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Authored by Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton, a letter has been sent to congressional leaders, asking them to pass legislation that would prohibit businesses from using the Hobby Lobby decision to discriminate—not only against women seeking birth control, but against other lifestyles the "oppressed" Christian companies do not condone, i.e., the LGBT community.

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.    

Originally posted to Maggie's Farm on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 03:34 PM PDT.

Also republished by Phoenix Kossacks, Baja Arizona Kossacks, and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Excellent suggestion. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mother Mags, mungley, Munchkn, howabout

    Unfortunately there's not much chance of getting any amendments to the RFRA.

  •  The Hobby Lobby decision *can't* override local... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nextstep, Mother Mags, Munchkn

    The Hobby Lobby decision *can't* override local ordinances because RFRA doesn't apply to the states.

  •  Good idea. We need to take back congress (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mother Mags, Munchkn

    so this law can pass.

    "And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover, And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over." - John Masefield

    by mungley on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 04:19:49 PM PDT

  •  where are the mayors (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    in reacting to the Hobby lobby verdict?
    if the political powers would have been at the for front when this case was being argued it might have helped sway a different outcome and LGBT rights might not be in question now.

    you have to fight for every cause. history clearly shows this.

    sorry but i am tired of civil and human rights being picked and chosen. both LGBT and women's rights should be addressed. women are second fiddle to every cause.

  •  Why does "religious" freedom trump freedom? (11+ / 0-)

    Why does "religious" "freedom" trump all other freedoms?

    Why does "religious" "freedom" allow You to hurt ME?

    Why does "religious" "freedom" always, ALWAYS have to be about bigotry, hatred, violence, perversions, and death?

    Why does "religious" "freedom" harm more people than it helps?

    Because "religious" "freedom" is a fraud and a lie, employed by evil people to force moronic laws down the throats of an ostensibly free nation that becomes blind and stupid when it hears the words "religious" "freedom."

    Once "religious" "freedom" stops working, the people now blathering "religious" "freedom" will simply change to another lie in order to steal the rights and freedoms of the majority.

    "Religious" "freedom," like religion itself, is evil.

    •  My religion (3+ / 0-)

      requires universal health care, universal public education, equality under the law regardless of race, gender, or orientation, serious gun control laws applied everywhere, and a welcome mat for all those who seek to become citizens in this country. Although I do not belong to a recognized denomination of an organized church, my beliefs are at least as sincere as David Green's if not more so. But look how these bigots in Congress and on the Supreme Court place undue burden on the free exercise of my religion.

      •  Yes, but obviously (0+ / 0-)

        your religion doesn't count.

        Let's be honest here, the only "religion" recognized by the Supreme Court and the American state is conservative "Christianity." And, even then, only certain flavors of conservative xtianity.

        Which puts the lie to the "religious freedom" hogwash.

        Try to express your religious freedom as a liberal, as a Jew, as a Muslim in America. Not to mention any practitioner of a faith outside the narrow "main stream." You have no freedom of religion in America.

        "Religious freedom" is the lie they tell to blind decent people to their fraud and bigotry. Their thefts and other crimes.

        All you need to hear is the word conservative to know that everything they say is a lie, and that it has nothing to do with freedom.

    •  Paraphrasing something said by Andrew Lang (0+ / 0-)

      (1844-1912),  the people practicing their religions in the way you describe above are "using religion as a drunken man uses lamp-posts...for support rather than illumination."

      "If you want to make peace, you don't talk to your friends. You talk to your enemies." Moshe Dayan

      by TParrish on Sun Jul 20, 2014 at 03:42:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Bio-Cremation and the Catholic Church (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mother Mags, Back In Blue

    I looked into a law that was proposed in Ohio to allow for bio-cremation. The legislature killed the proposal by sending it to committee after the Catholic bishops objected. Bio-cremation is a cheaper and greener option that cremation (by fire) but apparently not a religious option. I guess this another way for the 'minority' christians to prevent everyone else from being allowed to exercise their beliefs.

