Arizona\’s state legislature passed a law, SB 1062 (read it by clicking here), which was supposed to provide an increased measure of freedom of religion for people whose faith precluded them from performing certain actions on behalf of people who, based on their faith, they could not perform those actions for.
In simple terms, it was supposed to mean, for example, that if a gay couple walked into a bake shop and asked for a wedding cake celebrating the marriage of two men or two women, and the bake shop was run by devoutly religious people who believed same-sex marriage to be a mortal sin, they could refuse to do so.
If that were all it did mean – i.e if it were a specific exception for very narrow, clearly defined reasons which most people would agree with – there might have been a reasonable basis for the law. But it was written in so general a fashion that it could be interpreted as open season for businesses to refuse service to just about anyone for just about anything.
It is one thing for a devoutly Christian bake shop owner to tell a gay couple “I\’ll bake your cake and charge you a fair price for it, but I won\’t write anything on the cake that is contrary to my deeply held religious beliefs”. It is another for a bake shop to tell a gay couple “get out of my store, we don\’t serve gays here”. The way SB 1062 is written, I can see both situations occurring.
SB 1062 should never have been passed. The Republican legislators who pushed it (some of whom are already backtracking because, they claim, it doesn\’t communicate what they thought they were voting on) are either lying, or acted like dolts (ok, I can\’t resist – just like the Democrats who voted for ObamaCare before they had any idea of what it entailed).
This is bad legislation and should be vetoed. Shame on Governor Brewer if she doesn\’t do so.