In particular, the letter wants Congress to stipulate that the Religious Freedom Act, the basis of the Supremes' boneheaded Hobby Lobby decision, does not trump anti-discrimination laws, such as the policies enacted by Phoenix in 2013.
Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton and a handful of other high-profile U.S. mayors are asking Congress to intervene to prevent the Supreme Court's ruling in the controversial Hobby Lobby case from undermining local anti-discrimination laws protecting gay residents.The letter, co-signed by the Democratic mayors in Tucson, Philadelphia, Los Angeles and San Francisco, among others, says that groups are already strategizing to extend the ruling in Hobby Lobby to other religious beliefs.
"Outside groups have already begun mobilizing to use this narrow ruling for a renewed push to weaken protections against discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodation..."Last year in Arizona, the legislature passed SB 1062, which would've allowed businesses to use personal belief or conscience as a reason not to serve certain customers. Nationally the "religious liberties" bill was seen as an attack on LGBT rights. Which it was. After giving the Grand Canyon State another black eye for weeks in the national press, and faced with threats from the NFL that it might yank next year's Super Bowl from Glendale, the bill was vetoed by Gov. Brewer in February.
Arizona and its largest city rarely dance to the same tune, and SB 1062 was widely viewed here as an attack by the rubes at the legislature on Phoenix's anti-discrimination laws, which were just passed last year. Mayor Stanton and others clearly believe the voices behind SB 1062, notably the right-wing Center for Arizona Policy (CAP), will use the Hobby Lobby decision to resurrect their bigotry.
Of course, the CAP's interpretation of religious liberty extends only so far, about as far as the Old Testament. We can expect Boehner's House to act on this in 3 ... 2 ... never.