Arizona Passes STATE SANCTIONED DISCRIMINATION BILL!!

Arizona2The Arizona state legislature passed a bill yesterday that is now sitting on the desk of Governor Jan Brewer awaiting either her signature or veto.  Ironcially, the governor vetoed a similar piece of legislation last year authored by the same sponsor, Az State Senator Yarbrough R-

The bill is SB1062 and it originated in the State Senate.  The Arizona House passed it yesterday.  The bill is being called the “Religious Freedom Bill” although those who oppose it are calling it the bill of State Sanctioned Discrimination.

SB1062 is aimed at gays and lesbians, clearly, and it appears to be Arizona’s knee-jerk reaction to gay marriage.  What the bill does is it provides a defense for people who discriminate or refuse services to gay people because homosexuality opposes their religious beliefs.  But, if you study the bill it soon becomes clear that this bill if enacted into law could apply to any group just not gays and lesbians.

Religious beliefs vary widely.  Some people hold the religious belief that if you aren’t a Christian and don’t worship Jesus Christ you’re not only going to Hell but you don’t deserve anything in life either.  Some people hold the religious view that if you don’t belong to their religion then you’re an “infidel” and should be put to death for refusing to join their religion.  Others hold the religious view that sex with animals is “good and right.”  Some hold religious beliefs that God has appointed them to be “God Warriors” and, thus, they think they have the divine right to do anything they want to people not of their faith or denomination.  Others hold the religious belief that God is an angry and vengeful God or that he doesn’t exist at all and, thus, anything goes and it doesn’t matter how you treat others because “God will get them in the end.”  So if one of these people decide to discriminate and/or act upon their religious beliefs does this mean they will be protected and provided a defense when sued for discrimination under SB1062.  Very likely unfortunately.

Arizona’s is known as the “Grand Canyon State.”  It appears that it should be known as the “Hate and Prejudice State” as that motto fits its history much more appropriately.  Arizona was the last state in the Union to approve rights for women.  It was one of the last states in the Union to recognize civil rights in the 1960s. It was the last state to accept the MLK Holiday and only did so when it figured out it was costing the state millions in revenue due to terminated tourism and convention business.  The state has a long history of discrimination against Hispanics even though Hispanics are the fastest growing ethnic group in the state.  Can anyone forget Arizona’s now infamous SB1070 legislation that gave Arizona police the right to demand papers from anyone they suspected of being in the country illegally?  I like to refer to that legislation not as the “anti-Immigration law” but as the “Gestapo Law” since it comes right out of the old Nazi Germany textbook!  Further, Hispanics in Arizona will never forget how present state Attorney General Tom Horn who was the state’s education secretary at the time gutted the Ethnic Studies program in Arizona schools in Tucson claiming that the classes fostered “racism.”  Ironically, RACISM is exactly what this present bill SB1062 fosters along with SEXISM!

What astound me more than anything is that a bill like this could actually make it through the legislature and end up on the governor’s desk in this 21st century.  If we were living before the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s such a fact would not be surprising but we aren’t.  Yet, Arizona continues to get away with this kind of discrimination targeting one group after another and demonstrating to the whole country and world just exactly where the home of racism, sexism, and prejudice is.  I am astounded that Arizona voters allow this to happen especially in those liberal Arizona conclaves such as Phoenix and Tucson.

State Republican Senator Steve Yarbrough of Chandler is the primary sponsor and apparent author of the legislation and his co-sponsors were Republican State Senators Nancy Barto of Phoenix and Bob Worsley of Mesa. Every Democrat in the legislature voted against the bill along with 2 or 3 Republicans who felt the bill established state sanctioned discrimination.  But the bill passed in both houses because Arizona’s legislature is dominated by the Republicans and has a Republican governor as well.

