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In today's Rachel Maddow show (which is still going on, on the west coast), Rachel consistently kept calling it the anti-gay bill, and described the discrimination possible against gays in various example scenarios. She neglected to mention altogether that the Arizona bill is far more wide-reaching than other bills recently drafted in other states - it is not in any way limited to discrimination against gays or same-sex couples. Jed Lewison's recent diary and several other news articles have also simply referred (at least in their titles) to this as the "anti-gay bill", to discrimination against gays that this law allows.

This is, of course, very wrong. The sad fact is that this law doesn't make things worse for gays AT ALL. Arizona does not have any protection for sexual orientation to start with. People can discriminate right now against gays with absolutely no legal repercussions.

What it does allow now, however, is every other form of discrimination against everybody under the sun.

Here is what SB1062 allows in Arizona, should it pass.

-- A hindu brahmin doctor can refuse to provide medical service to patients who eat meat, as this is against his beliefs.
-- A muslim lawyer can refuse to take your case if you drink alcohol or eat pork.
-- A Sikh teacher might refuse to teach your kids, if they violate some tenet of the Sikh faith.
-- A Jewish cop might refuse to help you should you be a victim of a crime, should you be violating the Sabbath.
-- A Jain plumber and contractor might refuse to come out and fix your water main breakage should you not be a vegan complying with his strict Jain principles.
-- An extreme Taliban-like individual (I won't call them a muslim, as it's absolutely a violation of the Koran) can discriminate against women and children for just being alone in a public place.
-- A white supremacist might interpret the bible to say black people are less than a human. Yes, why shouldn't he be allowed to return to "No n*** allowed"?

As I'm an atheist, I'm probably the only person who wouldn't get to discriminate against anyone. Perhaps I could say it's against my religious beliefs to support irrational idiots. Yes, that's the ticket.  This bill is frightening in its  sweeping blindness, it's whole-hearted, miserable embrace of a dark and disingenuous past. We cannot overstate its dreadful malignancy. And it's only when pointing out the frightening reach of the bill can you make people understand the impact of this bill. It's only when they're walking a mile in the victim's shoes, do they get shaken out of their apathy and prejudice clouding their judgement.

Rachel, Jed and everybody else who simply refer to this as an anti-gay bill don't go far enough. Liberals don't need lessons in why discrimination is wrong. The ignorant and prejudiced supporters of this bill don't have a clue what they are doing, even the legislators who signed it.

Update: Thanks for reading and all your thoughtful comments, everybody! Ended up called away on an emergency and so can't go through and respond and rec all these great comments today, but am very appreciative of your kindness and interest.  I certainly didn't mean to be even remotely sensationalist or critical of Rachel (whom I love, love, love) and Jed (ditto). Wasn't expecting the mischaracterization to mean anything other than "not fully portraying full impact." I'm not going to have connectivity for very long but I am trying very hard to wrap my head around all the implications of this bill and still learning a lot. Much thanks!

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  •  Tip Jar (308+ / 0-)
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    •  Not just any religious belief (63+ / 0-)

      but also any logic attached to one.

      I go to an Episcopal church. Candlemas is an actual day on the church calendar when the candles used in the services throughout the year get blessed, which means there is one ordering season to replace the simple white candles used in just about every single service throughout the year.

      The way these laws are being written, even the less expansive Kansas version included, ANYONE could refuse to fill that order, on account of the fact about four or five candles out of the entire order MIGHT be used for an hour or two (out of a much long total lifetime) during a blessing ceremony for a same-sex relationship. Or even just because the denomination is QUILTBAG friendly and filling the order would be permitting gay people to think Jesus loves them just the way they are.

      No way to sue about it. No guarantee that the candle order can ever be fulfilled. Oh and in Arizona, most of the local suppliers are going to probably be Catholic so the whole 'gender and the priesthood' issue is going to also be in play. Big time.

      And sure, there's no doubt a way to handle what happens if a parish absolutely needs to bless candles for use during another time in the year because they ran out faster than expected. But not being able to fill the yearly candle needs in a timely manner before Candlemas would have a definite psychological effect.

        •  SORRY BUT THIS DIARY IS WRONG WRONG WRONG (8+ / 0-)

          1.  The motivation for this bill is clearly against the LGBT community.  The authors of this bill are far right wing Christian fanatics in a hateful apoplectic state about gay marriage.

          2.  This bill is designed to supersede LGBT anti-discrimination ordinances in Tuscan, Phoenix, and Flagstaff.

          3.  This bill is designed to thwart the upcoming legal decisions that will force every state to accept gay marriages as legitimate overturning constitutional bans in places like Arizona.

          Rachel is RIGHT!!! ONCE AGAIN.....

          The reason it was written with such broad language is to try to pass legal muster, as the Colorado court decision overturning an anti-GAY Constitutional Amendment made clear singling out the LGBT community wouldn't pass muster:

          To quote Wikipedia:

          In 1996, the U.S. Supreme Court held in Romer v. Evans that the amendment, because it "allows discrimination against homosexuals and prevents the state from protecting them", was "motivated by animus towards homosexuals" and violated their rights under the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.[3]
          •  I wouldn't say the diary is entirely wrong (5+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Lujane, EdSF, renbear, BPARTR, rlb

            but I really dislike these misleading headlines, and the nitpicking. Of COURSE it's anti-gay and just because that is the focus and not a bunch of other less obvious stuff, doesn't mean someone characterizing it that was is wrong.

            Ed FitzGerald for governor Of Ohio. Women's lives depend on it. http://www.edfitzgeraldforohio.com/

            by anastasia p on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 11:38:54 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  That may explain its origin (9+ / 0-)

            but the repercussions appear to have the potential to be much wider.  Limiting discussion to its anti-gay motives may fail to engage the widest range of Arizona citizens.  While its anti-gay bias should be sufficient for everyone to oppose it, it should be recognized that it could used as justification to discriminate against just about any person in the state.

            Each of us has some quality or belief that is offensive to someone else.  That's just the way it is.

            •  I don't agree, be skeptical. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Jon Sitzman, K S LaVida

              First, because it actually DOES explain the origin of the bill, one is certainly justified in characterizing it as anti-gay. But more importantly, contrary to what you might be saying above, those interested in defeating it are more than happy to expose ALL of its collateral damage. The framers of the bill intended it as anti-gay but they knew Romer v. Evans would not grant them the liberty of being that specific. Hence, all of the side effects that the diarist correctly points out. Whether we call it anti-gay or not, they are obvious to the public, which is why some of the clowns who passed it are now calling for its veto, the cat got out of the bag. In other words, all of the concern about its labeling is a tempest in a teapot.

              There is a critical difference between feeling discriminated against because you're disagreed with and being discriminated against because of who you are.

              by EdSF on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 03:16:14 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Maybe so (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                EdSF, Jon Sitzman, BYw

                but that's generally how it's been cast in the MSM.  I did see Anderson Cooper's interview with the sad sack who wrote this bill this afternoon, and Cooper made very evident the full ramifications.  I'm glad that the general stink of this legislation is becoming apparent to all.

          •  And yes, you are RIGHT RIGHT RIGHT! But so is (8+ / 0-)

            the diarist. The sad thing is that we on the left have to argue even one iota about this.

            I admit, as soon as I read the title and the first line, I was immediately checking the diarist's history in preparation for branding him or her a rightwing troll. Well, the diarist's liberal cred checked out, so I read further. ;-)

            And what I found is that, yes, the diarist IS right...as are you. Yes, this bill was born as an anti-LGBT bill and it was developed as an anti-LGBT bill. Unfortunately, it is - as the diarist states - MUCH WORSE than an anti-LGBT bill.

            It is a HATE BILL. Pure and simple. A pure, unadulterated HATE  BILL. A FUCKING HATE BILL!!!!!!! From a bunch of bigoted hate-spewers backed by multiple HATE GROUPS.

            Period.

            It is one of the more disgraceful pieces of legislation ever to emerge, like a reeking piece of feces through an anal sphincter, from a state legislative body.

            Words cannot describe the depth of the depravity of this HATE BILL.

            "Bernie Madoff's mistake was stealing from the rich. If he'd stolen from the poor he'd have a cabinet position." -OPOL

            by blue in NC on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 04:28:23 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Here's the really scary part I've been trying (58+ / 0-)

        to explain to some absolutest Libertarian "It's their property!!!!" idjits.

        Imagine you live in a small town in rural AZ where only one gas/service station exists for 30 miles in any direction.

        And you're the one non-Xtian in town.

        And your car breaks down, and the dick who owns the service station won't sell you what you need to fix it.

        "I read New republic and Nation/I've learned to take every view.." P. Ochs

        by JesseCW on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 02:06:07 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Or you belong to one of the small congregations (23+ / 0-)

          in the Assemblies Of God, Independent Fundamentalist Baptist movement, etc. Christian, but one of those churches where your preacher says the people in the larger congregations in town are probably or actually hellbound and the people in those congregations think your church has some way out there beliefs.

          Need to buy cooking oil? If you belong to a group even rumored to do anointing with it, most probably the AoG, you may find no one willing to sell you any for kitchen use since you might use it for ritual purposes.

          IFB? Good luck buying PVC pipe of under 3 inches in diameter or plumbing supply line. Or rulers. Too many books from the movement on not sparing the literal rod - anyone with beliefs against aiding or abetting child abuse would have grounds to refuse the sale. That gushing fountain that was your sink is just going to have to stay that way, even if you're quietly 'in rebellion' against the pastor over that particular doctrine.

          And that's just things with religious-belief-related use. Catholics are going to have to deal with protestants who believe the Chick Tracts about cookie-worship, demon-worship, and so on, and then have to try to obtain goods or services from people who think that rosary dangling from the rear-view mirror is a sign of an idol-worshiper at best and not want that person on the property period, double for those who think 'Queen of Heaven' is the name of a demon instead of a title legitmately used for Mary (these people exist, in some neighborhoods they can be locally powerful).

          Too many people think that being 'Christian' means that laws like this would have no effect on them in a 'Christian' controlled area. What actually matters isn't whether or not they consider themselves part of that majority, but whether a majority of people in the area think they belong to that category. And that can be a tricky thing.

          I've had someone in a church tell me to my face without realizing it that a single belief I did not share with him meant he'd consider me an atheist (said belief was not 'God exists' or anything ever put in an ancient Christian creed). I think a lot of Christians cheering for legislation like this are in for rude awakenings when they find out those atheists or idol-worshippers their neighbors were railing about when the legislation was being passed and signed are actually them.