    Struggling to see that of God in all men, especially the Republicans

    by EviLiberal on Sat Jul 19, 2014 at 06:47:16 PM PDT

  •  You have to assume that the notNazis and the (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    diggerspop, a2nite

    Supremes have planned this out.  

    But what happens when they run into a case where one person's faith clashes with another person's faith (which it actually already had since HL is a people 2) or when one Faith's "laws" clash with another Faith's "laws" or beliefs.

    Presumably the Supremes are willing to justify protecting one Faith's beliefs and considering the beliefs of another to be not worth protecting.  It's not credible that the Rns and the Supremes have not already decided how those decisions would be justified.

    Somewhere along the way all hell's going to break loose when that happens.  The question then becomes what is their plan for how to handle the outrage.  (By doing what is being done which is to proselytize cops and the military with the beliefs of the Church of Sarah Palin, the neoEsther of the Apocalypse.)

    •  Just to be clear, for those maybe living under (0+ / 0-)

      a rock, or in a cave, the Hobby Lobby case is not about religious freedom, or, more specifically, the requirement that insurance plans provided for employees contain coverage for contraception being a burden upon the religious faith of the owners of Hobby Lobby.  It is about how that requirement affects the money possessed by said owners.

      It seems that money invested in funds that contain contraception and abortion services, funds that make money for the Hobby Lobby owners, is not a burden, but paying for contraception in employee insurance plans, something that costs them money, is a burden.

      So this is really about the money.  Religion is just the lie they tell in order to get more money and keep it.  Now, it is possible that they consider it OK to keep those investments as long as they continue to give some or all of thatmoney to The Gathering, a national prayer group directly evidently up to its elbows the notorious Uganda Anti Homosexuality Bill.  I guess money given to kill gay people cancels out moral responsibility for investments in funds containing objectionable elements.

      Either way, these Hobby Lobby people are the very worst, and most morally questionable kind of people.

      "If you want to make peace, you don't talk to your friends. You talk to your enemies." Moshe Dayan

      by TParrish on Sun Jul 20, 2014 at 04:22:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  You know how during the last few minutes (6+ / 0-)

    of a fireworks display, they pull out all the stops and really go all-out, making what preceded it seem tame in comparison? Well, this is what the other side is doing right now, on this and all sorts of issues.

    They've been losing on issue after issue, and in desperation are firing all guns in a last-ditch attempt to roll back the progressive wave that's been sweeping away decades of far-right conservative regression.

    Gay marriage, gays in the military, health care expansion including birth control and abortion, Medicaid expansion, green energy, rollback of the military, etc. It's like Phyllis Schlafly's worst freaking nightmare. So they're fighting back with all they've got, because they're terrified that this is the end for their agenda.

    Well, they're going to lose, no matter what they do, because as we all know, those last few minutes of a fireworks display are followed by...quiet. I'm not saying that we should lay back and let them unleash their fury unopposed. But this is a rearguard action on their part, and it can't last too long. And it won't.

    They are dying and they know it. Think a star going supernova before it dies.

    "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

    by kovie on Sat Jul 19, 2014 at 07:41:00 PM PDT

  •  I think that is what we are seeing here in (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    diggerspop, ladywithafan

    Arizona as well. We will still be here after the flameout.  But we have to keep working and growing and educating.
     Local officials taking a stand, finding and electing better and stronger  candidates, encouraging involvement by new and younger voters. This election matters, and for us, events like NN 15 will matter

  •  The court is deciding who's religion is legitimate (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I thought that was supposed to be a big no-no.

    Someone ought to challenge the constitutionality of the RFRA.

  •  I'm glad Daily Kos won't be going to PHX (0+ / 0-)

    But Netroot Nations is.  .  .  WTF

    Netroots Nation: Burning Man for Progressives

    by Gilmore on Sat Jul 19, 2014 at 09:13:47 PM PDT

  •  Congress isn't gonna do *bannable word* (0+ / 0-)

    So the Mayors might as well just demand that RFRA be repealed.

    It's a b.s. piece of legislation.


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