Arizona passes anti-gay bill.

Arizona passes anti-gay bill. February 20, 2014

In an apparent fit of envy with Kansas the state of Arizona has passed a new bill with some pretty (intentionally) confusing wording.  But rest assured there is no doubt why the bill was passed and what it will do:

This afternoon, on a party-line 17-13 vote, Republicans in the Arizona Senate bucked the national trend and gave final approval to SB 1062, a GOP-led bill that would create a special “right” to discriminate against LGBT people on the basis of religion.

Under the bill, which was introduced by Republican State Senator Steve Yarbrough, individuals and businesses would be granted the legal right to refuse services to people or groups if they claimed that doing so would “substantially burden” their freedom of religion.

In interviews with local media, Yarbrough made it perfectly clear that the specific purpose of this bill is to legitimize discrimination against the LGBT community. But during today’s nearly two-hour-long debate, Yarbrough took a different tack, claiming that the basic rights of LGBT people victimize anti-LGBT Christians.

“This bill is not about allowing discrimination. This bill is about preventing discrimination against people who are clearly living out their faith.”

The bill essentially blurs the line between businesses and churches, giving business the same separation from government regulation on the subject of discrimination as churches. The argument from Yarbrough is essentially that it’s discrimination if you don’t allow Christians to discriminate.

Except it’s not.  If everybody is prohibited from discriminating then that’s equal treatment.  You don’t get to work your employees more than 40 hours/week without paying them time-and-a-half because of your religion; you don’t get to run a dirtier kitchen than other restaurants if your religion says you must; you don’t get to drive faster than the speed limit if your religion says you can; and you can’t put a “Whites Only” sign over your business’s water fountain if your religion doesn’t like black people.  Religious beliefs, in America, simply do not exempt you from the laws that bind all other citizens.

But for some reason (the bible) some Arizona legislators (Republicans) think that if they want to hang a “Straights Only” sign over their business’s water fountain because of their religious beliefs then that’s ok.  Well it’s not.

To any religious people reading this blog, do you ever wonder why the young generation is leaving the church in droves?  It’s because of shit like this.  It’s because you told them that if gay people got to marry the country would crumble and all that is good would be destroyed.  But then gay people got to marry and nothing bad happened.  Gay people got the same status in the military as every other soldier and nothing bad happened.  And those kids realized that you lied to them and they started to wonder what other lies they were told.

And if you think the repercussions were bad (or good if you’re looking at it from my point of view) in this generation, wait until the next one that grows up in a nation made more secular by the hatred of Christians and the lies they employed in the service of that hatred.

Oh, and have fun, citizens of Arizona, picking up the check when this bill gets overturned in court.  That is, after all, how so many states are getting gay marriage now.  Christian law-makers passed anti-gay marriage amendments to a host of state constitutions which opened the door for the lawsuits that are now overturning them.  Frankly, we owe a big thank you to every Christian who felt the prejudice of an ancient and ignorant people belonged in the 21st century – we could’t have done it without you.

But for the time being it sucks.  It sucks that in the 21st century people still think they have the right to make second class citizens of their neighbors because their neighbors have insisted they are better suited to choose a life partner than the Christians next door who don’t even know them.

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