals can decline to provide their services to others if it interferes with their religious beliefs."

    I'm going to call bullshit on this. Prof. Douglas Laycock, of the University of Virginia School of Law, and 10 other law professors point out: "SB1062 does not say that businesses can discriminate for religious reasons. It says that business people can assert a claim or defense under RFRA, in any kind of case (discrimination cases are not even mentioned, although they would be included), that they have the burden of proving a substantial burden on a sincere religious practice, that the government or the person suing them has the burden of proof on compelling government interest, and that the state courts in Arizona make the final decision." (http://tinyurl.com/mheqp3y)

    You don't have to take my word for it. You can RTFB: http://tinyurl.com/qbgr8xk (It's short enough that there should be no excuse for not reading it. Or for making outlandish claims about what it says.)

  • Barnstormer||

    "...But it strikes us as reasonable to expect that, when you open a store, you will serve any law-abiding, paying customer who walks in the door...."

    The WaPo published this shiny nugget of stupidity in an editorial yesterday. It completely overlooks the fact that millions of businesses worldwide, actually vet millions of customers everyday. Banks, landlords, bars, pawnbrokers, etc., all routinely decide who they're not going to do business with.

  • ~Knarf Yenrab~||

    That's because you're unreasonable to expect public accommodations to be held to the same standard as public non-accommodations or for the right of voluntary association to be protected by law. If we were to protect voluntary association in every respect, people might do something we find objectionable, like refusing to serve black people or refusing to bake cakes for gay couples. Now, it would be okay to refuse to serve people for their political beliefs or their manner of dress--we're not tyrants--but not for these other special cases like race, color, religion, nation of origin, age, familial status, et al.

    Better to ensure that public accommodations meet the needs of these individuals via coercion than to ensure that something so nebulous as "personal liberty" is protected. If we're not careful, people who are too free will do naughty and objectionable things.

    /WaPo

  • JWatts||

    "...But it strikes us as reasonable to expect that, when you open a store, you will serve any law-abiding, paying customer who walks in the door...."

    Well I'm waiting with bated breath for The Washington Post's upcoming war on "No Shirt No Service" signs.

  • DBJM||

    Brewer vetoed it, and she made the right call. Those social conservatives who frame this as a 1st Amendment issue need to recall that the 1st Amendment says Congress (and by extension state and local government) shall NOT create a law preventing the free exercise of religion. No one has proposed such a law. When and if they do -- when they want to legally compel that religious baker to bake that gay wedding cake, as done in Colorado -- then we have a constitutional quarrel.

  • JWatts||

    I do agree with Brewer's veto. While to some degree it's caving in, it is to a larger degree a redundant and unnecessary law. It would have little practical effect, really none, and it would become a Democratic talking point for the next 9 months until the election.

    Most of the time just being morally right on an issue isn't enough to win an election.

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