        •  Clearly, then.... (7+ / 0-)

          The free market is telling you to become Christian.

          In all seriousness, I saw one of the libertarian trolls who flocks to the Gawker ecomments for articles on this kind of thing argue, in all seriousness, that the Allies defeating Nazi Germany was a 'free market' event that shows how discrimination would be tamped down in a libertarian society.

          So I'm sure you could just hold a gun to that service station owner's head as part of the free-market negotiation.

          You couldn't load a pistol with dormitive virtue and shoot it into a breakfast-roll - CS Peirce

          by Mr Raymond Luxury Yacht on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 07:36:36 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  or won't sell you gas so that you can go elsewhere (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JesseCW

          to buy what you need.

          While Democrats work to get more people to vote, Republicans work to ensure those votes won't count.

          by Tamar on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 07:45:48 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  i live in such a town (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Heart of the Rockies, cany, sfbob, ColoTim

          and this would be  true in a heartbeat.

        •  He can do that now (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          La Gitane
          And your car breaks down, and the dick who owns the service station won't sell you what you need to fix it.
          He can do that now. You have no affirmative right to do business with anyone. That's why companies can post 'we reserve the right to refuse your business' signs.

          If he didn't want to fix your car, he could just say, 'I don't want to fix your car'. It would be up to you to 1) sue him, and 2) in that lawsuit prove that the ONLY reason he didn't want to do business with you was because you were not a Christian.

          And 'because I don't like him' is a perfectly valid reason not to do business with someone. So if he says that he didn't do business with you because he doesn't like you, then you'd be in the rather awkward position of having to prove otherwise.

      •  Metaphorical Self-Immolation? (4+ / 0-)

        Sounds like your parish may possibly be ordering candles from California or New Mexico if this bill is signed. No, that doesn't help local businesses, and that is part of my point: the legislature may be prompting new, outside of Arizona buying habits for some businesses, so these on-fire-for-their-ideology lawmakers are actually hurting local businesses just to make a (hateful) point.

        You meet them halfway with love, peace, and persuasion ~ And expect them to rise for the occasion...

        by paz3 on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 07:31:40 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  only because the first one didn't fly (7+ / 0-)

        it is an anti-gay bill, hiding behind the religious banner.  The intention of the bill is purely anti-gay.

        But the results, even if it were just to discriminate against gays, could target everyone, because 'gay' isn't on our identity cards.  

        •  I agree that is the underlying intent (0+ / 0-)

          of these bills, but the language of the statute is much broader.  I doubt that the states that are pushing these laws have any protections for gay and lesbian citizens (except for a few municipalities).  So, the discrimination they seek is already sanctioned in these states.  I think the larger purpose is to promote the notion that the government should not be able to force people to act against their religious beliefs.  It's ultimately a GOTV strategy.

      •  Wait, I'm confused (0+ / 0-)
        No way to sue about it. No guarantee that the candle order can ever be fulfilled.
        Right now, there is, as far as I know, no affirmative requirement for a company to do business with any person or organization. If you can prove that the reason the company refused to do business with you (as a person) was systematic discrimination, then they can be punished. But a company that refuses to do business with another company or organization (such as a church) and does not specify why? I'm not sure there is any legal protection for that right now. Is there?
    •  Another thing - Christian v. Christian. (30+ / 0-)

      Perception that religious objects are going to be misused is a thing. Even if the 'misuse' is 'using it respectfully in a manner different than my church uses it'. The Arizona law makes this perception a legitimate factor in everyday 'how do I get that thing I need?' faith decisions.

      Before I started making my own prayer beads, I bought a single decade rosary at a Catholic hospital gift shop. There was no other local supplier available and I had no clue such things could be found on Amazon. The lady at the counter almost tried to stop me from buying it because I made an offhand mention of being protestant in her hearing - even after I proved I knew more about the history of single decade rosaries than she did, and had thought-out plans of what I was going to pray on said beads. Because I might just want it as jewelry. And they weren't selling pre-blessed rosaries, so that whole 'blessed objects in the hands of the Other' issue wasn't in play.

      Even now when I make something for myself, I'm dependent on no one being able to deny a purchase that is obviously for prayer bead making in an area where very few people belong to religious groups that use any form of prayer beads. If this sort of law comes to Tennessee, the craft stores could technically kick me out if a cashier realized what that kind of connector and cross charms in the same purchase mean someone's making.

      Christian groups in the local minority by population percentage could find themselves removed from access to locally purchase things like prayer beads, religious books, jewelry with cross or Jesus-fish symbols, and so forth if the majority groups deny them on 'it is our religious belief they will misuse this object or symbol that has significance to us, and we refuse to abet this misbehavior' grounds.

    •  Dan Savage (25+ / 0-)

      Spoke exactly about this tonight.  People need to realize that anybody can be discriminated against with this law.   I was brought up Catholic but don't practice and even I can be discriminated against with this law is signed by Brewer.  

      I believe that the reason why the LGBT community is being singled out is because they have the most to lose with this law.  Look, they can try to rent a motel room while visiting Sedona and be refused that room or (as it happened in another state - Oregon I believe) they can order a wedding cake and be refused service because they're gay.  There is 99% less of a chance of a Muslim taxi driver turning down a customer because they eat pork than there is a member of the LGBT community being turned away because of their sexual preference.

      Never be afraid to voice your opinion and fight for it . Corporations aren't people, they're Republicans (Rev Al Sharpton 10/7/2011) Voting is a louder voice than a bullhorn but sometimes you need that bullhorn to retain your vote.

      by Rosalie907 on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 08:58:44 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I agree with Diarist, but (17+ / 0-)

      as mentioned, "A Jewish cop might refuse to help you should you be a victim of a crime, should you be violating the Sabbath."

      The Jewish cop would not be working on the Sabbath.

      However, a Jewish business could refuse service for a host of other reasons.  On this point, I agree.

      I would like to raise one particular point about the Diarists appropriate rant that is likely overlooked - groups that are typically discriminated against are far less likely to discriminate.

      In addition to people in the LGBT community, people of non-Christian faiths, people who are not white, people who speak with a foreign accent, etc. are far less likely to discriminate.

      Ya'see, those of us who have been at the short end of discrimination are far more likely to follow the Golden Rule.

      If I may offer a quote from Gandhi, “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”

      The people who author laws to memorialize discrimination are the hypocrites Jesus spoke of in Book of Matthew:

          "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of heaven in men's faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to."

      And to my atheist and agnostic friends, there is a place in heaven for you too - as long as you follow the Golden Rule of love and kindness to those who are different and/or less fortunate.  A belief in God or organized religion is not required.

      As my Rabbi would say, "Shalom."

      •  Wishful thinking (12+ / 0-)

        "In addition to people in the LGBT community, people of non-Christian faiths, people who are not white, people who speak with a foreign accent, etc. are far less likely to discriminate."

      •  Jewish Cop (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Subterranean, samanthab

        There are plenty of sincerely believing Jews who practice the sabbath more or less stringently. Some work on the sabbath, but eat only by kosher rules; others the reverse. There is no requirement to belong to any specific sect, and sect membership often changes from generation to generation. There is no final word on orthodoxy; indeed, even orthodox Judaism has some of the strongest accommodations for individual conscience of any long lived religion (which has contributed to its longevity).

        So a Jewish cop walking a beat could draw the line at operating a machine on the Sabbath, and refuse to help you because you were driving.

        I also disagree with you that people mistreated in violation of the Golden Rule are less likely to violate it. It's well established that abused people are more likely to become abusers when given the chance. Jews are not immune to that sociological fact.

        "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

        by DocGonzo on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 07:24:00 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  More to the point, a Jewish cop walking the (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          RLF, SmallTownTexan, DocGonzo, mmacdDE, Matt Z

          beat on Tuesday could refuse to help you because you didn't keep the sabbath 7 weeks ago.

          To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

          by UntimelyRippd on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 07:39:07 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  A Jewish bowling alley (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          DocGonzo, yg17

          might not let anyone roll on the Sabbath.  

          "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

          by Subterranean on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 08:32:16 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Closed (0+ / 0-)

            Well, "not let anyone roll" is their prerogative - if they're closed to everyone. But unless they're actually a church (synagogue), they can't exclude some people while serving others.

            "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

            by DocGonzo on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 08:54:42 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Unless this bill got signed (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              DocGonzo, barbwires, BYw

              and then, they COULD legally refuse to serve some people while serving others.

              There's nothing to stop a private business from closing on what the owners consider their sabbath. Chik-fil-a does that, and nobody cares.

              It's another thing to say that you're a Christian business, so you're not serving anybody you perceive to not be doing things your religion is against. Even though you're a business, open to the public.

              Even though you're a GOVT EMPLOYEE, you could just not deal with somebody you feel offends your religious sensibilities.

              This could be really bad if you worked in a social service agency, and your religion stated that out of women who were adulterers should be stoned. Or killed.

              •  I Agree (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Cassandra Waites

                One other horrendous consequence would be the government establishing an official test of what's a "real religion" far beyond the concrete (but still iffy and anti-Constitutional) IRS determinations. To stop me and my ilk from inventing an anarchist religion of sacred inconsistency for our convenience and eternal salvation.

                Because then the government would decide what is and isn't a religion.

                The best outcome from these dark days of grabby theocracy would be to finally recognize that religion has absolutely no standing in matters of law, except that nobody can be singled out by it for behavior that infringes no one else's rights.

                "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

                by DocGonzo on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 09:20:13 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

      •  Just The Facts - Please (5+ / 0-)
        ...people of non-Christian faiths...are far less likely to discriminate...
        People of some Christian faiths are far less likely to discriminate also. You may know that, but chose not to mention it...

        My point here is how divisive mixing ideological politics with faith can be, and this may be one unspoken intention of the bill's authors. Many right-wing Christians just love to condemn tolerant mainstream denominations and their members.  

        You meet them halfway with love, peace, and persuasion ~ And expect them to rise for the occasion...

        by paz3 on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 07:52:30 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  There was a case in California (0+ / 0-)

        a few years ago where an Orthodox Jew took a job as a BART operator, then sued to get Saturdays off in opposition to the standard seniority rules on the grounds that working the Sabbath violated his religion. The courts ruled against him on the grounds that he should have asked about the job scheduling before he took the job and turned it down when he found he wouldn't have Saturdays off for quite some time.