Supporters say the law is needed to protect religious people from discrimination lawsuits such as the New Mexico photographer who was sued by a gay couple in Arizona due to his refusal to photo them during their civil union ceremony.  They also claim that this law would give Arizona one further protection against instituting gay marriage in the state via the courts.  Several states have similar measures in their legislatures being considered but ONLY Arizona has actually passed such a bill.  Arizona voters approved an amendment to the state’s constitution forbidding gay marriage in the state and thus Arizona has made the message clear, “If you’re gay don’t come to Arizona.”  Of course the state has also made a message clear to Hispanics and that is “If you are Hispanics in Arizona you have NO RIGHTS!”.  Just what is this state thinking?  Are they thinking?  Doubtful.

At least one Arizona legislator said this bill is embarassing to the state.  No, what this bill is is absolutely OUTRAGEOUS to any and every human being on the planet!  What it does it establishes State Sponsored Discrimination against certain groups of people who happen NOT to agree with those religious folks in the state.  Arizona already has a state constitution amendment passed by voters forbidding gay marriage so why is this law SB1062 even needed?  The answer is simple.  It is one further affront just to make sure gays and others get Arizona’s message, which apparently is, “WHITE CHRISTIANS ONLY!”.  I wonder if Jesus would support such a message considering he was not White himself?

Arizona is and always has been a punitive state that likes to target certain groups of people and basically hang them out to dry one way or another.  Both the KKK and Neo-Nazi groups have quite a following in the state and one wonders why the federal government doesn’t do something about it.  It is a state in which there is a “good ole boy” system working overflowing with corruption and back room deals at the highest levels of government.  It is a state that has always been a hub for illegal drug running and human trafficking and still is and one often wonders just who is getting paid off for turning the other way pretending not to notice.  It was also the state through which assault weapons ended up being supplied to the drug cartels in Mexico via Operation Fast & Furious.  Arizona already wears enough badges of DIS-honor but apparently it always has room for one more, sadly.

I hope Arizona Governor Jan Brewer vetoes this bill because if she signs it into law it is going to open up a whole new can of worms for the state.  FACT is religious views can include ANYTHING no matter how ridiculous or illogical or real for that matter.  And what will be the next step for the state’s legislature?  Will they now decide to pass a law designating acceptable religious views?  And whose religious views will those be?  The AZ legislature has once again made a fool out of itself as it has many times before.  It has put the governor and the people of the state into a very dishonorable position.  Arizona is one state that has called for civility in the past yet it appears the state itself is unwilling to give any civility.  It preaches one thing and does the opposite.  Hmmm…wouldn’t Jesus consider that to be a HYPOCRITE!  He surely would.

You can read the bill at:

http://www.azleg.gov/DocumentsForBill.asp?Bill_Number=SB1062&Session_Id=112&image.x=9&image.y=5

For local stories on this report you can go to:

http://www.tucsonnewsnow.com/story/24781955/controversial-religion-bill-heads-to-gov-brewers-desk

http://www.kvoa.com/news/will-gov-brewer-sign-religious-freedom-bill-/

http://azcapitoltimes.com/news/2014/02/20/house-senate-pass-religious-discrimination-bill/

10 responses to “Arizona Passes STATE SANCTIONED DISCRIMINATION BILL!!

  1. Reaction to Arizona’s newest effort to discriminate against various groups of people has aleady began to come in. Former GOP Governor candidate Christine Jones says the legislation should be “withdrawn.” She is urging Arizona lawmakers to focus on Arizona’s sinking economy, job creaton and improving the states image and reputation nationally and internationally instead. That’s all fine and well but the mere fact that SB1062 even got to the goernor’s desk is an eye opener as to just where the state’s legislature’s mindframe is at. It’s obviously focused on plain old DISCRIMINATION! Little to late to save the states image or reputation I suspect. Oh and btw check out the article in the Tucson Weekly regarding Jones. She’s pictured firing a handgun like some gunslinger in the Wild Wild West. Is it high noon yet compadres?

    http://www.tucsonweekly.com/TheRange/archives/2014/02/21/gop-candidate-for-governor-christine-jones-sb-1062-should-be-withdrawn

    At least one pizzeria in Arizona is responding to SB1062 using an innovative response. Roco’s Little Chicago Pizzeria is serving up a hot dish of payback. They are displaying a sign in their front window saying “We reserve the right to refuse service to Arizona Legislators.” The sign has also been posted on Facebook with a message saying “Funny how just being descent is starting to seem radical these days.” Amen to that.

