Christian hate or religious freedom? Arizona passes anti-gay bill

License to discriminate: Arizona lawmakers approved a bill that would allow businesses to refuse service to gays and lesbians when such work would violate their “sincerely held” religious beliefs.

House Bill 2153 was written by the conservative advocacy group Center for Arizona Policy and the Christian legal organization Alliance Defending Freedom.

Under the bill, a business owner would have a defense against a discrimination lawsuit, provided a decision to deny service was motivated by a “sincerely held” religious belief and that giving such service would have substantially burdened the exercise of their religious beliefs.

The bill was approved by the Republican-controlled Senate on Wednesday and the GOP-led House on Thursday. The state Senate passed it on a straight party-line vote, 17 to 13. The House followed suit, 33 to 27, with two Republicans joining all the Democrats in opposition.

Arizona Democrats called the proposal “state-sanctioned discrimination” and an embarrassment.

Proponents contend the bill is about protecting religious freedom, while opponents, including Democratic lawmakers and gay activist groups, describe the bill as unconstitutional, discriminatory and divisive.

The bill is a product of Christian hate and bigotry, and is yet another example of how religion poisons everything.

Arizona passes anti-gay bill
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  • citizenw

    And you can unload a clip into a car full of people if you “sincerely believe” that one of them might have a shotgun.

  • Jacobi Coriolanus

    So if someone’s religion is opposed to biracial marriage or children from unwed mothers its OK to deny them services too?

  • John Lynch

    Welcome to Aribama.

  • Sam_Handwich

    Arizona Senator Jeff Flake (R) is urging Brewer to veto the bill. Not sure McCain will speak up, but his daughter was all over it yesterday on twitter.

    Legislation like this is not what establishment republicans on the national scene want to see coming from their state parties heading into midterms. Whether they’ll admit it publicly or not, most republicans have by now accepted that marriage equality will likely become a 50 state reality within a couple of years, given the cases currently percolating up through the federal courts.

    Mike Lee’s new mini-DOMA legislation has attracted one sponsor, Ted Cruz. Fighting yesterday’s battles is becoming more and more politically burdensome for republicans – just makes them look petty and vindictive. Come 2016, do they really still want to be railing against equal rights for gay and lesbian Americans? I suspect most of the big republican donors want to drop it and change the subject.

    • Julia Hendricks Schwark Pryal

      Well said, Agreed, and Bravo…

  • Dillon

    Canadians are wondering what has become of the America we used to know and love? Pitiful….

  • Puczylowski

    I find a republican party morally repugnant, thats my religious belief. If your a repub or tea bagger, I will not serve you in any way.