        So you could have a Jewish police officer working the Sabbath -- not Orthodox, but perhaps Reform I would think. But that cop wouldn't be apt to discriminate against a victim for violating the Sabbath since he, too, would be in violation.

        There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

        by Cali Scribe on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 12:49:57 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Quite a number of those... (73+ / 0-)

    ...legislators, I suspect, believe that Jains, Muslims and Hindus shouldn't even exist in America. And some of them are no doubt iffy about Jews, too. Not to mention the Navajo, Hopi, Apache, Akimel O'odham, Paiute, Zuni, Yavapai and other Arizona tribes whose members still maintain religious beliefs.

    Nicely done, rationalcauses.

    Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

    by Meteor Blades on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 07:49:46 PM PST

  •  I've been accused of being in the athiest religion (22+ / 0-)

    Some religious folks do not even consider the possibility that someone does not check any of the boxes when they ask what religion are you. Their definition of religion and mine clearly differ.

    So, if I have to be religious then I choose to discriminate against anyone who chooses to discriminate against anyone else on religious grounds.


    Every time my iPhone battery gets down to 47%, I think of Mitt Romney.

    by bobinson on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 07:58:13 PM PST

  •  Local Ordinances. (27+ / 0-)

    This is mostly true, but there are local ordinances in some cities in Arizona (Phoenix and Tucson are two) that protect gays and lesbians that would be overturned (for "religious" reasons) if this law passes. So, yes it does also affect the gay community.

    •  Very good point, thanks for that info! (3+ / 0-)
      •  This would kill local laws...NOT federal! (12+ / 0-)

        (1) Federal law prohibits discrimination in (a) employment, and (b) "public accommodations" (businesses serving the public) on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, or religion. States cannot trump federal law. See: Civil War, 1861-65.

        (2) Federal law does NOT prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation. Which is why we need to pass ENDA.

        (3) Some city & county ordinances in various states prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation. (Like Atlanta and, I believe, Phoenix.) These state laws would wipe out those city ordinances.

        "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

        by HeyMikey on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 05:52:52 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  "States cannot trump federal law". (5+ / 0-)

          Would someone please figure out a way to hammer that into the thick skulls of these legislators? Not just in AZ, but also TX and a number of other states, the legislative strategy seems to be, "Nullify, and make 'em sue".

          They know they can never win any of these fights in a federal court, but the endless game of whack-a-mole goes on and on.

          "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."........ "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." (yeah, same guy.)

          by sidnora on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 06:54:28 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  They know. Just pandering. (4+ / 0-)

            They know full well. And the states would not have to get involved in any litigation; it would be strictly between the private businesses involved and their customers, or the federal EEOC.

            The state legislators are fully aware these bills would change next to nothing. They are merely giant symbolic middle fingers to LGBTQIA people. And that's popular with the conservative base who vote in GOP primaries.

            Like so much of the idiocy of modern America, this is largely due to gerrymandering.

            "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

            by HeyMikey on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 07:09:59 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  "Nullify, and make 'em sue" (4+ / 0-)

            I'm sure that the State legislators voting for these bills in Kansas, Arizona, other places, know they're going to get trumped at the Federal level very soon.  They even know they're sure to squander their state taxpayers money fighting a doomed cause in Federal courts, being fiscal "conservatives" as they claim.

            I believe these bills serve another purpose: to send a message to local prosecutors and State AGs that there's a "sense of the State" that anti-discrimination cases need not be pursued with any sincerity or vigor -- that only anti-Christian zealots care about discrimination against gays.

            Yeah, these are "message" bills ... and rank pandering to a right wing activist base of their Party, of course.

            •  Why trumped at federal level soon? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              eztempo

              In order to change federal law, the Dems will have to (a) take the House, and (b) either get 60 Senate seats, or change the filibuster rule. There is some chance all that could happen by January 2015, but I wouldn't count on it.

              "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

              by HeyMikey on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 09:42:13 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Or a SC decision that grants suspect (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                eztempo

                classification and some form of heightened review to government actions affecting sexual orientation.  The court has hinted at this in its past decisions and is likely to formally adopt at least the intermediate scrutiny standard when the right case demands it.

                •  Nope. What's at issue is PRIVATE action. (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  sfbob, eztempo

                  The Equal Protection clause of the Constitution only applies to GOVERNMENTAL action.

                  The Equal Protection clause does NOT require a restaurant or hotel to serve black people. The Equal Protection clause does NOT prevent an employer from refusing to hire women.

                  What prevents those things is the Civil Rights Act of 1967. To change the Civil Rights Act to protect LGBTQIA people would require Congress to change the law via the usual procedure--passing both Houses and signed by the Prez, or both Houses overriding the Prez's veto.

                  "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

                  by HeyMikey on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 10:59:17 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  The law would be overturned (0+ / 0-)

                    as a violation of equal protection under the 14th a.  That is the relevant government action here.  

                    •  How? (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      eztempo

                      See my other comment, "Good question. My guess at an answer," explaining that these proposed state laws do not single out LGBTQIA issues as the only areas in which business owners can act on their consciences.

                      How are these proposed state laws different from the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which has been law since 1993? http://en.wikipedia.org/...

                      "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

                      by HeyMikey on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 12:25:43 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

              •  I may be counting chickens before they hatch, true (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                sidnora

                I see, HeyMikey, that I may be anticipating the SCOTUS moving against state or local government applications of the "no waffles if you're gay" laws under the principle of substantive due process.  Thinking about it, you're right in pointing out that Congress may have to act in order to specifically put Federal law on the side of protecting Civil Rights Act-applicable principles to gay folks.  However, I could see the Federal courts "clarifying" gays Constitutional rights to equal protection with some "intermediate scrutiny" standard before Congress acts. ...An extension of the principle courts are applying to same-sex marriage bans these days, but striking down state laws that lend state protections to individuals that arbitrarily discriminate in public accommodations without a compelling state interest.

                (Adding "and sexual orientation" or somesuch phrase to sections of the Civil Rights Act, etc., would clear it up right away.)

                One way or another, these "protect religious bigotry" bills that are cropping up in Mississippi, Georgia, Tennessee, Kansas, South Dakota, and Idaho are going to tie up state resources and spend wads of tax dollars defending them in Federal court.

                •  substantive due process... (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  eztempo

                  Interesting. I think we'd still have to show some kind of state action.

                  When I was in law school in the mid-1980s, some of my profs thought the whole concept of substantive due process was a dinosaur that would soon be recognized as effectively extinct. But the Supremes have relied on it at times since then.

                  "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

                  by HeyMikey on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 05:31:59 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

        •  State vs. local laws (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          HeyMikey

          SB 1062, as it appears to me [obligatory IANAL disclaimer!], would supercede or override/overrule any local (town or county) which might enact any sort of anti-discrimination ordinance on its own. Maybe a more legal-savvy Kossack can explain it to me, but I had thought that this sort of thing was exactly the sort of law (States prohibiting political subdivisions to enact anti-discrimination laws/rules) which was struck down by the SC in Romer v. Evans in 1996? Or would Romer not apply?

          I'm sure that SB 1062 has more than its share of Constitutional flaws - not that ever stopped Republicans from enacting crap like it - but this one would appear to be the most blatant....

          •  Good question. My guess at an answer. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Jay C, eztempo, sfbob

            I actually am a lawyer, though I don't practice Constitutional or discrimination law. So THIS IS NOT LEGAL ADVICE. But my guess is:

            These laws supposedly are not limited to anti-gay actions, but cover any actions that offend a businessperson's conscience. E.g., suppose you walk into a camera store and say, "I'd like to buy a video camera to shoot a porno video. Only straight married couples will appear in the video." The owner could still say, "I think porn is sinful, I'm not going to sell you the camera." Or if you said, "I'd like to buy a knife suitable for slaughtering chickens," the business owner could say, "Eating meat is sinful, I'm not going to sell you the knife." (As I noted above, business owners ALREADY have this right.) Thus the states can claim the laws are not motivated by anti-gay animus, which was a critical factor in Romer v. Evans.

            "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

            by HeyMikey on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 07:45:14 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I'll add (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Jay C, sfbob

              To make this two Mikey lawyers in a row not giving legal advice, that it's possible that local antidiscrimination laws would still apply.  The city would need to establish that preventing discrimination is its compelling interest, and there's some well-regarded precedent supporting that position.

              •  implications? (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Jay C, Mikey

                Suppose a city could establish that a "compelling interest"--I suppose a federal Constitutional right that the city is asserting on behalf of LGBTQIA citizens?--trumps a state constitution that generally allows state laws to trump local laws.

                Wouldn't that mean that the same compelling interest would allow LGBTQIA citizens to sue the EEOC, to require enforcement against discrimination based on LGBTQIA status, same as race-religion-color-sex-national origin? In other words, effectively amending Title VII of the Civil Rights Act via the courts?

                In other words--I doubt a court would go that far. But as I noted above, this isn't my area, so I could be missing something.

                "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

                by HeyMikey on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 08:10:29 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  It's not my area either (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Jay C, HeyMikey, sfbob

                  So consider this just speculation.

                  I don't think that the city would claim that it is exerting a federal constitutional right against the state law.  The Arizona bill, and those like it, don't explicitly preempt anything.  If Tucson has an anti-discrimination ordinance for LGBT citizens, it's still in force, just limited by purported "free exercise."

                  Once someone is sued for violating it, though, the defendant would have the opportunity to say that its violation was only because the ordinance represented a substantial burden on its religious belief.  This could be overcome if the city or the plaintiff could claim that the ordinance was a narrowly-tailored implementation of a compelling city interest.

                  Cities have a lot of interests.  Protection of citizens from discrimination is one.  So is marketing their city as an open-minded place to attract business.  It's fairly vague to say whether or not any of these are compelling, but there are cases saying that combating employment discrimination is compelling, for race and sex but also things like pregnancy.

                  Since it's a government interest, though, the government is free to disclaim it.  The EEOC can't protect LGBTQIA workers because the government has refused to express an interest in protecting them.  

                  •  It's ultimately a state constitutional law issue (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    HeyMikey, Jay C

                    Similar to the relationship between the federal government and state governments, most state constitutions provide that state law is the supreme law of the land.  Under this circumstance, the city ordinance would have to yield to this state law.  

                    •  Right (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Jay C

                      Generally.

                      But I think the point here is that the city ordinance and the state law are ultimately compatible.  The state could strike the city's laws wholesale, but it doesn't.  It just says that the city can't do anything to burden free exercise without a compelling interest.