    Arizona state senate Democratic leader Anna Tovar says the bill awaiting Governor Brewer’s signature or, hopefully, veto simply “permits discrimination under the guise of religious freedom.” She went on to say that thanks to the Az Legislature “many Arizonans will find themselves members of a separate and unequal class under this law because of their sexual orientation.” Indeed they will. But I’m sure the GOP in Az is already thinking, “So what? Let them eat cake.” Democratic leaders in Arizona are outraged by the passage of SB1062 and say the law is nothing more than “plain old discrimination.” Yeah just like SB1070 that discriminates against Hispanics in AZ! What group is the next target of the AZ legislature? Those who happen not to be Christians perhaps?

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/02/21/roccos-little-chicago-pizzeria-arizona-anti-gay_n_4830936.html?utm_hp_ref=mostpopular

    One would think that Az legislators would have more important issues to address like the faltering economy, job creation, etc rather than putting their time and energy into discriminating against whole groups of people and doing everything they can to stifle civil rights. But I guess not. Instead of resolving real issues Arizona seems bent on singling out people and limiting their civil rights and that effort is rooted firmly in hatred and the states consistent and historical pattern of rejecting civil rights. Nazi Police State is the reputation Arizona has and has had for awhile now and, astoundingly, legislators appear proud of that reputation believe it or not. Hopefully Governor Brewer will veto the bill and if she doesn’t then hopefully every civil rights org in the nation will sue Arizona and the courts will strike it down. There needs to be a huge spotlight put on Arizona as it has consistently proven that it is the Mississippi and Alabama of the 21st century! Time for change in Arizona and time to end this states historical pattern of outright DISCRIMINATION!

  2. Quick Facts About Arizona—

    According to the US Census Bureau the population of Arizona is estimated for 2013 to be around 6.6 million compared to the national estimate of 316 million in the entire US. Combined ethnic minorities make up about 46% of Arizona’s population with Hispanics making up about 30.2% although this does not account for those Latinos who classified themselves as “white.” In contrast whites not of Hispanic or Latino origin now make up about 57% of Arizona’s population. That’s down from 64%. This according to the US Census information at:

    http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/04000.html

    Hispanics are the fastest growing minority in Arizona and the US in general. Their population has doubled since the early 90s according to the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Today most of those Hispanics are born in the US instead of Mexico or elsewhere. This despite the fact that many Hispanic immigrants have left the state over the past 3 years thanks to SB1070 aka the “Gestapo Law.” This according to the AHCC:

    http://www.tucsonweekly.com/TheRange/archives/2013/06/14/hispanics-leading-minority-growth-in-az

    About 1/2 million people living in Arizona are non US citizens according to the US Census while around 300,000 are naturalized citizens. Almost 900,000 people living in AZ where born outside the US. The majority of those foreign born people were born in Latin America. About a million people in AZ are of German ancestry while about 602K are of English. Another 657K are of Irish ancestry. These figures according to the US Census at:

    http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?src=bkmk

    In terms of religion which SB1062 is allegedly intented to protect the rights of religious people only 37% of people in the state claim to be religious. The majority religion is Catholic standing at about 15% of those 37%. Mormons compose about 6.2% while Baptists make up about 4%. Almost 5.5% make up “Other Christian” categories while Muslims, Jews, and others don’t even make up 1%. This according to the SperlingViews at:

    http://www.bestplaces.net/religion/state/arizona

    You can also find more detailed info on religion in Arizona at:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_Arizona#Religion

    So it would appear from these stats that the typical person living in Az is White, Catholic, and of German ancestry. Hmmm….interesting……………..and if you know anything about history then you know what I’m thinking right now.

