Arizona state Rep. Steve Yarbrough (R) has introduced a bill (SB 1062) that would create a blanket “license to discriminate” against LGBT people (and others) so long as there was religious motivation to do so. He hopes to avoid a situation like in neighbor state New Mexico where a wedding photographer was found guilty of discrimination for refusing to work a same-sex couple’s commitment ceremony.The bill is, indeed, a blanket license. You can discriminate against anyone for anything, so long as you say God told you to do it; the bill allows those businesses sued for the practice to claim that denying them for doing so would "substantially burden" their religious freedoms. Yarbrough, who I suppose we have to mention here is among the state of Arizona's most pernicious human boils, has some rather curious beliefs as to why his bill would not apply to businesses that discriminate against women, or non-Christians, or minorities or the like; because that stuff is against other laws that people kinda are willing to abide by. Or something:
That’s because already existing laws allow the state to forbid discrimination if there is a “compelling governmental interest” in such regulation and if the regulation is the “least restrictive means” of furthering that governmental interest. And Yarbrough said he believes there are enough legal precedents against bias based on gender and religion to keep a business owner from using his or her own beliefs as an excuse to discriminate.He also says that your religious freedom to discriminate against whatever class of people you like because you feel like it probably hinges on whether or not there's other businesses in town that don't discriminate against them. (Future Arizona yellow pages will presumably have little symbols next to each listing specifying which sorts of Americans will and won't be served by each business, so that you don't have to go wandering around town until you find one that lets you in. Or not.)
But Yarbrough said that he could foresee situations in which the case might be a closer call, as in examples as the photographer and the hotel.Yes, no doubt the pharmacist who won't sell you birth control pills because they cannot stand the thought of abetting your horrible sins against their God will think nothing of saying "but here's the address of a place that will." Genius, this guy.
“If he’s the only pharmacy in Bisbee, you may have a problem,” he said. But Yarbrough said the outcome would be different “if there are two more down the road and Target does this and there’s no issue, and he knows that you can go there.”
“And, of course, if he’s at all smart, is probably going to say, ‘And by the way, two blocks down the road is a Target and they have a pharmacy,’” Yarbrough said.
If we're going to have people arguing for discrimination, could they at least have the decency to not be stupid about it? Yarbrough apparently envisions a state where you can ban anyone you like from sitting at your lunch counter or drinking from your fountain, so long as there's a diner over there or another fountain over there that you can use. I believe—and this may be a faulty memory on the part of myself and every other non-comatose American—we have already had that discussion. At length.
This is an ongoing pattern, however, and Yarbrough's introduced this same bill before. It passed the legislature last year but was vetoed by Gov. Jan Brewer, not because Brewer didn't like the idea but because Brewer was in the middle of a budget spat and had declared a "moratorium" on all non-budget bills." It'll probably pass the legislature this time too. While we all fret and wonder about whats been in West Virginia's water supply of late, spare a thought for these poor bastards in the Arizona capitol buildings. I don't know what the Arizona House and Senate have been sucking on these past years, but them folks ain't right.