                      The state doesn't say what is or isn't a compelling interest, so the city's free to assert that it's anti-discrimination aims are compelling, and it could win.

                      Then the legislature could re-convene and pass a bill saying that preventing discrimination against LGBT Arizonans is not compelling, and it would prevail under the state constitution.

                      But the Supreme Court has struck down such laws in the past, finding them to be based on nothing more than illegal animus towards certain disfavored groups.

          •  In essence, this law (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            HeyMikey, sfbob, Cassandra Waites, Jay C

            would provide a defense to an anti-discrimination claim based upon sexual orientation.  The local anti-discrimination law is not overturned, but its efficacy is severely curtailed.  For example, you still could not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation in Phoenix, unless you claim the reason for the discrimination is religious belief.

          •  As I understand it (4+ / 0-)

            Romer indicated that it is constitutionally impermissible to create a class of people for the express purpose of denying equal protection of the law to that class.

            The reason the current crop of laws is being written without specifying a targeted class is by way of trying to get around Romer. The problem with this sort of approach is that it is so vague that it would lead to all sorts of interdenominational conflict. There is the implicit and very much mistaken assumption that all religious people (or at any rate all Christians) hold to the same views on a variety of topics. Implicitly it enshrines a particular viewpoint or sets of viewpoints on these issues into law and gives them the sort of privilege which the Establishment Clause abhors.

            •  I dunno... (0+ / 0-)

              See the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (federal). If that's valid, then these state laws may be valid, too.

              http://en.wikipedia.org/...

              "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

              by HeyMikey on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 03:16:45 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  It's a big "if" (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                HeyMikey

                since the law was partially overturned.

                It doesn't appear that there has been a test as to how the law might or might not be applied to the competing claims of various religions.

                I do think a law supporting the "free exercise of religion" would be on shaky ground if a case arose pertaining to religiously-sponsored behavior directed at non-members. There's the whole "we don't have to marry people who aren't members of our church" aspect, but that doesn't really appear to address how RFRA might be applied outside the church doors. I do think that the entire wording of the AZ bill is a gross overreach since it redefines "person" and "religion" in ways which, as far as I can tell, go far beyond even Citizens United.

  •  And I will refuse to pay interest as it's Catholic (28+ / 0-)

    doctrine to be against usury.

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 08:45:47 PM PST

  •  And of course if the law is signed, it will allow (29+ / 0-)

    honor killings.

    "Your Honor, it was an honor killing according to Holy Shari'a, and you can't do anything about it per SB1062"

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 08:47:12 PM PST

  •  Scarier by the day ... (10+ / 0-)

    What will happen in this country, if a Republican (Palin, Romeny, Rand Paul, Paul Ryan, ...etc) were to become President?
    This country is getting scarier by the day.
    Which state is next for this type of legislation? Tx? NC? AL?TN? OK? ... who knows?
    That's why we MUST vote, no matter what election, no matter where we are.

  •  The ugly thing about this bill (28+ / 0-)

    Same as stand your ground. It's all in the perception of the hater. How do you know the man is gay? You think his hair is too long? Pants to tight? What? She spoke up when a man was speaking, therefore she's a lesbian? Her hair is too 'butch'? I dunno Bob, he looks Jewish to me...throw him out. Really? Or will people be forced to wear something to identify themselves at a glance, such as, I dunno, a pink triangle, or a yellow star... If you have as speech impediment, will you be labeled? Wrong hairstyle and expect abuse? You dress isn't conservative enough so I can be an asshole? You become what they perceive you to be, and they will have laws that let them abuse and humiliate you because of their preconceived notions. That it made it this far is humiliating to the entire nation.

    Only in our dreams are we free. The rest of the time we need wages.-Terry Pratchett

    by Shippo1776 on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 09:43:25 PM PST

  •  Discrimination is a prerequisite for (8+ / 0-)

    segregation and segregation is essential to the status-centered. If some people are to be more important than others, then it is necessary to have some criterion on the basis of which some people are thrown out and others are forced in.
    Segregating people into groups seems to be a necessity for people who can't see other people as individuals. Groupism seems to be endemic and may be genetic. Perhaps superficial optics are to blame.
    We should not pass laws to accommodate some people's disabilities by imposing restrictions on everyone else.

    http://hannah.smith-family.com

    by hannah on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 10:12:22 PM PST

  •  Rachel is not wrong (20+ / 0-)

    The legislators openly stated that the intention of the bill was to enable discrimination against gays. A gay legislator stood up in the Senate to denounce it as such.

    The fact that it can be used to enable any supposedly religious discrimination against anything and anybody apparently escaped the legislature. As in Oklahoma, they just thought that by not mentioning gays they could get around the courts. Or some may not have cared whether it was Constitutional, as long as they can tell the base that they tried, and hit them up for contributions.

    (Oklahoma put through a law allowing religious displays on state property, but they had to write it without specifying Christian displays. Imagine their horror when the first application under the new law was for a Baphomet-form statue proposed by a Satanist church, specifically so that little kiddies could sit on Satan's lap.)

    Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

    by Mokurai on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 10:12:46 PM PST

  •  People are noticing and it's worse than you think (17+ / 0-)

    Far far worse


    Now let's get to the really fun parts of this law: corporations are people too, with religious values, under this proposed legislation.

     What happens when the corporation decides that paying taxes is sharia law and no darn way we're gettin' our Islam on? Or feels deeply bound by faith that honoring safety regulations while the wrong party controls the White House is a fast track to hellfire? Or that not paying people - or not whipping them if their production is low - is how God would want it done?

     Yeah, this is a rather open-ended cluster, people. This is that instance where something somebody imagined was a good idea, because Gay People Have Cooties, is a ticket for social, economic and political chaos.

     Seriously, all of the above NOT happening is placing a big bet that people in general aren't reactive, take abuse sitting down and never retaliate.

    •  great quote and point csk, tx (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cskendrick, northerntier

      "The corporate state’s repression, now on the brink of totalitarianism, would with the help of Christie, his corporate backers ... become a full-blown corporate fascism.' http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/the_trouble_with_chris_christie_20140112

      by SeaTurtle on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 05:56:51 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  It's only worse if it gets passed and is enforced (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cskendrick, Kingsmeg, orestes1963

      which it won't be and can't. The backstop is SCOTUS, which will strike it down. No way in hell that Kennedy upholds it. It's a dead letter bill.

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

      by kovie on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 05:59:49 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Tipped for optimism, and I hope so (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Brown Thrasher

        The concepts embedded in SB 1062, however, are a perfect storm of anti LGBT bigotry, libertarian sovereign citizen doctrine and free market deregulationism.

        In other words, it's the first thing I've seen in a long time that, at least doctrinally, that the three disparate corners of GOP extremism agree upon.

        The good news, of a kind, is that more run of the mill reactionaries are freaked out about this bill, too.

        What might save us, me and you is if Republicans hate freakshows too.

        •  The fact that it's a deeply offensive bill (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          paz3, orestes1963

          shouldn't make us forget that it runs against the public tide, political reality AND the constitution. We do ourselves no favors by continually running around pulling our hair out every time the other side does what it does.

          Don't feed the trolls--destroy them, marginalize them, ignore them, as the situation warrants, just don't grant them more power than they actually have.

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

          by kovie on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 07:10:41 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm not the one who passed this bill (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            a2nite

            The document's existence and current position on Governor Brewer's desk is empirical fact, ditto the open-ended cluster-fail of its language.

            As for your counsel on marginalizing uncooperative voices in the room: That's a good point. I'm with that.

  •  This bill is a clear violation of the 14th (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kingsmeg, Subterranean

    amendment and as such is a dead letter that will never be enforceable. One of the ground rules for living in this country is that you have to outwardly respect people you may not like, respect or agree with, at least in the public sphere. Thus, no discrimination based on you know what.

    Which, of course, means that West Hollywood and Castro District restaurants have to serve homophobes--and am sure do, daily--who of course would never eat at them for fear of catching AIDS or The Gay, except the closeted ones who have a crush on Ramon the busboy reluctantly doing "research".

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

    by kovie on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 05:56:43 AM PST

    •  I don't think so (0+ / 0-)

      You're free to turn away homophobes from your restaurant.  You can't discriminate on the basis of your customer's religion, but homophobia is only incidentally linked to religion.  

      You're free to outwardly disrespect all kinds of people in public life.  There are a few laws protecting you from certain kinds of discrimination, but they're generally pretty limited, and the Constitution permits them but does not require them.  The 14th Amendment affects state action, not private action.

      What this law would do, though, is create a problem with the Establishment Clause.

      •  This WOULD be a state action (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Norm in Chicago, a2nite, barbwires

        by being a state law. And you're not free to turn away anyone from your restaurant based on their beliefs, only their behavior, appearance or other physical characteristics such as being smelly. If a homophobe wants to eat at your restaurant and is dressed properly, doesn't smell, isn't being rude or disruptive or offensive, and is not trying to impose their homophobia on anyone, you can't kick them out, at least not for being homophobes. You're not required to be nice to them, though, only to serve them.

        Of course you can discriminate against people in your PRIVATE life, or in public, e.g. by refusing to have gay or Jewish or black friends, or talking to any on the bus, etc. But you can't do this in the course of doing business with them, which includes serving or employing them. Proving discrimination is often difficult, of course, but that doesn't make it lawful. This law would, which is why it's not constitutional. The constitution is supreme in all matters in which the federal government has the final say, and the 14th amendment makes this one of those. No state law can violate the constitution. Period.

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

        by kovie on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 06:24:21 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Right (0+ / 0-)

          No state law can violate the constitution.  And I think there's a strong case that this law would violate the Establishment Clause.

          But even with all the discrimination laws now in place, there's a lot of actions that aren't covered.  With public accommodations, such as restaurants, federal law (not the Constitution) requires only that you do not discriminate based on "race, color, religion, or national origin."

          Homophobia is not, by itself, any of those things.  Only arguably is it religion, but at a minimum, you could exclude people whose homophobia is independent of their religion.  But it's not that limited.  As long as you don't only exclude religious homophobes, you're free to kick them all out.  You can fire people for homophobic remarks (and it happens all the time).  No matter how demure and polite and clean.

          And on the other end, there are no anti-discrimination laws that protect vendors.  If you're sourcing potatoes for your restaurant, you can be as bigoted as you please.

        •  You can refuse service to anyone (0+ / 0-)

          so long as it is not based upon a suspect classification.  So, a Castro restaurant can deny service to homophobes (assuming the anti-discrimination statute does not include homophobia as a suspect classification).  But it could not deny service based upon the customer's sexual orientation.  