  3. Pingback: Governor Says She’ll Decide Fate of SB1062 Next Week | Sonora del Norte Press

  4. Good article in all respects except for one. ARIZONA HAS NOT ALWAYS BEEN THE DISCRIMINATORY, HATEFUL, STATE DEPICTED IN THIS ARTICLE. When the state came into the union during the administration of President William Howard Taft, Arizona was actually one of the most if not the most progressive and liberal state. We were the first state in the country at that time to have women suffrage, a full seven years before the Nineteenth Amendment was enacted for the whole country. Our state also had such things as recall of legislators and judges and many other very progressive laws, which were considered to be so progressive and radical at the time, that we had to to hide these laws from the Congress and President Taft in order to get admitted into the Union, but then we simply reenacted them as soon as we got into the union. So, what the author writes has not been the way Arizona always has been. We have had progressive Senators and representatives for many years and were sponsors of much other good in the world in the 20s through the 50s. We have slowly been corrupted I believe from the influx of bad people from the rest of the country in the last 40 years due mostly to escape from where they live and come to enjoy our climate, etc. And, even today, the people are not all as bad as depicted in the article. When the people vote, they sometimes vote in very progressive ideas, such as medical marihuana, and other ideas. So your article is very accurate about our legislature currently, but don’t indict the entire state and all of its people, and we certainly have not always had a legislature like you depict. Thank you.

    • Very good comments Tony :) I agree that AZ has been corrupted as has much of the government at various levels in the US and elsewhere today. As to who is to blame that’s a never ending argument. People tend to gain power and come to think that they are irreplaceable as more money comes into their coffers. Then something happens. They stop representing We The People and start representing those who fund them. Thus begins greed and following closely behind comes corruption. Perhaps this is what has happened in Arizona since the 1950s. But this is not simply an AZ problem. It’s a national problem across the board IMO. Again thank you for your comments mi Amigo.

      • I agree with this comment completely Juan. I think one thing we can do is try to get the power of the press behind the horrors we are enduring right now in Arizona and maybe we can help get this State started to move in a new more progressive direction. Hope springs eternal of course. Have a good day.

  5. I’d say that would work with the power of the alternative press such as SDNP. I say this because I think the mainstream media is just as corrupt and bought off as ever. The MSM only reports the “official line” and investigative reporting is all but nonexistent. Nothing like a real spotlight to wake elected officials up and keep them in line LOL.

    • Juan, mostly I agree with this.
      But I remind you that the progressives in the days of Teddy Roosevelt and Franklin Roosevelt got most of their progressive legislation passed against the strong opposition of the same very conservative, reactionary, powerful money interests of the big Corporations and the powerful reactionary members of the Senate and House of Representatives who did the bidding for these corporate interests (the same enemy we have to deal with today) because they had wonderful national press, called the “muckrakers” who were convincing the country of the righteousness of the progressive cause in the famous McClure’s and other magazines, which were read then. These periodicals actually made it cool to be for the poor, the underdogs, and the Irish and Italian immigrants, who were the hated immigrants of that day by the powerful. The muckrakers made such a powerful argument that the bad guys were impotent to stop the progressive legislation because large majorities of the populace were behind the progressive ideas then due to the effective press coverage, based upon truthful and accurate reporting too I might add.
      If we’re effective and accurate in our claims, I still think there is some of the mainstream media we can capture and try to do the same thing today. Teddy Roosevelt actually had special places for the mainstream press at the White House for constant visits, and Obama needs to know how to do that with our press today. I think Obama’s heart is in the right place, but he is not nearly as effective as both Roosevelts were in their day. Good day to you.

      • Once again excellent comments Tony. I think the problem with Obama is the people surrounding him some of whom I’ve met via the Internet and frankly I am not impressed. They are idealists living in Ivory Towers and seem distant from the real world and reality.

      • Thanks for your knowledge Juan. Frankly, I think you’re writing is mostly very good, and maybe you can be a modern day “muckraker” if you can get a big enough audience. Best.

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