          •  You could refuse service to anyone (0+ / 0-)

            you found to be and could reasonably show was offensive to other customers, based on attire, behavior, t-shirt language, etc. So if a homophobe was being actively so, sure, you could refuse service. But if they weren't being actively and visibly homophobic, how could you refuse them service if they were otherwise not being offensive? I mean, could I be refused service because the manager didn't like my rather ordinary-looking tie or shoes, or because they suspected me of being a fan of a team they hated?

            In any case, doesn't the 1st amendment make discriminating against people based on their beliefs unconstitutional in a public business like a restaurant?

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

            by kovie on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 11:56:21 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  No - the First Amendment only (0+ / 0-)

              applies to state action, not action by a private restaurant.

              Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 makes it unlawful to discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion or national origin in hotels, motels, restaurants, theaters, and all other public accommodations engaged in interstate commerce.

              Out with the gloomage - in with the plumage!

              by mikidee on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 01:20:20 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  So you can deny service to someone (0+ / 0-)

                in your restaurant for any and all reasons you like--or none at all--except ones that explicitly discriminate against protected classes BECAUSE they're in one of those classes--which of course does not include bigots?

                So for unconstitutional discrimination to have occurred:

                1 - The owner must have explicitly given a reason, or one can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt by the aggrieved party.

                2 - That reason must be clear discrimination against a protected class.

                So if the owner doesn't give a reason and you can't prove that he had one, or they do give a reason or you can prove what it was, but that reason isn't discrimination against a protected class, then you're SOL?

                So if he kicks you out because you're a fan of a team he hates or you once dated his wife or he doesn't like your tie--or because you hate gay people--then you have no case. If he kicks you out but doesn't give a reason and you can't prove that it's because you're gay or black or Muslim, you have no case. Only if he kicks you out because you're one of these, either because he said so, or because you can otherwise prove it, do you have a case?

                Sorry for being anal, I want to establish clear lines here.

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

                by kovie on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 03:53:18 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  You're not being anal at all. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  kovie

                  As a general matter you are correct - a private restaurant can discriminate against people for good reason, bad reason unless it's illegal, or no reason at all (borrowing from Employment-At-Will jargon).

                  But your understanding needs some tweaking. The "illegal" class here is defined by statute (Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964). The Constitution is not implicated except insofar as Title II applies to a private business by virtue of the Commerce Clause. Additionally, "beyond a reasonable doubt" is the standard for criminal trials - Title II imposes civil not criminal liability.

                  Some states have their own versions the 1964 Act which extend the protections to additional classes. In Minnesota it was a long and hard fought battle to include gays/lesbians - but we got there. But until then there was no protection at all.

                  You are 100% correct to be incredulous about this stuff.

                  Law & Politics - you can't have one without the other.

                  p.s. You would enjoy law school.  

                  Out with the gloomage - in with the plumage!

                  by mikidee on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 04:49:21 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I'm sure I would (0+ / 0-)

                    The way that law works both in theory and practice gels with the way my brain works (more theory than practice though--I'd probably make a terrible lawyer).

                    Anyway, it's not illegal to discriminate against a protected class, but only a violation of civil law? Meaning, you can't go to jail if you're found to have done this, only pay a fine or such?

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

                    by kovie on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 05:12:11 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  It's illegal but not criminal. (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      kovie

                      Damages can be substantial, to say nothing about the loss of business.

                      Out with the gloomage - in with the plumage!

                      by mikidee on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 05:49:19 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Can you recommend a book about how the law (0+ / 0-)

                        works written for a reasonably intelligent lay person, that explains for example the difference between civil and criminal law, administrative law, federal vs. state, judges vs. magistrates, etc.? At a very high level the law is pretty easy to grasp. It's the details, worked out over literally millenia, that gets me.

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

                        by kovie on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 06:01:05 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Ha! Not a single book. Try your first (0+ / 0-)

                          year of law school - Con law powers, con law liberties, torts, contracts, property, civil procedure, criminal procedure, civil process, criminal law, etc. Second year includes tax. Btw - administrative law = con law powers in action. Much more intersting than liberties, IMO.

                          Seriously - it's interesting. You would like it.

                          Out with the gloomage - in with the plumage!

                          by mikidee on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 06:08:30 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                      •  Edited to add primary relief is (0+ / 0-)

                        injunctive, i.e., ordering the business to stop violating the statute, plus attorneys' fees (I might be wrong about damages - no access to good sources, sorry).

                        Out with the gloomage - in with the plumage!

                        by mikidee on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 06:02:48 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

    •  i dont think there are any ground (0+ / 0-)

      rules for hate.  need i bring up SYG or Citizens United? the rules are made by the rulers. the rich literally made corporations into people and threw in pitting the workers against each other. a no lose scenario

      •  Nonsense (3+ / 0-)

        This law would legalize formal discrimination, as opposed to the informal kind that's part of every society. The constitution can't impose good behavior for the most part, but it can and does impose lawful behavior, which includes not having any unconstitutional laws, which this would be.

        And in 2014, I don't think there's any serious question of its being upheld let alone enforced by the federal government. It's a dead letter intended to win elections for a dying GOP in deep red states. Only, it will help kill it.

        Hah hah, joke's on the GOP.

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

        by kovie on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 06:28:09 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Diarists here using "shorthand" (3+ / 0-)

    (for lack of a better word) don't surprise me, as a general rule, particularly FPers. I'm not trying to excuse Jed here, or say it's right or okay for him to do that, I'm just saying, for "pithiness in headlines", for example, that might be why it was done.

    But it's another thing altogether that Rachel Maddow would not "go the extra mile" to make it clear, to provide the kind of background you have. That's the kind of thing she always does. Why is she not doing it for this?

    Chew on that for a good long time, won't you? Meantime, you make amazingly important distinctions and an excellent point here. T & R'd.

    This all started with "what the Republicans did to language".

    by lunachickie on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 06:03:21 AM PST

    •  Because homophobia is the motive. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cassandra Waites, sfbob

      The debates on the bill make it pretty clear that the primary purpose was to permit "religious" people to discriminate against gays.  Now, the folks in the AZ legislature were smart enough to realize that any statute specifically targeting gays would probably fail under Romer v. Evans, so they wrote it in a neutral fashion.  Hence the incredibly broad sweep of the bill they produced.  

      So while the bill will unquestionably make possible religiously based discrimination against people other than gays, I don't think it's inaccurate to describe it as an antigay bill.  The RWNJs in the AZ legislature put this forward in reaction to the steady advance of LGBT rights across the country.  They desperately want to preserve their heterosexual privilege, and this way they can do it while hiding behind "religion."

      "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

      by FogCityJohn on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 09:14:34 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  What you say is true (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lunachickie

        but it fails to consider the full reach of the law.  I think that is the problem with Rachel's framing.  Outside of Phoenxi and Tucson (I believe), Arizonans are presently free to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation.  Yes, it is anti-gay, but I would argue that, under current AZ law, it is far more dangerous to women, particularly with regards to their autonomy vis-a-vis reproductive rights.  Highlighting the other dangerous applications of this law provides a fuller picture of its potential reach.  As an advocate, one would not want to ignore or minimize its broader implications.

        •  I'm not ignoring them. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          sfbob

          I'm just pointing out that the chief impetus behind the law was homophobia.  The rest is just sort of icing on the cake for the RWNJ crowd.

          "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

          by FogCityJohn on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 11:52:36 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Well yeah, (0+ / 0-)

            but my point was, Maddow is nothing if not thorough. Always, she's looking at the bigger picture.

            Always.

            So what happened here? That just seems uncharacteristically sloppy for her, if nothing else.

            This all started with "what the Republicans did to language".

            by lunachickie on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 12:00:27 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  Maybe (0+ / 0-)

    But studying the law, I don't think it does any of those things.

    The Hindu Doctor: I'm not certain about the ins and outs of Hinduism, but I do not believe that there is a prohibition on treating people who do not abide by Hindu dietary restrictions.  So it wouldn't be a substantial burden on the doctor's beliefs.  Also, doctors are generally able to refuse patients now, for any reason they choose that's not an illegal reason.  There's no discrimination protection for non-vegetarians.  Although the motivation for discriminating against meat-eaters is religious, the doctor would treat atheist vegetarians.  No change in status.

    Muslim Lawyer: Lawyers never have to take certain clients.  It's not a public accommodation and anti-discrimination laws don't require lawyers now, in any state, to take certain clients.  And again, if the lawyer would take teetotalling vegetarian Christians, it's not religious discrimination at all.

    Sikh Teacher: Not clear to me if Sikhism requires you to shun anyone else.  But even if it did, the state has a compelling interest in giving all students an education, and the claim would be swiftly denied.

    Jewish cop: Only Jews are required to remember the Sabbath, and you can violate the Sabbath for emergency purposes anyway.  So there's no substantial burden on Judaism here.  Plus you've got the state-based compelling interest.  What the cop could claim is that he should be entitled to be free of work on Saturdays, a religious employment accommodation likely already protected under federal law, if the schedule can work it.

    Jain plumber: Plumbers don't have to take any clients they don't want to.

    Taliban: I'm not sure what he's doing other than scowling.

    White supremacist: Federal civil rights law will trump the Arizona law, which wouldn't protect him since his racism is not a religious belief.  

    •  the problem with so many religions is how (0+ / 0-)

      it is interpreted. im no expert on religion, but Christianity can mean an eye for an eye or turn the other cheek
      that is a heck of a lot of leeway

      one more reason I am an atheist

      i am not sure either how religion is defined. i have an bad feeling we are going to find out and it wont be pretty

      •  There is a lot of leeway (0+ / 0-)

        That's true, but these things have actually been litigated fairly extensively.

        There's a federal statute that actually does most of the same thing, called RFRA, although it's a bit smaller in scope.  As you can imagine, there's been a ton of cases on it, but the pattern usually finds that it's difficult to declare something to be a burden on your religion.  There are a lot more losers than winners at this step.  There's a guy who challenged a complex permitting procedure to hunt an eagle for a Native American ceremony, a debt priority issue between cemetery maintenance and other creditors, Quakers objecting to war.  That's next to a whole bunch of losers.  

        The big issue being litigated now is the contraception mandate, we'll see where that ends up.

        Even jumping past that step, you still need to prove that there's a compelling interest.  And the government has a lot of compelling interests.  Wildlife protection, health care (including abortion) to state university students, and yes, non-discrimination policies.

        Arizona actually has a narrower version of this law, which requires a more direct interaction with the government.  So far, nobody has won a case citing to it since it was passed almost 15 years ago.

    •  Taliban would be throwing bombs into schools (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Nattiq

      and such which would be protected by the Georgia law which is far more broad than the Arizona one as it exempts people and businesses from any government action or legal proceeding that "directly or indirectly constrains, inhibits, curtails, or denies the exercise of religion by any person or that directly or indirectly pressures any person to engage in any action contrary to that person's exercise of religion.

      From the Anti-Defamation league's analysis of the Georgia law:

      "It would create a strong new affirmative for criminal defendants charged with drug-related crimes, sexual assault or rapes of spouses or children, or child endangerment."
      I see no reason why it wouldn't also apply to murder as well.  At least Arizona doesn't go that far, yet.

      You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

      by Throw The Bums Out on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 07:03:30 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't think so (0+ / 0-)

        The Georgia law still says that it does not apply if the supposed religious burden is in furtherance of a compelling government interest, and accomplished by the least restrictive means.  It actually specifically includes child welfare as a compelling interest.  Stopping murder is never going to be anything other than the most compelling government interest.

        Interestingly, it also withholds its protection from anyone who has used it dishonestly.

        •  Well I hope you will forgive me if I trust (0+ / 0-)

          the Anti-Defamation League's analysis rather than yours.  You would think that preventing "sexual assault or rapes of spouses or children, or child endangerment" would be a compelling government interest as well so how could it provide a strong affirmative defense for someone charged with those things?

          You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

          by Throw The Bums Out on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 07:44:30 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  You can trust who you want (0+ / 0-)

            Preventing sexual assault, rape, and child endangerment are obvious compelling government interests.  

            Maybe the ADL can prove me wrong, but I am not aware of any violent crime being excused on religious grounds.  

            Moreover, the ADL has supported similar laws to this one in the past.  http://archive.adl.org/....  

            New York, NY, June 25, 1997...The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today expressed disappointment with the United States Supreme Court's decision that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) is unconstitutional. This legislation codified the requirement that government not infringe on a religious observance unless it could demonstrate a "compelling interest" for doing so.
            The Georgia law says this:
            A person's civil right to exercise of religion shall not be burdened even if the burden results from a rule, law, ordinance, regulation, or policy of general applicability unless demonstrated, by clear and convincing evidence, that application of the burden to the person is in furtherance of a compelling governmental interest and is the least restrictive means of furthering that compelling governmental interest.
            The challenged federal law said this:
            Government shall not substantially burden a person's exercise of religion even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability, except as provided in subsection (b) of this section.

            (b) Exception
            Government may substantially burden a person's exercise of religion only if it demonstrates that application of the burden to the person--
            (1) is in furtherance of a compelling governmental interest; and
            (2) is the least restrictive means of furthering that compelling governmental interest.

    •  Acts 17:26 (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Brown Thrasher, sfbob

      your white supremacist very much can turn his racism into a religious belief. They did and they are.

      Dawkins is to atheism as Rand is to personal responsibility. uid 52583 lol

      by terrypinder on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 07:07:29 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Christianists can deny (0+ / 0-)

      service to any man who trims the corners of his beard, or the hair on his temples, for it is an abomination.  They can deny service to women since they have no beards (being a "beard" doesn't count).

      "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

      by Subterranean on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 08:55:06 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  stuff (0+ / 0-)

      Hinduism has a lot of rules for ritual purity, most of which I do not know, so I won't speculate.  But I think it's fair to say that even if the diarist's speculation is off-base, there's probably something else somewhere that would fit the bill.

      However, I disagree that arguments such as this are very relevant.  Mostly the minority groups are not going to discriminate often in business; if not because of being such paragons of virtue, then because they do not have the luxury of surrounding themselves and having their businesses solely patronized by people just like them (or who could pass as such if not questioned too closely).  Whereas wingnut Christians mostly do have that privilege.

      So not only is this kind of "reverse" discrimination unlikely to be a significant issue outside of the odd ethnic enclave that most of the rightwing types would never dream of setting foot in anyway; its' also kinda lousy as a form of persuasion aimed at wingnuts' self-interest. They won't believe it could happen to them, and in general, they'd be right to believe that.

      And as a side note, it amazes me how in all of the discussion I've seen so far on this (which admittedly is not that much yet), no one is pointing out that there is nothing whatsoever in Christianity that prohibits contact with, sale to, or any other kind of transactions with certain taboo classes of people.  The very freedom the bill purports to protect is a mirage.  So to compare it to prohibitions in other religions that -- whether legitimate or not -- at least actually do exist, is buying into a false framing to begin with.

  •  i think the bill writers are very happy w/ this (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ChemBob, Cassandra Waites, sfbob

    solely as a gay issue. the fact that it can be spread around to make other discrimination practices legal is just more gravy.
    they would love to discriminate against women, minorities, and other religions-or lack there of.
    this bill gives them all kinds of cover and make no mistake they would run with this

  •  Btw Rachel actually DID point out (4+ / 0-)

    that this law could be used to discriminate against anyone, but that it was clearly intended to justify discrimination against gays. I seriously don't think that many Arizona lawmakers are too worried about the sensibilities of Janeists being offended, or even know what Janeism is.

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

    by kovie on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 06:16:05 AM PST

  •  You should email this to TRMS (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite

    and perhaps post a link to her fb page

    https://www.facebook.com/...

    "If you're in a coalition and you're comfortable, you know it's not a broad enough coalition." Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon

    by Denise Oliver Velez on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 06:19:29 AM PST

  •  S T R E T C H (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rmx2630, sfbob

    The most obvious target is gays.  Your other examples would be so unlikely that I have to call them contrived.  

    •  I agree with you. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sfbob

      This particular anti-gay law is very broad.  But it is, at its heart an anti-gay law.  The fact that they drafted a very stupid anti-gay law which had many unintended potential victims should not distract us from the fact that it is - from beginning to end - an anti-gay law.  Rachel's emphasis on this aspect of the law is completely appropriate.

      "But all in all, it's been a fabulous year for Laura and me." - bush, summing up his first year in office, 3 months after 9/11, Washington, D.C., Dec. 20, 2001

      by rmx2630 on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 08:37:37 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm Jewish. Does the fact that some scumbags (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jay C, BachFan, Brown Thrasher, sfbob

    think of me as a Christ-killer allow them to refuse me service?

    (Which is really a shonda, as I am quite rich; being Jewish and all, dontchaknow.)

    Please know I am not rude. I cannot rec anything from this browser. When I rec or post diaries I am a guest at some exotic locale's computer. Ayn is the bane!

    by Floyd Blue on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 06:21:55 AM PST

  •  Beale would not serve Lokhi. (0+ / 0-)

    We have come so far.

    Please know I am not rude. I cannot rec anything from this browser. When I rec or post diaries I am a guest at some exotic locale's computer. Ayn is the bane!

    by Floyd Blue on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 06:22:45 AM PST

  •  Oh, c'mon (0+ / 0-)

    As an atheist, you can claim that you don't want to serve irrational people because they might do irrational things while on your property, and believers are by definition irrational.

    You've just got to work just a little, and you too can be a bigot!

    Purity is for primaries; in the general, our worst are better than their best.

    by blue aardvark on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 06:32:17 AM PST

    •  No such luck (0+ / 0-)

      Since it's not a religious belief, you can't cite to it.  Atheism isn't a religion.

      •  That, I fear, is a purely semantic difference (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        offgrid

        Neither Buddhism nor Taoism, to name two examples, require a deity, yet everyone agrees they meet the definition of religion.

        If Taoism is a religion, atheism is as well.

        A religion is a system of beliefs allowing you to answer the Big Questions. Atheism throws away the idea of the divine lawgiver and tackles those questions from a different direction.

        Usually, then, an atheist believes in SOMETHING, just not a god who has supplied rules. If one asks an atheist "Is racism bad?", you'll get an answer, probably a well-reasoned one, and there will be underlying assumptions about the nature of the universe and what it means to be human. Those underlying assumptions constitute a religion just as much as Christianity, for in the end to answer the big questions we all have to assume something.

        Purity is for primaries; in the general, our worst are better than their best.

        by blue aardvark on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 07:49:42 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yeah (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          blue aardvark

          As an atheist-leaning/agnostic, I don't know what I want.  There may be practical benefits to my beliefs being religious, on the other hand, the point of my beliefs is that they are not religious.

          I'm not too sure how the courts have come out generally.  Atheists, as a demographic, are broadly entitled to anti-discrimination protections which are otherwise for the religious.  But it's hard to say what the free exercise of atheism is.  Meeting to discuss atheism is one thing, but how can you separate your atheist beliefs from the rest of your beliefs?  Or are all your beliefs atheist?

          •  I believe the SCOTUS once ruled atheism (0+ / 0-)

            a religion, along with secular humanism, spiritualism, and some other isms ... but it was in a comment or footnote, not the ruling per se.

            I don't have the reference at hand.

            Purity is for primaries; in the general, our worst are better than their best.

            by blue aardvark on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 01:10:24 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  The assertion that atheism is a religion (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          blue aardvark

          is deeply offensive to many atheists.  What you’re missing, I think, is that the term atheism is not well-defined.  You’re using a fairly narrow definition consistent with the etymology of the word, but not a few self-described atheists exclude all supernatural, spiritual, and transcendental concepts.  At least for those atheists, of whom I am one, atheism is very definitely not a religion.

          In your last paragraph you’re subsuming philosophy into religion.  The underlying assumptions, if sufficiently coherent, may constitute a philosophy, but unless you stretch the definition of religion completely out of shape they do not necessarily constitute a religion.

          •  Something can be offensive and also perfectly true (0+ / 0-)

            If Taoism is a religion without a belief in god, then one need not believe in god to be religious.

            The definition of religion, then, must go beyond does / does not believe in god. And at that point atheists will logically find themselves on thin ice, since you've got to believe something beyond simply rejecting the idea of the divine. If I ask you "Is slavery morally wrong?" and you reply "There is no god", neither of us is likely to find your answer satisfactory.

            You reject god, but to answer the big questions, you accept some other things. Those other things, if you look closely, contain assumptions about the nature of the universe.

            How are your assumptions fundamentally different than that of the non-theistic but still religious Taoist? What distinction can you draw? I think you'll find the distinction is pretty narrow and largely semantic.

            If an atheist is offended because in the end they aren't really any smarter or more logical than Taoists (or Christians, or Pagans, or whoever) then perhaps they deserve to be offended.

            Purity is for primaries; in the general, our worst are better than their best.

            by blue aardvark on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 01:39:11 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  You’ve simply reiterated your original (0+ / 0-)

              assertions and ignored everything that I said after my first sentence.

              •  OK, then (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                offgrid

                You reject various concepts beyond divinity.

                Do you, like Rousseau, believe you have derived everything you believe from first principles? Of course, he wound up a theist, which raises the relevant point that he probably didn't actually do what he claimed, and neither, probably, have you.

                And if you acknowledge making assumptions in order to decide what to believe, what makes your assumptions more rational than any others? Why can you say "my assumptions are of a different nature than yours, because they aren't "supernatural, spiritual, and or transcendental"?

                Those three words are also not well defined, for what it's worth.

                I contend that your assumptions are no more rational or testable than those of a theist, and that it makes no legal or philosophical sense to draw a distinction between your belief system and that of someone who includes theistic, supernatural, spiritual, or transcendental ideas. If it walks, swims, and quacks in a duck-like manner ....

                Note: I changed "and" to "or" in my quotation of you because of the preceeding "aren't"; negation requires that change per Boolean logic.

                Purity is for primaries; in the general, our worst are better than their best.

                by blue aardvark on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 03:02:46 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I don’t believe that I said anything (0+ / 0-)

                  at all about rationality.  And I don’t make assumptions in order to decide what to believe; in my experience that’s a fine way to become an ideologue and to lose touch with reality.  I find the idea of deriving beliefs from first principles rather silly.  If one is interested in such things – and I’m not – one might better try to infer one’s assumptions from one’s actions and judgements.  But then I much prefer to treat each situation on its merits.

                  So far as I can see, your contention (a) is based on a fundamental misunderstanding of my views and (b) is nothing more than the expression of an opinion that is far from universally accepted.  Bluntly, you can call the tail a leg, but that doesn’t make it one.

                  I’m stopping here: this is clearly unproductive, and it’s getting increasingly far off topic to boot.

  •  Off to work but a question?? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jay C

    Is there language in the bill the defines what a Religion is or what it takes to be recognized as one?

  •  Actually, It Does Make Things Worse (5+ / 0-)

    A positive recitation of a "right" to discriminate means that you can tell the boss to suck it if he orders you to serve the "objectionable" customer.

    On the Internet, nobody knows if you're a dog... but everybody knows if you're a jackass.

    by stevemb on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 06:44:01 AM PST

  •  I wouldn't say "mischaracterization" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tom Anderson, BMScott

    I think of mischaracterizing as false interpretation to make a misleading argument.  I think there is good evidence that intent is in fact a goal to discriminate against gay people (and if a few Muslims can feel the pain as a result, all the better).  I can't feel Rachel is misleading, and would suspect that she either did or would immediately accede to the argument that the effects are much broader than those upon gay people.

    The word did get me to click on it, however.

    West. No further west. All sea. --Robert Grenier

    by Nicolas Fouquet on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 06:47:39 AM PST

  •  Let's step back a second (0+ / 0-)
    -- A hindu brahmin doctor can refuse to provide medical service to patients who eat meat, as this is against his beliefs.
    -- A muslim lawyer can refuse to take your case if you drink alcohol or eat pork.
    -- A Sikh teacher might refuse to teach your kids, if they violate some tenet of the Sikh faith.
    -- A Jewish cop might refuse to help you should you be a victim of a crime, should you be violating the Sabbath.
    -- A Jain plumber and contractor might refuse to come out and fix your water main breakage should you not be a vegan complying with his strict Jain principles.
    This theoretical logical leaps of faith are starting to sound uncomfortably to the bullshit spewed on the right about Marriage Equality leading to Brothers and Sisters marrying each other's parakeets or something...

    Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

    by Wisper on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 06:52:35 AM PST

    •  Okay, I'll bite. Step back and explain why these (0+ / 0-)

      "theoretical leaps of faith" sound like "brothers and sisters marrying each others' parakeets or something."

      I don't see any equivalency at all in the likelihood of these events.  Perhaps you can enlighten me.

      Ted Cruz president? Pardon my Vietnamese, but Ngo Pho King Way.

      by ZedMont on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 07:13:28 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Spare me the call for "Enlightenment" (0+ / 0-)

        but if you don't get a sense of Reductio ad Absurdum from

        A Jewish cop might refuse to help you should you be a victim of a crime, should you be violating the Sabbath.
        then my explanation will obviously be to no effect.

        This is the same over-extension of the letter of the law that is used to falsely equate the notion of marriage should be expanded to two individuals without prescribed gender roles to similarly ridiculous notions that have never and would never actually exist in the real world.

        Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

        by Wisper on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 07:28:16 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  as a witch.... :D :D :D :D (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ZedMont, Cassandra Waites, BachFan

    wicca IS a religion, and boy howdy any witches in Arizona could have a field day with this law.  Satanists too.

  •  It's funny to me that in their attempt to (3+ / 0-)

    obfuscate their intended targeted attack on homosexuality so as not to look "bigoted," they have produced one of the most unconstitutional and indiscriminate* bigotries in U.S. history.  

    *indiscriminate in the sense that it does not specify any particular bigotry but instead unwittingly permits any and all bigotries.

    This is such an obvious circle jerk that the Supreme Court should break all the rules and come out now with a unanimous statement, i.e., "Don't even go there."  Of course that couldn't happen because Alito Scalia Thomas.

    Ted Cruz president? Pardon my Vietnamese, but Ngo Pho King Way.

    by ZedMont on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 07:07:59 AM PST

  •  Someone needs to remind these morans (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cassandra Waites, MaikeH, sfbob

    that the whole 'separation of church and state' thingy was meant to protect Christians from other Christians of competing sects.

    190 milliseconds....

    by Kingsmeg on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 07:13:01 AM PST

  •  It's Really Corporate Personhood Theocracy (7+ / 0-)

    The bill is actually worse than all that put together, because those are just some consequences of its major change.

    The basis for ignoring laws that the bill creates isn't just the unprovable religious beliefs asserted after the fact by a person refusing people service.

    The basis is that the corporation refusing service has the right to its religious belief to do so.

    This bill insists that corporations are people, that they have the right to religious freedom, that their religion gives them the right to ignore other laws.

    This bill isn't just theocracy. It's corporate theocracy that makes anyone's property (a corporation) a shield from law.

    And if you think that's too crazy to work even if it's a law, George Zimmerman's got a Stand Your Ground in Florida to sell you.

    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

    by DocGonzo on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 07:14:55 AM PST

    •  Business=Person is the Dangerous Premise (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cassandra Waites

      The news coverage tends to overlook the fact that the bill bases freedom to discriminate on the concept that a business is a person. This further enshrines the Supreme Court's unfortunate Citizens United ruling, which granted businesses another part of First Amendment rights, namely free speech--which would be fairly harmless, except campaign contributions were defined as "speech."

      Defining a business as a person logically leads to the crazy conclusion that stockholders are slaveholders.

  •  Reasons to veto (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Subterranean

    The saddest part of this whole thing is that the sponsoring 'pubs have changed their mind, and Brewer might veto it, for purely financial reasons.  Not because they've realized the extent of their douchebaggery, not even because they've realized that extending discrimination rights to one religion extends it to all, but because it might cost them money.

    Correlation does not equal causation.

    by lizpiper on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 07:20:51 AM PST

  •  A reporter from Arizona was on Chris Matthews (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cassandra Waites, FlamingoGrrl

    yesterday and he stated that Arizona as a state does not have laws protecting individuals against discrimination based on sexual orientation, but that 3 of the major cities do have their own laws protecting individuals from discrimination based on sexual orientation. His take was that they were trying to pass this crap statewide so that they could overturn these protections in the three major cities. They want to be able to discriminate against you everywhere!!

  •  alarmist title to article. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Subterranean

    "misCharacterizing" is the wrong word.

    The primary purpose is to discriminate against gays.  The secondary purpose is to permit any kind of discrimination, and the third purpose is to lash out at  all non-white-bigots.

    Abovementioned commentators merely focusing on what we know is the obvious targeting.

    Since the bill has no chance of standing, it's major function is to reinforce the cult of right wing victimized .  It is meant to increase resentment and hatred, to provide a phony veneer of righteousness and libertarianism, to widen the gap between "us" and "them."  Religion is a convenient tool here for providing self-justification (does not say much for religion).

    Being evil is easy.  Being good is hard.

  •  LA Times - good explanation of the law & why done (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tom Anderson, Jay C, a2nite

    Arizona businesses already can refuse to serve gays: SB1062 explained

    The article gives some background of why Arizona did it  and what the law does.

    One of the reasons Arizona did it was because of a case in New Mexico but New Mexico does have a law that bans denial of service based on sexual orientation and Arizona does not.

    But there's another law in play here -  the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993. It prevents a law from placing a “substantial burden” on an individual’s religious beliefs. It's been used about 200 times in court to argue that a law doesn't have to be followed because it compliance would interfere with their religion.

    I have to admit I wasn't aware of this federal law. The Supreme Court did limit the reach of that act so 26 states, including Arizona, passed their own version. So SB 1062 is an expansion of Arizona's version of the Religious Freedom Restoration law in that it would allow religious freedom as the defense if someone (or corporation) is sued for refusing service.

    Unfortunately, Arizona already permits discrimination against the LGBT community.

  •  The AZ legislature was quite clear. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tom Anderson, Cassandra Waites, Jay C

    This bill was written to circumvent several municipalities (like Phoenix and Tuscon) anti-discrimination ordinances against LBGT persons.

    It is vague because Amendment 2 in Colorado (which not only banned LGBT from "special rights" but also from seeking redress through the court system) was struck down by SCOTUS because it was specific. By denying a specific class of person rights, it was punitive and not validated as a public policy issue. It was merely discrimination of a minority by a majority.

    To prevent the courts from using that ruling to overturn this legislation, it was made intentionally broad. Remember, you cannot discriminate against anyone on the basis of race, religion, creed or national origin already per the Civil Rights Act. Federal law trumps State law, so no matter what your "sincerely held religious beliefs," those are protected by federal statute.

    As there are no federal protections for LGBT persons so it would affect them more.

  •  Good point (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FlamingoGrrl, Brown Thrasher

    Okay-to-discriminate is a better way of saying it.

  •  And a Muslim flying out of the US Airways hub (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FlamingoGrrl, NeverThere

    in Phoenix can refuse to fly his plane if there are unaccompanied woman, which is every flight.

    I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do, because I notice it always coincides with their own desires. - Susan B. Anthony

    by pajoly on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 07:37:57 AM PST

  •  Anderson Cooper... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Subterranean, sfbob

    Started to explore this in his interview.  He asked why not discriminate against divorced people or single mothers?  Jesus said a lot more about that than gays.

    “Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.” - John Steinbeck (Disputed)

    by RichM on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 07:54:30 AM PST

  •  You're missing an opportunity... (4+ / 0-)
    As I'm an atheist, I'm probably the only person who wouldn't get to discriminate against anyone.
    OK, welcome to Theatre of the Absurd...

    Arizona atheists should bring an equal protection case against SB1062 if it becomes law. It obviously grants "extra privileges" to religious believers while specifically denying those privileges to atheists.

    Just to mess with their heads...stop and think about it. Hand them a case in which an anti-gay atheist demands protection under this abomination of a law. They can either support the claims of an atheist (thus dismissing the significance of religious belief in their argument) or oppose the claims of an atheist (thus suggesting that the ability to legally discriminate is NOT essential to operating a business).

    Either way, I'd hear their heads exploding here in Kentucky...

    The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

    by wesmorgan1 on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 08:07:52 AM PST

  •  Paying Bigotry? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite

    First time I read. And only briefly the Bill.

    Note in our American Jurisprudential System being awarded your Attorney Fees is generally not the status quo except well most regularly really important statutes, or laws where no one would bother if Attorney Fees were not included (as there's no money in them a la Ohio getting your Security Deposit Back).

    D.  A person whose religious exercise is burdened in violation of this section may assert that violation as a claim or defense in a judicial proceeding, and obtain appropriate relief against a government regardless of whether the government is a party to the proceeding.  The person asserting such a claim or defense may obtain appropriate relief.  A party who prevails in any action to enforce this article against a government shall recover attorney fees and costs.
    . . .

    F.  For the purposes of this section, "state action" means any action by the government or the implementation or application of any law, including state and local laws, ordinances, rules, regulations and policies, whether statutory or otherwise, and whether the implementation or application is made or attempted to be made by the government or nongovernmental persons [Sorry Huh?].

    So. Not only does it allow discrimination, it lets someone sue the Government if that right is infringed? I gotta re-read that. Generally, you don't give a right to sue (if you are the government).
    •  Seems Like . . . (0+ / 0-)
      There are also some technical changes written into the bill, stemming from recent trials. For example, bill 1062 would allow religious-freedom lawsuits “regardless of whether the government is a party” to the trial–in recent trials, courts denied rights claims because the legislation required the government to be a party.
    •  I gather that's the whole point of the bill (0+ / 0-)

      Couple wants a wedding cake, baker refuses on grounds of religious objection to the marriage, couple sues the baker. This bill is intended to 1. give the baker permission to refuse the service 2. prevent the couple from taking legal action in response.

      “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

      by Catte Nappe on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 08:56:12 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Imagine medical services or emergency services. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FlamingoGrrl

    If anyone can deny service to anyone who doesn't comply with their beliefs, any doctor, nurse, ambulance driver, pharmacist, can refuse service to anyone who doesn't look like them or think like them.

    This bill is insane.

  •  I'd love to think that the first test case (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FlamingoGrrl

    would involve a Pastafarian.

    You can't spell CRAZY without R-AZ.

    by rb608 on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 08:39:42 AM PST

  •  I have an hourly boat rental... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FlamingoGrrl

    ...and I am an infidel.  This means that under this bill, I could refuse to rent a boat to anyone who, in my opinion, subscribes to superstitious nonsense, no matter what the flavor.  But then, I 'd be an idiot to do so.

  •  i think part of the intent is to stoke both the (0+ / 0-)

    feelings of entitlement, fear, anger  and victim hood among fundamentalist/extreme Christian.. the feeling that 'true believers' are being harassed, persecuted by a sinful and degenerate society. (i.e the liberals, the women who have abortion,the black man in the white house, the gays, the feminists, dear gad you should read their lists of who is going to hell and who is out to destroy Christianity)

    legally i see a push to break down eparation of church and state, but i also see a pretty obvious effort to cynically stoke the fires of 'holy' passion in fundamentalist Christians, why? well it IS an election year after all and they got nothing else.

  •  i think this is meant to stoke the fires in (0+ / 0-)

    fundamentalist Christians. these people already feel under attack from, egad the list is so long of the degenerates who are 'attacking freedom of religion': liberals, women who have abortions, feminists, the black muslim in the whitehouse, gays, artists, etc. etc.  this legislation stokes their sense of both entitlement and victimhood.
     i see a legal assault on separation of church and State as well, but also this is a cynical ploy to ramp up the fervor, the 'attack on our way of life, on freedom of (fundamentaist Christian) religion..why

    well it IS an election year and they got NOTHING else.

  •  Agree with author (2+ / 0-)

    I've been think about this a lot. Calling the Arizona bill  the  "anti gay bill" really does not encompass all of the discrimination that will be allowed if passed. Religion under the law is still a very vague term. All you need is a "sincere and meaningful belief" in a religion or belief for courts to honor that religion.  You've given some great examples of how "religious freedom" can serve to allow all kinds of discrimination affecting all protected classes.

    On a side note,  California Legislator Shannon Grove, a republican, just introduced a bill very similar to the Arizona bill, AB 2237, that allows business to discriminate against all protected classes in the name of religious freedom.

    Why we'd be better off governed by sloths reason #8: evidence suggests that even the youngest of sloths understand compassion, a trait that escapes many human politicians. Follow me on Twitter @SacSloth

    by SacSloth on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 09:48:44 AM PST

    •  Ha (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SacSloth

      I guess Asm. Grove just thought it would be fun to introduce such a bill and get herself a little attention since it has approximately zero chance of passing?

      This bill would state the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation that would provide an exception to the Unruh Civil Rights Act to protect the free exercise of religion.
      •  I really hope this bites her in the ass (1+ / 0-)

        She represents Bakersfield which is a red area, but still this bill is just so offensive, allowing discrimination against all classes.

        Why we'd be better off governed by sloths reason #8: evidence suggests that even the youngest of sloths understand compassion, a trait that escapes many human politicians. Follow me on Twitter @SacSloth

        by SacSloth on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 09:59:30 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  It's not a mischaracterization as what they.... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cassandra Waites, BMScott

    ...say is correct, but there are more consequences to the bill that you were able to elaborate on.

    I would change my headline to says something like "Rachel and Jed have told only half the story about the bill"....

    "Mischaracterization" sounds like an act of misleading viewers. They aren't misleading anybody and the law does what they say it will do

    It's just that it does more, although I am not so sure your scenarios are that plausible.

    Their scenario is HIGHLY plausible.

    If you hate government, don't run for office in that government.

    by Bensdad on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 09:52:33 AM PST

  •  Please fix the title of the article (0+ / 0-)

    Just because Maddow isn't talking about the aspects or repercussions of the bill YOU think are important doesn't mean she is "mischaracterizing" it.

  •  Outside the box here (0+ / 0-)

    This bill was not written to discriminate against anyone.  It was meant for fundraising for Republican candidates from their craziest and most fervent radical edges and to distract while other things are being done such as voting rights legislation, increasing funding on private prisons, killing solar panels on our homes, etc, etc....

    This is obviously unconstitutional both in Arizona and nationally and will be struck down.  Yes the organizers are bigots and racists but the bill wasn't written to establish a law that would remove anyone's rights.  It was written to steal our money and power and further polarize us.

    The author is right that gays are not protected in my state already but make no mistake.  The folks behind this including Jan Brewer want this issue screamed about and for LGBT people to be outraged and organize protests as they are doing in numbers.  It's why she is waiting until the last second to approve or veto it.  The outrage is getting them campaign bucks from the mouth-breathers and I'll guarantee you that other vital issues are being neglected.  

    So my message is don't stop the outrage but let's put extra energy into watching for stuff behind the scenes and fundraising in our own party to offset whatever they get.  

  •  Is there a lawyer in the house? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Amber6541, offgrid

    I haven't seen this brought up (but maybe it has).  If this law states that it is ok to discriminate against someone because of their religion, wouldn't the individual or business have to prove that they are a true follower of said religion?  It would put the focus on the religion rather than the customer being discriminated against.  If you are a "Christian" and only denying services to gays and lesbians, but openly providing services to adulterers, divorcees, birth control users and anything else that is against said religion, then you can't really claim you are doing it because of your religious beliefs.  I hope this makes sense.

    "Never before in all our history have these forces been so united against one candidate as they stand today. They are unanimous in their hate for me--and I welcome their hatred." Franklin D. Roosevelt

    by djbender on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 02:24:46 PM PST

  •  The reason people characterize (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MargaretPOA, Cassandra Waites

    this bill as anti-gay is not because it doesn't open the door to discriminate against a host of other classes of people. You have outlined some fine examples of this. It is because the intention of the right wing religious think tank who created the bill and its political sponsors in the legislature was to further enshrine anti-gay discrimination in that state by creating an unconstitutional "right" for bigots to discriminate. After all, they specifically pointed to lawsuits initiated by LGBT people against a wedding photographer in New Mexico and a baker in Oregon as the direct cause of their bringing this legislation forth. I absolutely categorize this as anti-gay legislation while fully acknowledging the immense amount of collateral damage it would do if enacted.

    There is a critical difference between feeling discriminated against because you're disagreed with and being discriminated against because of who you are.

    by EdSF on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 02:59:56 PM PST

  •  Technically correct (0+ / 0-)

    But if you believe this bill and others like it aren't specifically targeting LGBT persons, then I have a large bridge for sale. Just saying.

    "Given the choice between a Republican and someone who acts like a Republican, people will vote for a real Republican every time." Harry Truman

    by MargaretPOA on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 03:17:21 PM PST

  •  Christian Identity, for starts (0+ / 0-)
    - A white supremacist might interpret the bible to say black people are less than a human. Yes, why shouldn't he be allowed to return to "No n*** allowed"?

    That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

    by enhydra lutris on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 03:50:58 PM PST

  •  Lewison. n/t (0+ / 0-)

    Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed: everything else is public relations. - George Orwell

    by Wayward Son on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 04:53:59 PM PST

  •  thank for your diary I think you pointed out (0+ / 0-)

    an important distinction. Bill was downright dangerous.

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